Transnet seeks investors for new jetty, oil rig repair quay

SALDANHA, South Africa (Reuters) – South Africa’s state-owned logistics group Transnet plans to name its preferred bidders for a new jetty and deep sea oil rig repair quay, valued at around 10 billion rand ($871.42 million), at its Saldanha Port by September this year.

Situated along the West Coast about 120 km (72 miles) from Cape Town, Saldanha is South Africa’s deepest natural port and its geographical proximity to a slew of new oil and gas finds on either side of the continent is seen giving it an edge over other repair hubs in Europe, Singapore and Dubai.

Transnet and government officials said the global crash of crude prices was a temporary setback and firms were still keen to build a new jetty and rig repair quay. The projects are due to be commissioned by 2018.

Laura Peinke, a senior official at the Saldanha Bay’s special economic zone, said companies such as Kepple and Sembcorp Marine had placed their bids for the constuction of the oil and gas development facilities.

Oil exploration firms could make significant savings by having their rigs repaired in South Africa, rather than towing them to Singapore, which could take up to 100 days for a rig that rents out for around $500,000 a day, Peinke said.

South Africa is close to new oil and gas strikes offshore of Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as existing fields from Africa’s top two oil producers Nigeria andAngola.

South Africa imports its crude oil through the Saldanha port and the terminal is also the country’s main iron ore export outlet with just under 60 million tonnes leaving its shores each year, said the port manager.

($1 = 11.4755 rand)

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