Vopak South Africa today took into operation the first phase of its strategic expansion programme in Durban. The programme aims to expand and enhance Vopak’s infrastructure to facilitate supply of South Africa’s increasing demand for petroleum products and thus improve the security of fuel supply and facilitate the import of cleaner fuels to South Africa.

Vopak South Africa’s decision to increase and enhance its fuel storage capacity as its Durban island View operations came in 2012 in the wake of SA’s decision to realize Transnet’s New Multi-Product Pipeline (NMPP) between Durban and Gauteng.

The NMPP is designed to service the transport needs of refined petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel along the Durban Gauteng corridor. The coastal end of the NMPP is adjacent to Vopak’s Island View tank farm, thus enabling easy flow of fuel from the port via tanks into the pipeline.

However, land availability in the Port of Durban is limited and the lateral expansion of Vopak South Africa’s facilities at the Farewell-King site was not feasible. Therefore, Vopak South Africa was forced to increase its storage capacity on the land that it was already leasing.

By removing 19 existing small tanks and replacing them with eight larger storage tanks, built to Vopak’s International leading standards, the total storage capacity will be increased, in phases, to 234 200 cbm.

At ceremonial ribbon-cutting in Johannesburg, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte said Dutch businesses were well-represented in South Africa and Vopak South Africa’s expansion programme demonstrated continued confidence in South Africa’s progress.

Rutte said: “Congratulations to Royal Vopak and its partner Reatile on their expansion project in Durban. It’s another great example of the excellent economic relations between our two countries – as I have seen many during this trade mission. It proves the commitment of Dutch businesses in South Africa for the long term”

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