South Africa’s first offshore supply base on the horizon

Signing ceremony at the Port of Saldanha

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Saldehco have signed an agreement to develop South Africa’s first dedicated and customized facility supporting offshore oil and gas activities in the Port of Saldanha.

TNPA said on Monday that the agreement between the two companies was signed at an official ceremony at the port that day.

TNPA has provided berth infrastructure for the offshore supply base (OSSB) at the port’s general maintenance quay while Saldehco will be responsible for providing warehousing, workshops, offices, canteen, and restroom facilities, as well as equipment such as cranes and other rubber-tired equipment to operate the facility.

Speaking at the ceremony at the Port of Saldanha, TNPA chief executive, Shulami Qalinge, said: “The OSSB will play a key role in positioning Saldanha as an oil and gas services hub and stands to benefit from the international logistics and energy experience of global players, backed by the local expertise and empowerment credentials of Semona.”

Saldehco is a privately-owned South African company, comprising principal shareholder and private investment company HARPS Holdings and local partner Semona.

Saldehco chairperson, Sophie Masipa, said: “In partnering with Transnet, Saldehco will focus on developing the marine and ocean services industry in Saldanha Bay. Our focus is on making Saldanha a hub base for marine-related activities and services on the Western Cape.

“Some of the expected activities to be provided will include critical need-based services such as a marine bunker, lubricants, as well as fresh water for vessels calling at the port and marine traffic passing by the Cape of Good Hope. Additionally, a support facility is intended to allow for fabrication of offshore structures in support of both projects on the Western Cape and up to the West Coast of Africa, as well as capacity to support offshore and onshore pipe laying projects.”


Offshore support

The OSSB will serve vessels engaged in supporting offshore exploration and production activities along the West and East coasts of Africa and calling at South African ports for support and logistics services.

TNPA said that local partners had been identified for construction and operation with 30% of capital spend to be dedicated to supplier development. During construction, 1,300 jobs will be created, and a further 300 direct jobs will be created during operation.

Also, the Authority recently concluded a commercial development lease agreement with the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone for the development of various pockets of land, totaling 35 hectares in the port, as the first tranche of IDZ designated land parcels.

The IDZ was granted a permit to operate the special economic zone (SEZ) with funding of R303 million ($24.65 million) for the development of the landside area. The core activities within the area will include logistics, repairs and maintenance, new builds and fabrication activities for the servicing of upstream and midstream oil and gas services.

“The OSSB will operate within the SEZ and will offer incentives to the industry, both local and international, to establish an oil and gas hub to drive the port’s and region’s overall focus on positioning itself as a global player in the sector,” the TNPA said.

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