Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) encourages the current Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tankfarm tenants – as well as any other parties interested in securing liquid bulk storage capacity – to contact the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
This is 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 is 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
- functions of a landlord authority which dictates that it should not involve itself in port operations
- 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 develop respective tank farms without due regard to what the other SOE is doing
- 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 is 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 Tankfarm, the resultant impact would be no liquid bulk storage facility for clean fuels (i.e. 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 2020, 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 in November 2020.
TNPA, being a responsible landlord authority and operator of last resort in terms of the Act, then had to involuntarily step in to consider a liquid bulk storage solution at the Port of Ngqura.
In June 2021, 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 is brought on stream sooner than other alternatives.
TNPA’s decision to discontinue the development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura has no impact on the planned closure of the Port of Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tankfarm, hence tenants are encouraged to engage the CDC regarding liquid bulk storage.
The closure of the Port of Port Elizabeth Liquid Bulk Tank farm will pave the way for Phase 2 of the long-awaited Port Elizabeth Waterfront, a catalytic project that will change the physical and economic face of the Port of Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Bay.