Bidvest Tank Terminals and Petredec have started construction of a mounded LPG import and storage facility in Richards Bay, South Africa.
The R1 billion facility will be the largest in Africa and will provide security and reliability of supply, which has been the biggest obstacle to the increased use of LPG in South Africa.
It will also allow for exports of the fuel to neighbouring countries. Currently, South Africa uses 400,000 tonnes of LPG annually. The facility is expected to increase this by 200,000 tonnes a year.
End-to-end LPG supply requires a vast national value chain, and this will expand as a consequence of this facility being commissioned. The increased and sustainable supply will mean that the price of LPG will compete favourably with that of other energy sources.
David Leisegang, Bidvest Tank Terminals’ managing director says: ‘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.
‘From an engineering point of view, it is a noteworthy achievement. The facility will comprise four five 650 tonne tanks, the largest such tanks in the world, and dedicated 24-hour road tanker and railcar loading facilities will ensure a reliable supply all year. The facility will have a substantial downstream effect on the wholesale and distribution industries, and of course on the southern African consumer.’
The facility is expected to be operational in 2020.