Logistics park set for big expansion

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In a bid to attract new businesses to Uitenhage, Bay municipality and Coega are planning expansion of the R287m Nelson Mandela Bay Logistic Park.

The project, estimated to cost R287-million, would be a major boost for the area.

The Bay municipality and Coega Development Corporation (CDC) are exploring various funding options for the expansion of the logistics park, according to the city’s economic development, tourism and agriculture head, Anele Qaba.

These include turning to the provincial government and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for help.

Qaba said two of the tenants – polymer parts company Rehau and plastic component specialists QPlas – had told the city they wanted to expand due to new contracts received.

“Rehau is a German first-tier investor in the Logistics Park [that] required an expansion to its existing manufacturing warehouse to meet the current and future requirements of VWSA, Mercedes-Benz SA and other client requirements,” Qaba reported.

“Rehau indicated their interest to extend the facility to accommodate their new paint-line extension as well as an extension to the logistics hall.”

Qaba said QPlas had outgrown its space and started using an adjacent warehouse.

The company still needed 5000m² to be built.

QPlas owner Tom du Toit said the company was pumping R42-million into its expansion to accommodate its VW contract and had already spent R30-million to accommodate its Mercedes contract.

Du Toit said the expansions would boost jobs from 38 to more than 100 by mid-2017.

The metro and CDC are looking for funding to expand Precinct A, expected to cost about R239.8-million in total.

That is where all the companies are situated at present.

The expansion will include the construction of warehouses, an electrical substation upgrade, and an upgrade of reservoirs and the pump station.

“Developments on the parcel of land have reached a stage where there is additional pressure to invest in key economic infrastructure for better delivery of essential services and utilities, such as electricity, water, a fire-ring, internal roads and more,” Qaba said.

He said the installation of infrastructure in Precinct B, which is currently a vacant piece of land, was also required.

“An estimated 126.4ha is still available in Precinct B for development to accommodate new suppliers in the automotive and other manufacturing sectors.

“To ensure future development, Precinct B must be opened and cleared.

“This will ensure that the area can be marketed as serviceable land and stimulate investment and economic growth within the area,” Qaba wrote.

The infrastructure costs for Precinct B are estimated at R46.7million.

CDC spokesman Ayanda Vilakazi said the corporation was working with the municipality, the province, and the DTI to secure funding.