Namibian based freight experts, Manica Group Namibia, a member of the Worldwide Project Consortium WWPC network for Namibia, was recently appointed to handle the importation process of abnormal cargo destined for an acid plant in Tsumeb in the north of the country. These heavy parts and equipment were gingerly offloaded at the port of Walvis Bay and were trekked over a distance of more than 580km to their destination. So far a total weight of 630,000kg of parts and material were offloaded and transported to Tsumeb in this particular project.

This largest piece that is expected to be imported in January 2014 is a heat exchanger of 26m long, 4.5m wide and weighing 115,000kg. According to Holger Kleyenstüber of Manica Logistics, finding a suitable truck and low-bed to transport this hefty load was rather tough. “The challenges in transporting the cargo are huge. No company had trucks strong enough that could transport this load. A local company, Walvis Bay Plant and Tool Hire, decided to purchase a Kesselbruecke truck, which easily solved all our headaches. We also had to do a complete road route survey. Unfortunately, most of Namibia’s power lines are low-hanging, thus each line had to be lifted,” he said.

Holger noted that the biggest challenge for the coming heat exchanger will be manoeuvering through some towns such as Omaruru and Otjiwarongo. “Road signs will need to be taken down and trees cut to make space for this load. Another challenge is the road at the mine itself. This road was not designed to carry such heavy loads (200t), and work is being carried out to stabilise the road.”

“Cargo is arriving from all over the world. As far as I know, the plant is scheduled to be up and running towards the end of 2014,” Kleyenstüber added.