More than 100 attendees representing 97 companies have shown a 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 entity, says State-owned Transnet.
The companies earlier this month attended a briefing hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which recently advertised a request for proposals (RfP) with the intention to appoint a terminal operator to finance, recommission, operate and maintain the heavy fuel oil tank, and to finance, design, develop, build, operate, maintain and then transfer to TNPA the liquid bulk terminal for the handling of liquid bulk cargo after a period of 25 years.
Speaking at the briefing, East London port manager Sharon Sijako said this process opens up the port to the petroleum industry.
“This is not just the start of a process of welcoming new players into the market, it is also the start of a long-term relationship in which we will nurture and grow our new partners, ensuring they have all the tools and support to operate and excel in this sector.”
The RfP is targeted at a new entrant or consortium that must have minimum Level 4 broad-based black economic empowerment status, is at least 51%-black owned, at least 51% new port entrant owned and, at most, 49% owned by cargo interest.
The deadline for interested parties to obtain RfP documents was last week and the RfP deadline is November 1.
Four oil majors currently operate in the Port of East London, with products including unleaded petrol, automotive diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel. The overall capacity is three-million kilolitres.
The existing tank on the port’s West Bank that is proposed for heavy fuel oil 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 8 000 m2 footprint to 21 000 m2 and that the operator will 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 and includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and exports to other markets in Southern Africa; therefore, TNPA is creating capacity ahead of demand.