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Cape Town’s oil hub booms

The quickly growing oil and gas industry in South Africa owes much thanks to Saldanha Bay. Saldanha bay is the hub of South Africa’s oil industry. Geographically, the area is highly accessible to supertankers plying an ocean highway that connects key markets in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The deep-water harbor is currently able to hold as much as 45 million barrels. This is enough to fill more than 20 large tankers. This capacity is expected to grow by 30% following the addition of 13 million barrels of storage and blending facilities by end 2019.

Oil and Gas Projects:

Saldanha is home to Africa’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import and storage terminal. The terminal can store 200 000 tonnes of LPG‚ more than half South Africa’s total annual demand of 350 000 tonnes. This has aided in job creation in the maritime oil and gas industry. Another project underway is a R2.6 billion oil tanking venture, already under construction and due for completion by 2019. According to Royal Bafokeng CEO Albertinah Kekana, this project is momentous because it will be “the only dedicated oil blending and storage facility in Africa.” Furthermore, following the oil slump of 2014, trading houses generated outsize profits by storing millions of barrels of crude in Saldanha.

Growth:

According to Siyabonga Gama, chief executive of Transnet, Saldanha Bay’s Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is expecting an investment of R1.8 billion and R2.2bn. This is a result of the signing of an offshore supply base agreement that will boost the region’s economy and generate much-needed employment for the town. In 2017, Wesgro announced that the oil and gas sector of the Western Cape economy had sustained 7 120 direct jobs, and 6 120 indirect jobs in the province as of 2015 and added R1.5 billion to the provincial economy in 2015. They further predict that that the Saldanha Bay IDZ has the potential to contribute 86% to the gross geographic product (GGP) of the Western Cape, creating around 12 000 new jobs. MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, argues that Saldanha is a large part of this growth. In 2017, the area was servicing 82% of the oil and gas market in South Africa, its proximity to the Angolan and other oil fields being a factor in its favour. The area is also in talks with a host of foreign investors for even greater business opportunities that will benefit the industry and the area.

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