Inside the project

Port of Durban: Harbour entrance widening and deepening

New entrance channel which allows for the safe access of all vessels up to an equivalent size of a 9,200 TEU container ship under most weather conditions.

PRDW was appointed in October 2002 by Transnet Limited / Transnet National Ports Authority to undertake a feasibility study for the widening and deepening of Durban Harbour’s entrance channel. PRDW’s appointment was extended in February 2006 to carry out the detailed design and supervision of construction of works as well as the administration of the construction contract.

The primary objective of the project was to provide the Port of Durban with a new entrance channel which allows for the safe access of all vessels up to an equivalent size of a 9,200 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) container ship (Length= 350m, Beam Width= 45.6m and Draft= 14.5m) under most weather conditions.

The design of the new entrance required consideration of a number of functional and port operational requirements. The primary functional requirements included navigational safety for vessels using the channel and a high degree of availability for all vessels up to, and including, the design vessel.

These requirements were to be met without inducing additional sedimentation of the channel, minimising the adverse impact of increased wave energy on the adjacent Bluff and Point berths, and maintained within the available land, utility and environmental constraints. In addition, the design was required to allow shipping traffic into the port during construction on a 24 hour basis without undue congestion.

The main components of the project included the:

  • Widening and deepening of the new entrance channel (dredging)
  • Demolition of buildings, old north groyne and tug jetty
  • New north groyne
  • Reinforcement of the south breakwater
  • Revetment construction
  • Roads and services infrastructure
  • Temporary sand bypassing facility



Planning, Feasibility, Design and Construction Supervision


South Africa, Durban


Transnet National Ports Authority


Transnet Limited


2002 – 2010

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