Construction began in October 2018 and the facility is expected to become operational in 2020, housing the largest storage tanks in the world. The bullets are for the R1 billion, 22600-ton capacity mounded LPG facility which is being developed at the port by Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT), a unit of the Bidvest Group. The terminal will store LPG on behalf of independent LPG specialist Petredec, which ships the fuel from the US and the Middle East. Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Richards Bay welcomed the arrival of four new 5650-ton liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage bullets on Thursday, 12 September 2019 on board the vessel XIN LU.
Richards Bay Port Manager, Thami Sithole, said, “The arrival of these bullets is an exciting milestone not only for the Port of Richards Bay but for the future of LPG supply in South Africa, as the terminal will allow for a significant increase in the cost effective, reliable and safe supply of LPG to South Africa – considered the fuel of the future.
“We congratulate BTT and Petredec on this milestone and look forward to the launch of their terminal. This will enable the Port of Richards Bay to cater for ships that trade, transport, store and distribute LPG, which in the past would have frequently been forced to remain on layby outside our port for weeks and months, while incurring costs.”
Richards Bay was seen as the most suitable port to handle this capacity. The port is on Petredec’s shipping route and in close proximity to the main rail and road logistics routes going inland, particularly as most of the LPG will be used in Gauteng, the Free State and the North West.
TNPA has said it intends using the ports as vehicles not only for storage and distribution, but also for access and transformation to ensure the sustainability of the country’s Energy sector.
Speaking at the recent National African Energy Wholesalers Association of South Africa (NAEWASA) 2nd Annual Energy Conference on Holistic Transformation in the Energy Sector at Mehlareng Stadium, Tembisa on 22 August 2019, TNPA’s Acting CE Nozipho Mdawe said, “Our ports play a significant role in enabling the liquid bulk sector due to the need for import and – to a lesser extent – export port infrastructure requirements. The liquid fuels sector is crucial to the South African economy, with 17% of the country’s imports being crude oil and petroleum products.”
“There will be other liquid bulk opportunities across the port system in future. With all of these opportunities, TNPA ensures that the operators will meet minimum transformation, supplier development and preferential procurement targets, aligned with legislation and the petroleum liquid fuels sector codes,” she added.
Transnet is also planning a multi-million dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification terminal at the Port of Richards Bay and is looking for private sector partners to invest in and operate the facility. The state-owned company recently signed a cost-sharing agreement for a feasibility study with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has committed USD2 million to the study.
The Richards Bay Natural Gas Network (NGN) project will complement the delivery of LNG to new markets in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces through the ports of Ngqura and Saldanha Bay respectively, and will support government’s future gas-to-power projects.
Meanwhile, at the Port of Ngqura TNPA is establishing an additional petroleum trading hub for Southern Africa through a new liquid bulk terminal being developed by Oil Tanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC).
NOVEMBER 2019Construction of the 22 600-ton facility began in October last year and is scheduled for full commissioning, after a critical testing period, in the second half of 2020
The terminal is expected to increase the supply of LPG into the South African market by 200 000 tonnes, half of the country’s current consumption.’It will also further enable the export of the fuel to neighbouring countries.
‘We strongly believe this terminal will stimulate the expansion of the LPG value chain, thus creating myriad opportunities for small, micro and medium enterprises and ultimately contributing to job creation,’ said Ralphs.
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Nomusa Dube-Ncube said this facility will change the face of Richards Bay and the province.
‘The importance of this lies in the fact that the KwaZulu-Natal government has a vision of positioning the Richards Bay Industrial Zone as an infrastructure for oil and gas,’ Dube-Ncube said.
She further hailed the economic benefits that will emanate from the facility.
‘Statistics show that the oil and gas industry is employing an estimated 7 500 people and has an estimated annual turnover of over R196-billion.
‘Moreover, the industry apparently accounts for more than 90 000 indirect jobs in the distribution and marketing segment of the industry value chain,’ she said.
Petredec Managing Director, Lee Furby said benefits of LPG also include ‘lightening the load on a strained national electrical grid, reducing energy poverty and improving the health and safety of South Africans.
‘But up until now these benefits have been difficult to unlock, for the simple reason that the supply of LPG in South Africa has been inadequate and inconsistent. This facility will change that equation dramatically,’ he said.
The port of Richards Bay’s new 22,600-ton capacity mounded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal is a step closer to completion with the delivery of four 5,650-ton LPG storage bullets. The USD67.8 million facility is being built by Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT) and will store LPG on behalf of Petredec, which ships fuel from the US and the Middle East.
Construction on the terminal started in October 2018, and it is expected to begin its operation in 2020. “The terminal will allow for a significant increase in the cost-effective, reliable, and safe supply of LPG to South Africa. The arrival of these bullets is an exciting milestone not only for the port of Richards Bay but for the future of LPG supply in South Africa,” said Richards Bay port manager Thami Sithole.
“We congratulate BTT and Petredec on this milestone and look forward to the launch of their terminals. This will enable the port of Richards Bay to cater for ships that trade, transport, store, and distribute LPG, which in the past would have frequently been forced to remain on lay by outside our port for weeks and months, while incurring costs.”
The decision to build the terminal at Richards Bay was based on the fact that the port is on Petredec’s shipping routes and because of its proximity to main rail and road routes heading to the South African interior, where most of the LPG will be used.
The terminal is not the only bulk storage facility planned for Richards Bay. The port is also looking for private sector investment partners to operate a multi-million-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification terminal. So far, the port’s parent company, Transnet, has signed a cost-sharing agreement for a feasibility study with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has committed USD2 million to the study.
The bullets were delivered to the 12,700 dwt deck cargo ship Xin Si Lu.
South Africa’s Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT), a unit of Bidvest Group and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) firm Petredec on Thursday launched the construction of a R1 billion LPG import and storage facility in Richards Bay, north of Durban.
The 22 600 ton facility will significantly increase the supply of LPG to Africa’s most industrialised economy and allow for exports of the fuel to neighbouring countries, the companies said in a joint statement.
Although LPG is preferable to paraffin or wood as fuel for heating and cooking, the South African per capita usage of LPG is lower than in many equivalent economies as a result of constrained domestic supply and a lack of sufficient import and storage capacity.
The lack of sufficient storage facilities in the country has meant that Petredec’s ships, which trade, transport, store and distribute LPG to industrial, commercial and domestic users, have had to park outside the harbour for months, while incurring costs, the firm’s Director Lee Furby told Reuters.
“There will be huge efficiencies when this terminal opens, not only for us but also for the end users,” Furby said.
Petredec supplies most of South Africa’s imported LPG.
The country uses about 400 000 tons of LPG annually. The facility is expected to increase this by 200 000 tons a year.
“An increased LPG supply will result in the fuel becoming a significant alternative to South Africa’s current energy supply, with little additional infrastructure required,” BTT’s Managing Director David Leisegang said.
The four 5 650 ton tanks that have a concrete case surrounding the cylinder will be made in China, and are expected to be completed in April. The facility will be operational in 2020.
South Africa is diversifying its energy mix and reducing reliance on coal, which accounts for over 85 percent of its power.
According to the Competition Commission, industrial or commercial users of LPG in South Africa account for approximately 85 percent of consumption, while domestic or household users consume the remaining 15 percent.