TNPA supports Coega in delivery of liquid bulk infrastructure for Nelson Mandela Bay
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THE Transnet National Ports Authority announced that it supported the Coega Development Corporation to deliver key liquid bulk infrastructure for Nelson Mandela Bay.
The TNPA had encouraged the current Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tank farm tenants, as well as any other parties interested in securing liquid bulk storage capacity, to contact the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
This was premised on TNPA’s confirmation of its support and assistance to the CDC in its endeavour to develop the Coega Liquid Bulk Terminal within the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located adjacent to the Port of Ngqura.
TNPA’s pronouncement of support was informed by its decision to not proceed with the development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura after careful consideration of the market environment, causal factors that led to the termination of the OTGC project and functions of a landlord authority which dictated that it should not involve itself in port operations.
Other reasons included the advanced progress of a CDC Liquid Bulk Tank facility on the Coega SEZ, risk of oversupply of tank facilities if both the CDC and TNPA developed respective tank farms without due regard to what the other SOE was doing and the coordination of actions of the respective SOEs, as per section 11(3) of the National Ports Act.
The development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura was one of the strategic projects that the port authority has been pursuing in an effort of increasing the liquid bulk port capacity for the Nelson Mandela Bay region.
The project was prompted by the planned closure of the Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tank farm. The resultant impact would be no liquid bulk storage facility for clean fuels like petrol, diesel, and paraffin, feedstock and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the region.
Pursuant to an open and competitive tender process issued in terms of Section 56 of the National Ports Act No.12 of 2005 (the Act), OTGC was appointed as the facility operator to undertake the planning, design, funding, construction and operation of a new liquid bulk handling and storage facility at the Port of Ngqura.
In October last year, OTGC indicated that the project would not proceed due to commercial viability challenges. The project was terminated, and the site was handed back to TNPA the following month.
TNPA said that with it being a responsible landlord authority and operator of last resort in terms of the Act, they had to involuntarily step in to consider a liquid bulk storage solution at the Port of Ngqura.
In June this year, TNPA appointed the CDC as its implementing agent for the execution of the relocation of the Port of Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tankfarm and the development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura.
This was also premised on the advanced plans that the CDC had implemented in the delivery of a tank farm in the Coega SEZ, which would ensure that the tank farm was brought on stream sooner than other alternatives.
TNPA said its decision to discontinue the development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura had no impact on the planned closure of the Port of Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tank farm. Hence, tenants were encouraged to engage the CDC regarding liquid bulk storage.
The closure of the Port of Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tank farm would then pave the way for Phase 2 of the long-awaited Port Elizabeth Waterfront, a catalytic project that was said to change the physical and economic face of the Port of Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Bay.