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Transnet Plans $853 Million South African Oil, Gas Service Port

Transnet SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned logistics company, said it would develop a service facility for the oil and gas industry at the port of Saldanha Bay in the country’s Western Cape province.

The 9.65 billion-rand ($853 million) project will comprise an offshore hub that will supply food and materials, collect waste and fix rigs at the port that’s 125 kilometers (78 miles) northwest of Cape Town, Johannesburg-based Transnet said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. It will also expand a jetty to accommodate floating docks to build and repair vessels.

“Currently, 80 to 100 oil rigs are operating off the west coast of Africa, creating a sizable captive market for Saldanha,” Transnet said. “A further 120 oil rigs pass the southern tip of South Africa,” making this a potential market.

Transnet is two years into a seven-year, 312.2 billion-rand program to improve rail links and port capacity in South Africa, the continent’s second-biggest economy. The company is financing the investment by tapping local and foreign debt markets.

Entering the offshore oil and gas industry may create 6,300 direct new jobs and a further 25,200 indirect employment opportunities, Transnet said.

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