The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is confident that the long-delayed liquid bulk terminal at the Port of Ngqura, 20km north-east of Port Elizabeth, will be operational before the existing facility in Port Elizabeth closes on December 31.
This is despite its contractors pulling out of the project last November.
The PE liquid bulk operation is due to relocate to the Ngqura facility as the point of service for the country’s liquid fuel supply via the Nelson Mandela Bay region.
The new terminal – which was initially scheduled for completion in August 2019 – will provide storage and infrastructure to support the country’s petroleum demand projections. The development is expected to contribute to the advancement of economic transformation through job creation.
Construction was delayed when former winning bidder Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) decided not to continue with the project.
OTGC cited failure to achieve a “commercially viable business case” for the proposed terminal as the reason it withdrew its participation.
‘Security of supply’
Although OTGC has withdrawn Transnet says it is still committed to the development of the terminal, as further delays will only result in infrastructure deterioration and safety, health and environmental risks.
“Transnet has taken the decision to proceed with the construction of the Ngqura Liquid Bulk Terminal to ensure security of supply for the region,” says Nico Walters, general manager of strategy and special projects at TNPA.
He did not say who will be building it in his e-mailed response to questions.
“The terminal capacity will still be determined with the assistance of the implementing agent and in consultation with industry to secure minimum commitments, given the imminent closure of the Port Elizabeth Tank Farm.”
TNPA has appointed the Coega Development Corporation as the implementation agent to execute the project.
The implementation-agent agreement is limited to two years, effective until February 26, 2023, to allow TNPA to rebuild its internal capacity and ensure that future projects of this nature can be delivered by TNPA as the authority.
The agreement will also see TNPA receive technical support, delivery services and systems for the overall delivery of port infrastructure on an assignment-by-assignment basis.
Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.