Major jobs spurt on cards with EL fuel tank plan

Over 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 and to introduce a liquid bulk terminal through a 25-year port concession awarded to a private, empowered entity.

The firms attended a compulsory briefing earlier this month by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).

Transnet has announced plans to recommission a tank in the East London harbour for the handling of bulk liquid petroleum

TNPA recently called for requests for proposals (RFP) with the intention to appoint a terminal operator to finance, re-commission, operate and maintain the HFO tank, and to finance, design, develop, construct, operate, maintain and then transfer to TNPA the liquid bulk terminal for the handling of liquid bulk cargo after a period of 25 years.

East London port manager, Sharon Sijako, said that this was a start to opening up the sector to new players in the market.

“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,” she said.

“It is the start of a long-term relationship in which 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.”

The RFP is targeted at a new entrant or consortium which must have a minimum of Level 4 BBBEE status, is at least 51% SA black-owned, at least 51% new port entrant owned and at most 49% owned by cargo interest. Interested parties, after obtaining the required documents, must submit those by the RFP deadline, by November 1. The operator will be procured through a Section 56 market approach, which sees TNPA – as landlord and ports master planner mandated by Section 56 of the National Ports Act – entering into contracts with private terminal operators to design, construct, rehabilitate, develop, finance, maintain, operate and transfer port terminals or facilities back to the authority.

Four oil majors presently operate in the port of East London with products including unleaded petrol, automotive diesel, paraffin and aviation fuel. The overall capacity is three million kilolitres.

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.

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 SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and exports to markets in Southern Africa hence TNPA is creating capacity ahead of demand.

Port concessions across the eight commercial ports are opening up participation in port activities to businesses owned by historically disadvantaged individuals, small- to medium-sized BBBEE companies, and creating sustainable jobs and skills development.

Recent concessions awarded by

TNPA include:

● New passenger terminal – Port of Durban – concession granted to KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT), a joint venture between MSC Cruises SA and Africa Armada Consortium;

● Liquid bulk terminal – Port of Ngqura – concession awarded to Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo, a majority SA-owned Level 1 BBBEE company;

● New open-access liquefied petroleum gas plant – Port of Saldanha – awarded to Sunrise Energy;

● New independent fuel storage, distribution and loading facility – Port of Cape Town – awarded to Burgan Cape Terminals, owned by Netherlands firm VTTI and black economic empowerment companies Thebe Investment Corporation and Jicaro;

● Passenger terminal – Port of Cape Town – awarded to the V&A Waterfront (Pty); and

● Off-shore supply base in Saldanha for the oil and gas industry awarded to Saldehco (Pty) Ltd, a Level 4 BBBEE company.

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