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South Africa has launched an open-access LPG terminal at the west coast Port of Saldanha to support the product’s growing use in the national energy mix.

Sunrise Energy Terminal will handle LPG imports and exports. It handled its first trial shipment at the end of May.

Phase one of the US$83M, 10.9 ha project terminal comprises five storage tanks that can handle 17,500 tonnes of LPG a month. The project will expand in modules, in three phases, aiming to meet regional LPG demand for the next 27 years.

Four years ago, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) awarded Sunrise Energy a 30-year concession to build and operate the LPG terminal. Sunrise is a South African private-public partnership, 60% owned by Mining, Oil & Gas Services, a subsidiary of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, and 31% owned by Industrial Development Corp.

Saldanha port manager Vernal Jones said “This investment of R1.09Bn (US$83M) will create broader LPG access in the Western Cape. The terminal will boost the capacity of existing LPG distributors and enable the entry of new small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises, who have had restricted access to the market because of supply constraints and lack of access to enabling infrastructure.”

Section 56 of the National Ports Act supports partnerships between South Africa’s state-owned port authority and the private sector. It mandates TNPA, as landlord and ports master planner, to contract with private terminal operators to design, construct, rehabilitate, develop, finance, maintain and operate port terminals or facilities.

Sunrise Energy Terminal is poised to become the country’s largest such facility for handling both imports and exports of LPG.