German company Oiltanking GmbH has entered a joint venture with a number of local companies to build a commercial crude oil storage and blending terminal at the port of Saldanha on South Africa's south-western coast.
Business Day reported on Thursday that it would cost R2-billion to build the crude oil terminal, which will comprise 12 giant concrete tanks each capable of holding 1.1-million barrels of crude, translating to a total capacity of 13.2-million barrels.
The new terminal will be built "as state-of-the-art facility in accordance with the highest technical, operational and environmental standards," with a jetty designed to handle vessels up to VLCC (very large crude carrier) size, Oiltanking said in a statement on Wednesday.
The port of Saldanha was an excellent location for a crude oil hub, the company said, "as it is close to strategic tanker routes from key oil-producing regions to major oil-consuming markets".
Ideally situated for the blending of west African and South American crude oils, Saldanha "has the potential to establish itself as a global crude transhipment hub focused on certain established trade routes," the company added.
Africa Oil & Gas executive director Pieter Coetzee told Business Day that the terminal would be one of the largest oil blending facilities in the world and the largest in Africa.
The development, construction, management and operation of the terminal will be carried out by a new company called Oiltanking MOGS Saldanha (OTMS).
Half of OTMS will be owned by Mining, Oil and Gas Services (MOGS), a subsidiary of South African company Royal Bafokeng Holdings. MOGS initiated the terminal project in 2011, has since completed the pre-feasibility studies and design, and is in the final stages of obtaining the required statutory approvals.
The other half of OTMS will be owned by Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo Holdings (OTGC), a subsidiary of Oiltanking GmbH.
According to Oiltanking, OTGC is an independent bulk liquid storage provider in South Africa "which combines the world-class expertise of Oiltanking GmbH in the field of bulk liquids handling with the local expertise and the full black economic empowerment credentials of Grindrod South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Calulo Terminals (Pty) Ltd."