Green go-ahead for dry dock

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Dave Sa­vides

THE Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs has given the ‘green’ go-ahead for con­struc­tion of the R1-bil­lion float­ing dry dock project to pro­ceed at the Port of Richards Bay. The en­vi­ron­men­tal au­tho­ri­sa­tion speaks specif­i­cally of ‘the ex­pan­sion of the ex­ist­ing re­pair quay and re­lated in­fra­struc­ture’. The port last year an­nounced the dry dock as part of a mas­sive R4.4-bil­lion cap­i­tal in­vest­ment bud­get over the next seven years. The ship re­pair fa­cil­ity will be ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing Cape­size ves­sels: bulk car­ri­ers and tankers typ­i­cally above 150 000 dead­weight ton­nage. The float­ing dry dock fa­cil­ity will be lo­cated at the Re­pair Quay, Small Craft Har­bour and will re­quire re­fur­bish­ment of the ex­ist­ing quay and deep­en­ing of the berth to mi­nus 18me­tres. The project falls un­der the Op­er­a­tion Phak­isa pro­gramme, part of the Oceans Econ­omy drive tar­get­ing job cre­ation and eco­nomic growth re­lat­ing to the oil, gas and ves­sel re­pair sec­tor. A grav­ing dock (fully fledged dry dock) is to be con­sid­ered at a fu­ture date and is ear­marked to be placed in the ca­suar­i­nas area.

Con­di­tions met

The au­tho­ri­sa­tion was is­sued af­ter spe­cial­ist stud­ies, im­pact as­sess­ments, mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures and in­put from other stake­hold­ers in­cluded in the Ba­sic Assess­ment Re­port, were stud­ied. Among oth­ers, com­ments were re­ceived from the South African Her­itage Re­sources Agency; Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife; DEA: Coastal Pol­lu­tion Man­age­ment; King Cetshwayo Dis­trict and the City of uMh­lathuze mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. In a state­ment is­sued last week, the Depart­ment said it was sat­is­fied that, ‘sub­ject to com­pli­ance with the con­di­tions con­tained in the en­vi­ron­men­tal au­tho­ri­sa­tion, the au­tho­rised ac­tiv­i­ties will not con­flict with the gen­eral ob­jec­tives of in­te­grated en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment laid down in Chap­ter 5 of the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act, 1998 and that any po­ten­tially detri­men­tal en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts re­sult­ing from the au­tho­rised ac­tiv­i­ties can be mit­i­gated to ac­cept­able lev­els. ‘A suf­fi­cient pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion process was un­der­taken and the ap­pli­cant has sat­is­fied the min­i­mum re­quire­ments as pre­scribed in the EIA Reg­u­la­tions, 2014 for pub­lic in­volve­ment. ‘The en­vi­ron­men­tal au­tho­ri­sa­tion is ac­cord­ingly granted.’

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