WINDHOEK – Petro Logistics, a Namibian owned petroleum company, is in the process of constructing a N$45 million bulk fuel terminal that will serve both the Zambezi Region and neighbouring Zambia and Western Botswana.
According to the Managing Director of Petro Logistics, Mulife Siyambango, the new fuel terminal will have a capacity of 2.5 million litres of diesel, plus store illumination paraffin and petrol grades. The fuel terminal will also hold export bonded products at all times, while the remainder of the products will be distributed in the Zambezi Region where the company has a tender until 2015 to supply fuel to government institutions.
“Namibia’s reliance on fuel imports increases concern about fuel security, although this can be lessened through a diversity of supply. The Namibian government wants to achieve economic efficiency in the liquid fuel industry. Fuel, in particular transport fuel, is regarded as a necessary factor for economic growth and development in the country,” explained Siyambango.
The company has already completed its preliminary study and said it is ready to go on tender for the terminal’s construction early next year upon completion of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Construction of the terminal and related infrastructure is expected to last about 18 months.
The depot is expected to have a throughput of 1 5 million litres per week. Although there is still a challenge in terms of bulk road supply, the company says it has geared itself to use alternative routes of supply including ultilising the route between Gauteng, in South Africa, via Botswana to Ngoma in Zambezi Region, apart from the current existing inland corridor. “Alternative routes are essential in reducing the cost of tankers that will constantly feed the fuel depot,” said Siyambango. He added that the challenge is to provide fuel to Namibian consumers and its neighbours bordering the north-eastern Zambezi Region at the lowest possible price.
Siyambango noted that the haulage at the Walvis Bay depot complex is constrained with regard to tank capacity, and that the issue has a negative effect on the volumes of fuel imports. “For this reason developing a strategic inland depot will solve futuristic fuel disruptions that are very common in northern Namibia and neighbouring states. Internally Petro Logistics has forecast a [huge] demand for petroleum products towards 2018 and has found them growing at an exponential rate that has already outstripped supply,” remarked Siyambango.
By Edgar Brandt