Namibia’s quest to become an international trade hub and gateway advanced further Friday with the official inauguration of the country’s 400-million-U.S.-dollar new container terminal in Walvis Bay by the county’s President Hage Geingob.

The new container terminal located in the port town of Walvis Bay was constructed on 40 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) under just five years.

The container handling capacity of the new terminal was increased from the current 350,000 containers to 750,000 per annum.

Speaking to around 1,500 attendants at the terminal, Geingob said that the milestone is yet another indication that country continues to make great strides toward achieving developmental objectives as outlined in the country’s Vision 2030 strategic plan.

“Today is a culmination of a long cherished vision of transforming Walvis Bay, from a predominantly fishing harbor inherited at reintegration into Namibia, into an express-hub to international markets,” he added.

Speaking on the same occasion, Vice President of CHEC, Li Yi, thanked Namibia for the opportunity to work on the project as contractor and Li believes that the new terminal will contribute to the country’s port becoming a great asset and a leading contributor to development.

To highlight the win-win cooperation on the project, Li said over the five years of construction they employed more than 2,000 Namibians and provided on-site training to over 800 local employees who now have attained new skills in the job market.

During the event, CHEC also donated 1 million Namibian dollars (69,000 U.S. dollars) to help assist with the drought currently ravaging the country.

The African Development Bank’s Deputy Director General, Josephine Ngure, in statement delivered on her behalf said the new terminal will definitely change the positioning of Namibia and will open up more opportunities to landlocked countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia.

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, said the completed new container terminal is set to work hand in hand with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Meanwhile, before the actual commissioning of the new terminal, Namport’s new terminal project manager, Elzevir Gelderbloem said from Aug. 17 to 24 the port will shut down for the migration from the old to the new terminal.

He further stated that the old terminal will now be used for multi-purpose for non-containerized cargo.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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