The Port of Saldanha Bay, situated along the West Coast, is the largest and deepest natural port in the southern hemisphere. The terminal is the largest iron ore export facility in Africa, filling between 16 - 20 vessels a month.
The Saldanha terminal started exporting iron ore from the Northern Cape to the Middle East in 1976. In 1979, the terminal exports also included break bulk commodities like lead, steel, granite, pig iron, and pellets with Europe, China, and East and West Africa. Saldanha has a purpose-built railway connecting to the mines in Sishen in the Northern Cape, with the sole purpose of transporting iron ore.
The Port of Saldanha Bay accommodates vessels with a draft of up to 21.5m.The port has a 990m jetty with two iron ore berths connected to the shore via a 3.1km breakwater wall, which acts as a shelter for the bay. There is also an 874m multi-purpose quay for the handling of break bulk cargo and a 365m tanker berth at the end of the ore jetty. Cargo handled at the multi-purpose quay includes steel coils, mineral exports, and pig iron. Imports include anthracite, coking coal, and steel pellets. There are no bunkering facilities and ship repair is limited to the fishing industry.
As the town of Saldanha is fresh water scarce, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) invested in a reverse osmosis plant. This takes existing sea water and removes the salt for use in dust control management. Please note that while the bay is open in all weather conditions, bad weather can affect certain operations.
- Tug boats
- Yachting marina
- NSRI base for sea rescue
- Diving team
- South African Naval Station of SAS Saldanha
- Fishing harbour