DURBAN – A unique fixed-jet pump sand bypass system installed at the Eastern Cape port of Ngqura is set to have met its stringent dredging targets despite a number of significant challenges.
The sand bypass system will handle a dredging target of 240 000 tons of sand a year, according to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). This will be achieved largely without the use of a visiting dredger.
It was the initial failure of this system at Ngqura that resulted in Durban not introducing something similar when the port entrance was being widened and deepened.
A number of innovations have been introduced at Ngqura that will gradually find their way into more general port use across older South African ports. Having been built from scratch has allowed Ngqura to become the only port in South Africa to have a Record of Decision for its construction and operation.
It enabled Ngqura to become the only port subjected to environmental legislation during its entire development and operation.
Other South African ports would find that a difficult challenge to follow, for obvious reasons, but it has enabled Ngqura to adhere to very strict conditions in an environmentally sensitive area of the coast and coastland.
Ironically, what the Eastern Cape port is now celebrating might also have been installed at Durban