No fuel shortage with tanker berth repairs ‘progressing well’
While there are still 16 more days until the fuel tanker berth in the Port Elizabeth harbour is expected to resume normal operations, no fuel supply shortages have yet been experienced in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The berth was officially closed on February 18 for a 35 day period to effect critical maintenance and repairs to the berth to where bulk quantities were normally delivered before being stored at the tank farm within the harbour precinct.
The berth and nearby tank farm play a significant role in fuel distribution to Nelson Mandela Bay, its surrounds and further afield in the province.
Contingency plans put into place to mitigate any fuel supply disruptions included the redirection of bulk seaward fuel delivery to East London’s river port from where distribution to Nelson Mandela Bay and other retail points in the province would resume via road with tanker trucks.
On Friday, however, and despite a recent fuel price increase which had earlier raised fears of a potential run on fuel, no supply disruption had been reported in the Bay and tankers were still continuing to deliver fuel from the Bay tank farm.
This comes as port operators Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) reported that repairs at the tanker berth were “progressing well” and as scheduled.
“The berth has been closed to enable repairs to be carried out on the corroded steel structures supporting the berth’s access walkway.”
The berth is planned to reopen on March 25.
Port manager Rajesh Dana said: “TNPA is very pleased with the progress that the contractor has made.
“Our weekly meetings with the oil companies have ensured that they are kept abreast of progress. This enabled them to keep measure of their stock in the port, thus ensuring that the promise made to the public of uninterrupted fuel supply to Nelson Mandela Bay during the shutdown is kept.”