Vopak consortium selected to operate new LNG terminal in South Africa

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South Africa has selected a Vopak consortium as the preferred bidder to develop and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at the Port of Richards Bay for 25 years, state-owned Transnet National Ports Authority said on Wednesday.

Vopak, a Dutch company which operates terminals and storage facilities worldwide, partnered with Transnet Pipelines during the bidding round as South Africa pushes to raise gas consumption in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

South Africa is increasingly turning towards gas, as well as renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, as it looks to overcome its worst energy crisis on record and break its reliance on coal-fired plants that power its economy.

“TNPA is excited about the prospects this project brings, especially that this gas infrastructure will be the first of its kind in South Africa,” said Moshe Motlohi, TNPA managing executive for the Eastern region ports.

TNPA added it expects the terminal to begin operations at Richards Bay during 2027.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Jon Boyle, Bhargav Acharya, Elaine Hardcastle)