Bay gas storage an investment boon
In the wake of the City of uMhlathuze being earmarked as a top business investment destination by Alexander Forbes, Bidvest last week announced its R1-billion LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) storage tank project at the Port of Richards Bay.
There can be no doubt that such an investment is positive for the city’s economy and that the facility will help increase South Africa’s usage of a safer, more cost-effective fuel alternative.
As petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin prices soar to record highs, a reliable alternative is welcomed.
But the LPG storage facility is not to be confused with the natural gas for which oil and gas companies want to drill offshore.
LPG is an entirely different commodity and that which is to be stored at the Port of Richards Bay will be imported from the USA and Middle East.
There is no doubt that this project entailed much behind the scenes work and negotiating prior to securing the site.
All stakeholders involved, including Bidvest, Petredec, Transnet National Ports Authority and the City of uMhlathuze are to be acknowledged for the parts they played.
Usage of LPG is growing fast globally and this facility will help South Africa follow the global trend in increasing its use of this gas ,which is widely considered to be a safer and cleaner energy alternative.
The knock-on effect of this facility should also be noted as an increase in supply will aid in job creation, giving rise to local LPG distributors and sellers.
Another benefit is that rural communities will easier gain access to a cheaper fuel.
This major investment to the City of uMhlathuze is testament to the fact that businesses still consider Richards Bay, with its open spaces, good road and rail infrastructure, and obviously its port side location a better investment alternative to the likes of Durban and Cape Town.It is especially welcome coming as soon as it does after TNPA got the green light for its floating dry dock - which will be another positive for employment seekers and suppliers.