Bright Sky the first vessel to call at refurbished berth in Durban

Maydon Wharf (MW), at the port of Durban South Africa, is key terminal for the handling of Bulk/Break bulk (BB) and to a lesser extent containers. Some of the Bulk commodities handled at MW include Fertilisers, Metcoke, Chrome ore, Soda Ash, Grain products (appliance and Conventional method), fluorspar, Manganese ore as well as a few other dry bulk commodities. On the BB side, commodities like steel and general cargo can be handled at this terminal as well.

Arguably, 80 to 85 % of all bulk throughput for the port of Durban takes place at the MW terminal. Furthermore, it is also the oldest terminal in the Port of Durban built over 90 years ago.

During its last upgrade, which occurred approximately 60 years ago, MW was designed for vessels of up to 20 000 dwt and a max draught of 9.6m, It was evident that it was therefore out dated and had long passed its design life.

Furthermore the existing quay walls had deteriorated significantly over the intervening years whereby they were no longer safe for vessels to berth there. After drawing up the necessary plans and securing the capex from the Transnet board, TNPA engaged industry about their intention to commence with the berth rehabilitation.

MW 1, 2, 13 & 14 were decommissioned simultaneously and at the end of 2014 rehabilitation work commenced. Mw 3/4 was decommissioned for repairs once the reconstruction work at MW 1 & 2 was completed and these berths were handed back to industry which occurred in October 2016.

Rehabilitation work on MW 13/14 completed earlier this month and this berth has since been handed back to industry for utilisation accordingly.

Indeed it is a proud moment for ourselves as when our MV Bright Sky berthed at MW 13/14 on the 13th January as she was the first vessel to utilise the newly refurbished berth.

Working 3 gangs, the vessel discharged 2500mt Fertiliser and 5000mt Sodium Sulphate, under cloudy skies for the duration at MW 13/14. Ironically it was the MV Bright Sky that brought in the first load of sheet piles and beams that was used during the reconstruction of the quay walls for all the refurbished berths.

MW 13/14 now offers sufficient draft for all our vessels, and once the reconstruction of MW 3/4 is complete, all these berths will be able to accept our vessels in a fully laden condition.

Although MW is renowned for dry bulk handling, break bulk/container discharge opportunities do exist via the various private lease hold operators or Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Transnet’s own cargo handling division.