Construction has started on the Port of Durban’s new USD13.5 million passenger terminal to cater to the city’s burgeoning cruise industry.
The project is a partnership between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium – in which MSC Cruises holds a 70% stake with broad-based black economic empowerment investment company Africa Armada Consortium as the minority partner.
KCT holds a 25-year port concession from TNPA to finance, construct, operate, maintain, and transfer the facility. It is finalising the detailed design, and anticipated commissioning of the project is 2020/21.
The 4,516 m² cruise terminal will boast a host of green and energy efficient features, and facilities include a retail component and a multipurpose training, conferencing, and events space. It will be completed in phases and will eventually be able to accommodate two 91 m-long cruise vessels.
In addition, there will be parking for 200 vehicles with curbside drop-off facilities for 12 buses, dedicated baggage drop-off areas, separate screening and temporary holding areas, as well as separate passenger entry and exit points.
TNPA plans to commence construction on its own section of the promenade in the third quarter of 2020, which will connect to the new cruise terminal, allowing passengers direct access and connections to the central beachfront with relative ease and safety.
The sod-turning ceremony for the terminal on 16 November 2019 coincided with the arrival of the MSC Orchestra for the South African cruise season, running from November to April.
Meanwhile, TNPA has had its dredging vessel hard at work pumping sand along the new portion of the city’s Golden Mile beach in anticipation of the influx of visitors for the festive season. Sand collected by the dredger during TNPA’s routine harbour dredging operations is being discharged onto the new beach area from uShaka Beach southwards towards the harbour entrance.