Storage bullets arrive for Richards Bay’s new LPG terminal

Port of Richards Bay. Credit: Transnet
Port of Richards Bay. Credit: Transnet

The port of Richards Bay’s new 22,600-ton capacity mounded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal is a step closer to completion with the delivery of four 5,650-ton LPG storage bullets. 

The USD67.8 million facility is being built by Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT) and will store LPG on behalf of Petredec, which ships fuel from the US and the Middle East. 

Construction on the terminal started in October 2018, and it is expected to begin its operation in 2020. 

The terminal will allow for a significant increase in the cost-effective, reliable, and safe supply of LPG to South AfricaThe arrival of these bullets is an exciting milestone not only for the port of Richards Bay but for the future of LPG supply in South Africa,” said Richards Bay port manager Thami Sithole. 

“We congratulate BTT and Petredec on this milestone and look forward to the launch of their terminals. This will enable the port of Richards Bay to cater for ships that trade, transport, store, and distribute LPG, which in the past would have frequently been forced to remain on lay by outside our port for weeks and months, while incurring costs.” 

The decision to build the terminal at Richards Bay was based on the fact that the port is on Petredec’s shipping routes and because of its proximity to main rail and road routes heading to the South African interior, where most of the LPG will be used. 

The terminal is not the only bulk storage facility planned for Richards Bay. The port is also looking for private sector investment partners to operate a multi-million-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification terminal. So far, the port’s parent company, Transnet, has signed a cost-sharing agreement for a feasibility study with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has committed USD2 million to the study. 

The bullets were delivered to the 12,700 dwt deck cargo ship Xin Si Lu.