Work starts on tank farm

2019-02-27 06:01
The groundbreaking ceremony of the construction at the Port of Ngqura’s future liquid bulk tank farm and main access road. From left are Mkhuseli Faku, chairperson of OTGC, and Tandi Lebakeng, port manager of the Port of Ngqura.                              Photo:SUPPLIED

The groundbreaking ceremony of the construction at the Port of Ngqura’s future liquid bulk tank farm and main access road. From left are Mkhuseli Faku, chairperson of OTGC, and Tandi Lebakeng, port manager of the Port of Ngqura. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE construction at the Port of Ngqura’s future liquid bulk tank farm and main access road has officially started.

The new tank farm is expected to provide storage and marine infrastructure to support the overall petroleum demand projections for South Africa.

The Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) turned the first sod at the site on February 21.

This was done ahead of the planned decommissioning and rehabilitation of the existing liquid bulk facilities at the neighbouring Port of Port Elizabeth, which will pave the way for Ngqura’s establishment as a new petroleum trading hub for Southern Africa.

Speaking at the event, Mkhuseli Faku, chairperson of OTGC, said, “Having been awarded the concession to develop a liquid bulk storage and handling facility in the Port of Ngqura, OTGC is now embarking on the first phase of construction.

“The terminal will be built to the highest international safety standards and provide exceptional service to its customers.

“OTGC looks forward to becoming a contributing member of the Nelson Mandela Bay community and expects to continue on its growth path in the years ahead.”

Liquid bulk products will be transported to the Port of Ngqura via ship and piped to the tank farm prior to local supply and local and global re-export.

The new modern facility will service the oil majors and new entrants into the South African oil industry, as well as international traders – all supporting the local shipping industry.

According to Zinhle Small, acting corporate affairs manager at Transnet, the sod turning ceremony signified the commencement of construction of the bulk fuel site at the Port of Ngqura by the operator, OTGC.

Small said, “Regarding the site at Port of PE, it will then undergo decommissioning and rehabilitation after the relocation.

“Please, however, note that the current bulk fuel site at Port of PE forms part of the second phase of the waterfront development and thus will not impede on the continuation of phase one.”

Port Manager of the Port of Ngqura, Tandi Lebakeng, welcomed the start of construction.

Lebakeng commented, “As the port landlord, TNPA is providing port infrastructure for the liquid bulk terminal to commence operations at the end of 2020.

“The new tank farm will develop the Port of Ngqura’s liquid bulk capacity for commodities such as petroleum, diesel, jet fuel, illuminated paraffin and liquid petroleum gas. Once operational, the terminal will facilitate substantially increased throughputs over present volumes handled at Port Elizabeth due to Ngqura’s deeper draught, which allows it to handle much larger vessels. The allocated 20ha site also provides ample space for future expansion of the terminal.”

The contract for bulk earthworks has already been awarded and this activity will begin immediately.

Civil, mechanical and electrical contractors will be appointed shortly and they will be employed from within the community and developing skills within the construction industry.

It is anticipated that 500 local jobs will be created during the construction phase, while the number of permanent staff required for the terminal would be around 50.

TNPA concluded an agreement in late 2016 with OTGC to plan, fund, construct, own, maintain and operate the new facility after an open and transparent tender process.

The OTGC design caters for 200 000m3 of bulk storage and final total capacity of 790 000m3. The planned commissioning is at the end of 2020.

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