Southern African Gateway Port

From Global Energy Monitor

Southern African Gateway Port (SADC Gateway Port) is a proposed port in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

The first three phases would handle oil and natural gas. Construction on these phases is planned to begin in 2015. Phase five, the Botswana Coal Terminal, would handle about 100 million tonnes of coal per annum. It would be a storage facility for coal imported from Botswana for export. Construction of the coal terminal is highly dependent on the planned Trans-Kalahari Railway, which would link Botswana to Walvis Bay.[1]


The undated satellite photo below shows Walvis Bay, the proposed location for the port.

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In 2014, Namibia and Botswana signed an agreement at Bird Island near Walvis Bay for the construction of a 1,500 km railway line from Botswana to Namibia. The agreement included adding a coal terminal and associated loading facilities to the Namibia-Botswana corridor that could potentially be accessed by other landlocked Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Coal exports are planned for India and China.

In 2015, Namibia's Ministry of Minerals Energy and Water Resources secretary Kgomotso Abi said of the project: "the total estimated cost at its minimal is US$20 billion, and it is not viable." Yet Abi also said Namibia should move forward with the project, in case coal prices increase. A final assessment report on the rail line is expected in January 2016, and is being carried out by Australian-based consultants, Aurecon.

Aurecon has estimated the capital expenditure costs at a total of US$14.2 billion, comprising US$8.6 billion for electrified rail, US$1.9 billion for above rail, and US$3.6 billion for the port. In a preliminary assessment Aurecon found that if Botswana miners are not able to ramp up production from 65 to 95 million tonnes per annum to full production in seven years, then costs on the project will increase significantly.[2]

Project Details of coal terminal

  • Operator: Namibia Ports Authority (Namport)
  • Location: Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • Proposed Coal Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 100
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Exports (India and China)
  • Coal Source: Botswana
  • Cost: US$3.6 billion
  • Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Southern Africa: SADC Gateway Port Takes Off," All Africa, March 17, 2015
  2. " Doubts over Trans-Kalahari," Southern Times Africa, 08 Jun 2015

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