The R1-billion mounded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility, in Richards Bay, owned by South African independent bulk liquid and gas storage operator Bidvest Tank Terminals and independent LPG specialist and trader Petredec, has been commissioned.
The 22 600 t storage facility is the region’s largest pressurised LPG import terminal, guaranteeing year-round availability of LPG to South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The facility’s four LPG storage tanks are each 60 m long and 16 m in diameter, making them the largest such storage tanks in the world.
The first parcel of LPG – arriving on a Petredec gas carrier from the Gulf of Mexico – was offloaded to the site in early October, and the loading of trucks for distribution throughout South Africa and to neighbouring countries has started.
Petredec will facilitate the wholesale distribution of imported LPG through local subsidiary Petregaz.
Dedicated 24-hour road tanker and railcar loading facilities will ensure constant supply throughout Southern Africa. This is anticipated to have a positive impact on the South African economy.
“We are tremendously proud that we have reached such a significant milestone; both for the project and for the supply of LPG to South Africa. LPG is an unmatched source of energy for water, space and food heating applications and is increasingly used in gas-to-power applications.
"However, its adoption in Southern Africa has, until now, been hampered by unreliable supply. The commissioning of the facility – also capable of seaborne re-exports to neighbouring countries – will unlock previously unattainable economies, resulting in lower supply prices to the local market, and dependable, year-round access to LPG,” comments Petredec MD Lee Furby.
“It is more important than ever for South Africa to secure a reliable and cost-effective energy mix to drive real gross domestic product growth in order to create employment and prosperity for all.
"We anticipate that the stability of supply made possible by this R1-billion facility will stimulate the expansion of the LPG value chain, thus creating myriad opportunities for small, medium-sized and microenterprises and, ultimately, contributing to job creation,” adds Bidvest Group CE Mpumi Madisa.