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31 July 2023

Namibia's $2.1 Billion Port Expansion Aims to Support Offshore Oil Developments

Namibia is embarking on a substantial port infrastructure expansion project with a budget of 40 billion Namibian dollars (approximately $2.1 billion), driven by notable offshore oil discoveries made in the southern African nation.

The ambitious project, situated in Walvis Bay and Luderitz, entails the construction of new berths and quay walls to facilitate drilling services, as explained by Namibian Ports Authority Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kanime during an interview in the capital city, Windhoek. "We are aiming to commence operations in the last quarter of the upcoming year, with an estimated timeline of around three years," he stated.

Energy giants TotalEnergies SE and Shell Plc are currently assessing recent oil findings that could potentially hold approximately 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Bboe), according to insights from consultant Wood Mackenzie. The surge in offshore activity has positioned Namibia as a significant exploration hub, accounting for 13% of rigs operating in African waters.

The prospects for Namibia's initial crude production appear promising, with state-owned oil company Namcor suggesting production could commence as early as 2029. This endeavor could potentially make Namibia a notable player in the oil sector, joining neighboring Angola, Africa's second-largest oil producer.

The comprehensive expansion plans also encompass the establishment of a secondary port in the town of Luderitz, along with additional extensions to accommodate multi-platform vessels. The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) intends to provide land for development, subsequently inviting private enterprises to establish operations in the expanded port facilities.

"As a port authority, we are transitioning to a landlord model," Kanime affirmed, adding that the aim is to attract private companies with both technical expertise and financial resources to invest in this dynamic space.