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Thursday Jun 01, 2017

New cruise terminal for Durban

The brand new, world-class passenger cruise terminal that is now set to go up in Durban will become "the jewel in the crown at the port", it was announced yesterday.

An artist's impression depicting what the new passenger terminal will look like.

And the R215 million project would become an important feature for the city and the province and for the tourism industry, various speakers said when the name of the preferred bidder of the new terminal was announced.

After years of waiting for news about a new passenger terminal, the moment finally arrived when an upbeat Richard Vallihu, the chief executive of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), drew the name of out of the envelope, Academy award-style.

The cameras were at the ready and there were loud cheers as guests learned that the new terminal would be the responsibility of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KTC).

It is the joint venture between MSC Cruises SA (a subsidiary of the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA) and the black empowerment partner, Africa Armada Consortium.

KCT's equity is currently divided into 70% ownership by MSC Cruises SA and 30% ownership by Africa Armada Consortium, which the executive director, Nkuleleko Mchunu, said later was 40% owned by women.

There were only two bidders for the terminal, and the unnamed second bidder was disqualified because its proposals came in after the closing date for the bids.

KCT will be responsible for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the new terminal for a 25-year concession period.

Construction will start next May and it will be ready to receive its first cruise liner passengers in October 2019.

It will be located at A and B berths, near the Lion Match Company offices at the Point Waterfront development.

The project will be a phased development and it will eventually be able to process passengers from two big ships calling into the port at the same time.

There will be a viewing deck for the public, various retail services and it will also house the SAPS, customs, Home Affairs and other government departments.

It would also have an MSC training centre for staff of the company's cruise ships around the world.

Another view of the proposed new terminal.

Ross Volk, the general manager of MSC Cruises SA, said although MSC SA was involved in the new terminal, the facility would be for every cruise liner that called into Durban.

A "significant" number of people would be involved in the construction and the operation, he said.

N-Shed, which has served as a passenger terminal for years, will remain and continue to be used as a temporary terminal while the new one goes up.

Captain Salvatore Sarno, representing the MSC Group, said MSC had received a lot of co-operation from Transnet for the N-Shed passenger terminal. He added that Durban needed a proper passenger terminal that reflected the country's high standards.

Vallihu said that despite the pressures of the global economic climate on disposable incomes, the global luxury cruise sector remained one of the fastest-growing segments in the tourism industry and had the potential to grow the economy and create much needed jobs.

The Durban cruise market had grown from 75 947 passengers 10 years ago to 191 412 passengers last season.

Barbara Cole
Daily News

    
 

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