Transnet National Ports Authority (Transnet National Ports Authority) has received an overwhelming response from companies showing an interest in the Port of East London’s plans to expand its petroleum footprint through the recommissioning of an existing tank in the port as well as through a 25-year port concession awarded to a private entity.

TNPA held a compulsory meeting last week which saw more than 100 attendees representing 97 companies show up in response to the authority’s recently advertised request for proposals.

New entrants 

Transnet advertised a RFP with the intention to appoint a terminal operator to finance, re-commission, operate and maintain the HFO tank, and to finance, design, develop, construct, operate, maintain and then transfer to the TNPA the liquid bulk terminal for the handling of liquid bulk cargo after a period of 25 years.

The RFP is targeted at a new entrant or consortium which must have a minimum of Level 4 BBBEE status, is at least 51% South African Black Owned, at least 51% new port entrant owned and at most 49% owned by cargo interest.

Expanding capacity

Four oil majors presently operate in the Port of East London with products including unleaded petrol (ULP), automotive diesel, kerosene (paraffin) and aviation fuel. Overall capacity is 3 million kilolitres.

The existing tank on the port’s West Bank proposed for HFO operations was commissioned in 1977 and has a working capacity of 7.6 million litres. It is envisaged that the liquid bulk terminal will be developed from its existing 8 000m2 footprint to 21 000 m2 and that the operator would use the port’s existing tanker berth.

Growing demand

The national demand forecast for petrol, diesel and jet fuel is expected to grow from 29.9 billion litres to 83 billion litres for the period 2015 to 2044. The demand includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and exports to markets in Southern Africa hence TNPA is creating capacity ahead of demand.