Ngqura tank farm project: no delays on our side, says port authority

06 May 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018988

Government & Municipal
Harbour Infrastructure & Shipping
Ngqura tank farm project: no delays on our side, says port authority

AFTER turning the first sod for the new liquid bulk Tank Farm in the Port of Ngqura early last year, Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) says it is on track with its part of the development. This despite an announcement by private sector development partner, Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC), in February that its part of the development had stalled, due to insufficient customer commitment.

Port Manager Tandi Lebakeng said the civil work at Berth B100, which includes the paving of the berth, is expected to be completed in August 2020. The surfacing of the 15 000 m² area covers 50% of the Multi-Purpose Terminal, which is the area dedicated for the liquid bulk berth operations.

“The completion of the paving will represent a step closer to our dream - unlocking the potential of the berth to ultimately increase cargo volumes and port revenue,” Lebakeng said.

Commenting on the OTGC announcement, she said, “Despite the delay, TNPA is committed to deliver infrastructure to facilitate and enable the development of a Liquid bulk Terminal in the port. To date, TNPA has completed all the design work and all major construction work is in progress and scheduled to be completed by September 2020.

“TNPA is currently engaging OTGC, the PE oil companies, stakeholders and all the relevant authorities to formulate and implement a way forward. A comprehensive impact assessment is being undertaken by all the relevant parties and the way forward will be communicated in due course.”

The OTGC announcement came after the completion of the earthworks of the storage area. OTGC was awarded the preferred bidder status in 2011 by TNPA to develop a liquid bulk storage facility to service fuel imports in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. The facility is intended to replace the existing one in the Port of PE.

OTGC is a joint venture between operating partner Oiltanking GmbH, a German multinational that is one of the largest independent operators of tank terminals for oils, gases and chemicals worldwide, and local partners Grindrod Limited, a JSE listed Freight and Financial Services company, Calulo Investments (Pty) Ltd, a diversified BBBEE investor in the petrochemical industry and Adopt-a-School Foundation, a non-profit organisation which supports education in disadvantaged schools.

Having completed Phase 1 of the infrastructure required to service the site in 2014, TNPA commenced with Phase 2 at the end of 2018. Phase 2 includes the construction of the landside development, forming the link between the Tank Farm and the berth. This phase includes the environmental search and rescue to relocate plants and animals, a 3km access road to link the Tank Farm to Berth B100, a fuel line servitude, the Port Entrance Plaza, CCTV and access control, electrical substations and lighting, perimeter security fencing, data and telecommunications, a fire fighting system at Berth B100 and civil work at Berth B100.

The new tank farm is expected to provide storage and marine infrastructure to support the overall petroleum demand projections for South Africa. Last year’s sod-turning ceremony was attended by oil industry principals and government officials who were told it would pave the way for Ngqura’s establishment as a new petroleum trading hub for southern Africa.

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