Approved: Oil & Gas Project in Saldanha Bay

South Africa’s first customised facility supporting offshore oil and gas activities will be introduced at the Port of Saldanha. Construction is expected to start in the further Quarter of 2020. This follows the conclusion of an agreement between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Saldehco Pty Ltd, which was signed off at an official ceremony at the port on Monday, 23 April 2018.

The Saldanha Offshore Support Base (SOSB), Located in the Port of Saldanha Bay, will focus on providing specialist and generalist services for the oil and gas industry, and the maritime traffic off South Africa’s West Coast.

The 3 key stakeholders of this project

Saldehco, TNPA and SBIDZ

The tender to operate the facility was awarded to Saldehco, a privately owned South African company, through the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in August 2017, and a facility operator agreement was signed between the two parties in April 2018.

In the meantime, TNPA signed a lease agreement with operators of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ). Currently, Saldehco has sub-leased 20 ha from SBIDZ, completing the process required for additional port-side land for the SOSB within a custom controlled area.

Sophie Masipa, chairperson of Saldehco said: “Through these agreements, Saldehco has completed the three-way relationship, positioning the base as an enabler in the southern African maritime waters, strengthening South Africa’s ocean’s economy, and placing the country as a key maritime hub on the continent. TNPA is the concession owner and grants Saldehco the right to operate its facility within the port of Saldanha. SBIDZ has allowed the facility to operate within a pre-customs territory to facilitate the activity of the SOSB,”.

Upon completion, this is expected to pave the way for providing marine services to vessels within the port and South African waters as well as clients requiring a logistics base for their offshore activities and fleet support, she said.

Saldehco’s Key focus for the Saldanha Bay area

Apart from its operational services, Saldehco’s key focus area will include:

  • Skills development programmes for the Saldanha Bay area,
  • Job creation via enterprise development, and
  • Small- and medium-size enterprise incubators

Sophie Masipa stated that the prospects along the west coast, for the Oil and Gas sector, will also improve – given the proven gas reserves and recent exciting finds. The commencement date of limited offshore support services at the premises will be announced in due course,” Masipa said.

Did you know?  The bay and natural harbour of Saldanha, situated on the west coast of South Africa, remains the largest and deepest natural port in the southern hemisphere; capable of accommodating vessels with a draught of up to 21.5m.