At the fifth South African Investment Conference in Johannesburg, Newlyn Investments committed a staggering R4 billion. This substantial pledge is poised to transform both the national economy and that of the Eastern Cape region.
Newlyn Investment, a 100% black-owned enterprise, stands as a premier developer within South Africa. Their forte lies in crafting strategically positioned and operationally streamlined storage infrastructure near crucial coastal and inland logistics hubs.
This monumental commitment stems from their affiliate, Unitainer, vowing to inject R4 billion into erecting a cutting-edge manganese storage and handling facility. Located at the Coega Special Economic Zone in Ngqura, Eastern Cape, this state-of-the-art facility is set to redefine industry standards.
The announcement of this investment took center stage at the SAIC, amidst numerous other multibillion-rand pledges. Crafted in partnership with global materials handling technology giants, this six-million-ton-per-annum back-of-port manganese storage export facility promises unparalleled operational efficiency and a revolutionary near-zero dust emission mechanism.
Rajendra Balmakhun, Newlyn’s Chief Executive Officer, emphasized that this investment reinforces their unwavering trust in South Africa’s economy. Over the past 27 years since the company’s inception, their dedication to the country has remained steadfast.
This investment mirrors a response to the government’s clarion call for private sector involvement in critical infrastructure development, crucial for economic vitality, especially in the current climate.
Designed as common user infrastructure, this terminal aims to open up global export markets for both established and emerging manganese miners within South Africa. Balmakhun highlighted its significance as a pioneering near-zero dust emission facility, starting from manganese ore’s arrival in Coega, heralding a new era in environmental responsibility.
The efficiency achieved in train unloading and ship loading could potentially amplify rail capacity by four million tons annually without additional rolling stock investments.
Moreover, this initiative holds promise in expediting the long-awaited relocation of the manganese export terminal from Gqeberha to Ngqura. This move is expected to alleviate public health concerns arising from open stockpiles in the city and catalyze the revitalization of the Gqeberha waterfront precinct.
In terms of employment opportunities and skill development, Balmakhun projected a deployment of around 3,300 direct construction workers during peak construction and the creation of 11,700 indirect and induced jobs over a 30-month period. Upon full operation, it anticipates 200 full-time positions and multiple spin-off jobs.
Furthermore, Newlyn has secured a commitment from its global technology partners for a three-year post-commissioning skills transfer and development program. This initiative aims to build local capacity for operating and maintaining the facility.
The commitment of original equipment manufacturers to produce the bulk of the facility’s machinery in South Africa is a testament to Newlyn’s dedication to local economic empowerment.
Balmakhun stressed Newlyn’s commitment to prompt infrastructure delivery, employing cutting-edge technology, creating environmentally compliant infrastructure, and fostering community growth. The company aims to nurture relationships with stakeholders and the host community to act as a catalyst for socio-economic development in the Coega SEZ and the Eastern Cape region.
This project’s impact is projected to be substantial in both the national and Eastern Cape economies in the years ahead.
This remarkable investment pledge marks Newlyn’s second significant commitment, the first being a R2 billion investment in redeveloping the Bayhead Rail terminal near the Port of Durban, made during the 2018 investment conference.