Sharp increase in manganese exports through Lüderitz

• By Business Reporter

MANGANESE exports have seen a significant increase for the first seven months of the current financial year (FY), April – October 2021. Around 468 869 metric tons (MT) of manganese have been shipped for this period, a 44 percent increase from the previous year. This resulted in a 33 percent increase in total exports from the Port of Lüderitz.

During the month of November, a total of 90 000 MT of Manganese was exported through the port. According to the Bank of Namibia September Quarterly Bulletin, “The increase in the sea cargo volumes was driven by landed cargo and shipped cargo that rose year-on-year by 19.7 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively during the period under review. The shipped cargo volumes were boosted by the increased shipment of manganese ore from South Africa through Lüderitz harbour.”

To further enhance the manganese throughput at the Port of Lüderitz, Namport is engaging the exporters to explore transhipment operations. This will entail a transhipment feeder service through a barge/vessel that will be stationed at the Port of Lüderitz and will be used to feed the bigger sized vessel, such as Panamax or Cape Max size vessel stationed at anchorage.

This operation is expected to commence in early 2022.

The envisaged transhipment service is expected to increase the monthly export throughput from the current 75 000 to 180 000 MT once a month. This operation will provide a much-needed economy of scale that would positively impact the freight cost, hence the cost of doing business.

This development will place Port of Lüderitz in a competitive sphere of trade facilitation and thus serve as a catalyst towards regional integration and Intra-Africa trade facilitation, under the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Manganese has been mined for more than 10 years in the Hochfeld area of Otjozondjupa region and stored in Okahandja before being exported from the Port of Walvis Bay.