More than 100 attendees representing 97 companies have shown keen interest in the Port of East London’s plans to recommission an existing tank in the port for handling of liquid bulk as well as to introduce a liquid bulk terminal through a 25-year port concession awarded to a private, empowered entity.
The companies attended a compulsory briefing on 9 May 2018 held by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) with the intention to appoint a terminal operator to finance, re-commission, operate and maintain the HFO tank, and to finance, develop, operate, maintain and then transfer the liquid bulk terminal to the TNPA, for the handling of liquid bulk cargo after a period of 25 years.
Speaking at the briefing East London Port Manager, Sharon Sijako, said, “Today we start the process of opening up one of the most important sectors in our port, the petroleum industry.
“This is not just the start of a process of welcoming new players into the market. It is the start of a long-term relationship where we will nurture and grow our new partners, making sure they have all the tools and support they need to not only operate in this sector, but to excel.”
Four oil majors presently operate in the Port of East London with products including unleaded petrol (ULP), automotive diesel, kerosene (paraffin) and aviation fuel. Overall capacity is 3 million kilolitres.
The national demand forecast for petrol, diesel and jet fuel is expected to grow from 29.9 billion litres to 83 billion litres for the period 2015 to 2044. The demand includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and exports to markets in Southern Africa hence TNPA is creating capacity ahead of demand.
The existing tank on the port’s West Bank proposed for HFO operations was commissioned in 1977 and has a working capacity of 7.6 million litres. It is envisaged that the liquid bulk terminal will be developed from its existing 8 000m2 footprint to 21 000m2 and that the operator would use the port’s existing tanker berth.