A gas refinery. File picture: Supplied
A gas refinery. File picture: Supplied

Massive investment boost for Saldanha Bay

By Joseph Booysen Time of article published Apr 24, 2018

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Cape Town - Investment in the oil and gas sector set to be worth between R1.8billion and R2.2bn is expected to be generated at the Saldanha Bay industrial development zone (IDZ) following the signing of an agreement that will boost the region’s economy and generate employment for the town.

This is according to Siyabonga Gama, the chief executive of Transnet, who was the keynote speaker at a ceremony in Saldanha Bay at the signing of an Off-shore Supply Base (OSSB) agreement on Monday between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Saldehco.

Saldehco is a privately owned South African company comprising principle shareholder Harps Holding and local partner Semona.

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Harps is a private investment company with a strong presence in Africa and interests in oil and gas, marine, trading and real estate. Semona is a South African broad-based black economic empowerment Level 1, 100% female black-owned company with a focus on the energy sector.

Gama said local partners had been identified for construction and operation, with 30% of capital spend to be dedicated to supplier development.

Gama said investments would begin in the next 12 months.

“There are at least 1300 jobs during the construction phase that will be created over the next five years, and once the offshore supply base has been built, there is going to be a continued presence of another 300 jobs, which will be there on a sustainable basis,” Gama said.“It is expected that between R1.8bn and R2.2bn is going to be invested in this region as a result.”

He said the 300 jobs would be mainly from the local community.

TNPA’s chief executive Shulami Qalinge said the OSSB would play a key role in positioning Saldanha as an oil and gas services hub, and the town stood to benefit from the logistics and energy experience of global players, backed by the local expertise and empowerment credentials of Semona.

“On behalf of TNPA and Transnet, I would like to thank the Saldanha Bay IDZ licensing company for its unrelenting work to establish Saldanha as a world-class, internationally recognised and thriving industrial centre of South African marine engineering, where the local economies can benefit from entering the global oil and gas value chain,” said Qalinge.

Saldanha Bay executive mayor Marius Koen said the most important thing about the agreement was job creation.

“As the local government, the main thing is to drive the local economy and create jobs. This is the most effective way of creating jobs.

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“I am very thankful. I am very grateful for the opportunities. It’s not only direct involvement, but other companies will benefit from that, and it is like a wave that hits the town. Everyone is asking, when are things happening? Things are happening right now. It’s a major wave, it’s like a tsunami hitting Saldanha,” said Koen.

Sophie Masipa, representing Saldehco, said the company, in partnering with Transnet, would focus on developing the marine and ocean services industry in Saldanha Bay.

“Our focus is on making Saldanha a base for marine-related activities and services in the Western Cape. We expect this to contribute to the area’s economic and social development through employment creation and development of the small business sector,” she said.

Masipa added that activities to be provided will include marine bunkering, lubricants and fresh water for vessels calling at the port and marine traffic passing the Cape of Good Hope.

“Additionally, a support facility is intended to allow for the fabrication of offshore structures in support of both projects on the Western Cape and up to the West Coast of Africa, as well as capacity to support offshore and onshore pipe-laying projects,” said Masipa.

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Cape Argus

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