Future Plans


Transnet National Ports Authority provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight South African commercial seaports and operates within a legislative and regulatory environment created by the National Ports Act 2005 (Act No. 12 of 2005). The core functions of the National Ports Authority are:

  • To plan, provide, maintain and improve port infrastructure;
  • to provide or arrange marinerelated services;
  • to ensure the provision of port services, including the management of port activities and the port regulatory function at all south African ports; and
  • to provide aids to navigation and assistance to the maneuvering of vessels within port limits and along the coast.

The National Ports Act creates a dual role for the National Ports Authority whereby it is responsible for the port regulatory function at the ports - i.e. controlling the provision of port services through licensing or entering into agreements with port operators to ensure that efficient port services are provided.

In view of evolving developments in the maritime industry, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) seeks to continue to enhance its role in facilitating trade, influencing growth through the provision of port infrastructure capacity ahead of demand; and aligning its core activities to changing market dynamics.

TNPA is one of five operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd and is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity.

The development and expansion of the ports are of national importance and TNPA has earmarked a number of infrastructure investments as part of their Marketing Development Strategy (MDS).

MDS revolves around a R300bn capital investment programme aimed at expanding port infrastructure to meet the market demand as well as promote economic growth, job creation, skills development and empowerment opportunities for the country.

The company is going to spend R33 billion over the next seven years upgrading and expanding South Africa’s ports. From now until 2019, Transnet is going to be busy with its short-term projects, which include: deepening the North quay berthing; expanding Pier 1 expansion with Salisbury Island infill; reconstructing Maydon Wharf’s quay wall; reconstructing Island View’s berthing; and developing the Point passenger terminal facility.

From 2019 to 2042, Transnet will embark on its medium-term projects, which includes the new dig-out port. The new harbour will be built at Durban’s old International Airport and will require the construction of: a breakwater and entrance channel; a 16 berth container basin and terminals; and a new automotive terminal, among other infrastructure.

Some of the port investment plans that are of interest to the oil and gas industry are outlined in this chapter.


The short-term port expansion will require extensive land acquisition as well as some reclamation. The port’s plans to expand its waterside and landside infrastructure are in line with the development of the industrial development zone (IDZ) currently receiving high levels of governmental support.

The proposed first phase of the IDZ includes facilities for the oil and gas industry in the form of cargo handling and repair facilities. An additional berth (Berth 205) is envisioned for the MultiPurpose Terminal.

Short-term plans for the port include strategic land acquisitions to ensure improvements to the port access corridor; the development of a port logistics park, and ensuring that the future growth of the port is not restricted on the landside.

An extra liquid bulk berth is planned for the end of the Iron Ore jetty, along with an LPG SPM facility in Big Bay. A privately funded development is providing additional berthing to the Mossgas facility to increase capacity for oil and gas activities.

Medium-term plans for the port include the addition of a major energy cluster to the east of the port in association with the adjacent IDZ, which will initially require extensive landside storage infrastructure, and a new liquid bulk basin with outer breakwater on the Big Bay side of the jetty, with bunker and LPG berths.

The current extent of the Multi-Purpose Terminal in Saldanha Bay.

Shows an artist’s impression of the proposed extension and development of Berth 205 of the Multi-Purpose Terminal to accommodate rig and associated vessel repairs within the port of Saldanha Bay.





The section 56 process for the Ngqura liquid bulk terminal is progressing, with new berths and a tank farm planned. These will replace the Port Elizabeth facility, which will be decommissioned once Ngqura is operational. Expected to come online in 2017/18, initial capacity will be around two million kilolitres a year, doubling to four million by 2020/21 to meet forecast demand.

TNPA is finalising the selection process for potential tank farm and liquid bulk terminal operators, in anticipation of the relocation of liquid bulk facilities from Port Elizabeth after 2017, when the current leases expire. This initiative would require one liquid bulk berth, with a new tank farm sited on high ground to the east.

The proposed PetroSA oil refinery will require the importing of crude oil through an offshore SPM. The SPM will have a capacity of 20 million kilolitres when the facility comes online in 2019/20, and will be sufficient to meet the 30-year demand forecast.

The short-term plans also include a tug and admin harbour and a LNG berth at the root of the reconfigured main breakwater.

Ngqura currently.

Plans for the port include the addition of an energy cluster to the east of the port in association with the adjacent IDZ, which will require extensive landside storage infrastructure, and a new liquid bulk basin with outer breakwater on the Big Bay side of the jetty, with bunker and LPG berths.





The new Durban Dig-Out Port will be able to provide liquid bulk handling capacity and will include deepwater berths in the port entrance to possibly replace the current SBM, which would have to be repositioned to allow for the construction of the port’s new entrance channel.

The existing Port of Durban is some 20 km distant from Durban’s old airport site. The site is bordered by the Umlaas Canal, the SAPREF refinery, the Prospecton industrial area, with the Toyota factory, and by the N2 freeway in the foreground.

The proposed dig-out port on the old airport site will provide more than 20 new deepwater berths. The new port will require its own entrance channel and breakwaters, and a new turning basin and tug harbour.

The fully-developed port will include container terminals, automotive terminals, and a fourberth liquid bulk terminal with the capacity to berth VLCC vessels which are currently restricted to offshore moorings.

The current landscape of the proposed Dig-Out Port in Durban.

Shows an artists impression of the layout of the proposed Dig-Out Port in Durban.





Bulk operations form the core of the port’s activities and the primary challenge remains to accommodate the growing demand for handling bulk cargoes.

The achievement of this is planned to be through three main expansion projects. The first is the Port Capacity Expansion Project (formerly ECICS) in the Bayvue precinct, the second the 500 and 600 series terminal expansion for additional dry bulk and the third, the development of a new coal terminal with a capacity of 32 mtpa, as part of the 500 series development. Other developments will include a ship repair and dry dock facility, and an additional two berth liquid bulk terminal.

The capacity of the liquid bulk terminal is currently 3,5 million kilolitres and an increase to 5,5 million kilolitres is planned by 2025/26, to meet the mediumterm demand forecast. Liquid bulk volumes are expected to grow from 1,9m to 6,9 million kilolitres over a 30-year period.

In addition to three liquid bulk berths adjacent to RBCT, an LNG facility is proposed on the southern side of the entrance channel.

Richard's Bay currently.

An LNG facility is proposed on the southern side of the entrance channel at the Port of Richards Bay.