*Richards Bay, 31 October 2019:* Bidvest Tank Terminals, the foremost independent bulk liquid storage operator in South Africa, and independent LPG specialists and traders Petredec, today celebrated the installation of the world's largest LPG storage tanks in Richards Bay.
Members of government, including MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube-Ncube, and King Cetshwayo District Mayor, Counsellor Nonhle Mkhulisi; business representatives, including Bidvest CEO Lindsay Ralphs and Bidvest CEO-designate Mpumi Madisa; and other dignitaries attended the milestone event on Thursday.
The Mounded Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility is expected to increase the supply of the fuel to South Africa by 50% of current demand. It will also further enable the export of the fuel to neighbouring countries.
The event marked the installation of the four largest LPG storage tanks in the world. Each tank is 60 m long and 16 m in diameter, and together will have a storage capacity of 22 600 tonnes of LPG.
Speaking at the event, Lindsay Ralphs, Group CEO of Bidvest, spoke about the company's commitment to investment in South Africa. "South Africa needs real GDP growth in order to create employment and prosperity for all. This is the responsibility of both the public and private sectors. Bidvest is cognisant of the need for business to invest to establish and grow productive and efficient businesses and industries.
"In 2018, Bidvest headed the President's call for investment in South Africa by announcing the development of this R1 billion Liquefied Petroleum Gas import and storage terminal. We strongly believe this terminal will stimulate the expansion of the LPG value chain, thus creating myriad opportunities for small, micro and medium enterprises and ultimately contributing to job creation."
Lee Furby, MD of Petredec, said: "The benefits of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to South Africa are clear. They include lightening the load on a strained national electrical grid; reducing energy poverty; and improving the health and safety of South Africans, particularly women and children. But up until now these benefits have been difficult to unlock, for the simple reason that the supply of LPG in South Africa has been inadequate and inconsistent. This facility will change that equation dramatically."
The event's keynote speaker, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said: "The R1 billion invested towards the Mounded LPG Facility will change the face of Richards Bay and this province forever. Apart from strengthening our status as South Africa’s transport and logistics hub, the importance of this Bidvest Tank Terminals lies in the fact that KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has a vision of positioning Richards Bay Industrial Zone as an infrastructure hub for oil and gas.
"LPG has a number of benefits in comparison to other energy sources like paraffin or wood. It is considered by international organisations as more environmentally friendly and safer; and this facility brings certainty and reliability on its supply."
The facility is on track for commissioning by mid-2020.
For more on the Mounded LPG Facility and its anticipated effect on the region's energy supply, visit: