Petredec and Bidvest Tank Terminals have announced they have entered into an agreement for the development of a new facility for the import and storage of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) in Richards Bay, South Africa. The facility will be a 22,600 metric tonne storage facility at Bidvest’s existing site in Richards Bay.
The completed facility will be the region’s largest pressurised LPG import terminal, featuring four mounded tanks, each capable of storing more than 5,500 metric tonnes of gas, guaranteeing year-round availability.
The investment comes at a time when business confidence is running low and capital projects are dwindling in South Africa (SA). The commissioning of this new large scale facility – also capable of seaborne re-exports to neighbouring countries – will unlock previously unattainable economics resulting in lower supply prices to the local market.
SA’s gross domestic fixed capital formation picked up slightly in the first quarter of 2017 but is significantly less than in the third quarter of 2015.
With the breaking-of-ground planned in September 2017 and an estimated 27- month construction schedule, South African consumers can expect to be using LPG imported via the new Richards Bay terminal from Q4 2019. Dedicated 24- hour road tanker and railcar loading facilities will ensure constant supplies 365 days a year, enabling local LPG marketers to guarantee product availability to their customers throughout South Africa.
Petredec already supplies most of South Africa’s imported LPG and believes further investment in large, dedicated infrastructure is the only way to increase the fuel’s popularity and bring lower prices to consumers. Giles Fearn CEO, Petredec, said, “Our commitment to the development of the Southern African LPG market underlines our confidence in the growth potential of this region. Delivering LPG to South Africa on a previously unprecedented scale brings with it financial savings to our customers that will ultimately benefit consumers with lower gas prices”.
David Leisegang, managing director, Bidvest Tank Terminals, commented, “We are excited about this very significant import-related project as it further demonstrates Bidvest’s commitment to better infrastructure and growth in the South African economy. The new facility will add significantly to the more than three and a half billion litres of bulk liquid product that is currently handled through our terminals in South Africa each year.”