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Friday Jan 29, 2016

Durban passenger terminal project to begin again

Durban will not get its much-anticipated world-class passenger cruise terminal... just yet. There was only one bidder interested in designing, developing and operating the proposed terminal near the Durban Point Waterfront and uShaka Marine World - and that company was unsuccessful.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said its latest Request For Proposals (RFP) for the development of a new passenger terminal had ended in a "nonaward".

The RFP had been the second call that had gone out and the "latest... has demonstrated that there may currently be limited appetite in the market for a private player to pursue this project", said Richard Vallihu, the TNPA chief executive.

Twenty-five RFP documents had been sold and 23 companies were represented at the briefing session in August, followed by a multi-disciplinary bid evaluation in October.

Only one bid was received "which was declared administratively and substantively non-responsive, hence the non-award".

The Daily News was told that the bidder did not meet all the qualifying criteria nor did it supply all the documentation specified: there was no business case, no B-BBEE certificate, and the key legal and financial information was missing.

Although the name of the bidder has not been disclosed, it was an architecture and design business that proposed a joint venture for the project.

A maritime source said last night that the apparent lack of response could be because the time frame to get all the paperwork in was "extremely short".

The TNPA said that it would embark on a third process within six months and that it would also review the scope of the project.

Allan Foggitt, the sales and marketing director for MSC Cruises which operates a successful cruise season from Durban, said he was aware that another tender process would open soon and that "MSC would participate accordingly".

The existing cruise terminal at N Shed had recently been upgraded through a joint initiative between TNPA and MSC to bring it more in line with international standards, Transnet said.

"However Transnet and the eThekwini Municipality have proposed a new, larger, world-class Durban passenger terminal for development along the North Pier just inside the harbour, with the aim of supporting the growth of the local tourism sector," Transnet said.

The development of the cruise terminals in Durban and Cape Town was in response to the "tremendous growth" the cruise industry had enjoyed in recent years, Transnet added.

Cruise tourism was the fastestgrowing sector in the global tourism industry and was predicted to grow further.

Durban had handled 50 cruise liners and 67 017 passengers in 2006 and, by 2014, cruise vessel calls had grown by 48% to 74 vessels, while passenger growth was just under 224% or 217 000 passengers.

And for the first two months of the current season, which ends in early May, Durban had already received 51 vehicle calls with 123 719 passengers.

A contract has been awarded for the construction of a cruise liner terminal in Cape Town.

Daily News


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