Namcor yet to take control of national oil storage facility – executive
By Clifton Movirongo.
The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) Managing Director Immanuel Mulunga said the national oil storage facility at Walvis Bay is not yet in the parastatal’s hands, as the testing and commissioning processes are ongoing.
According to Mulunga the transfer procedure has to go through the government and line ministry, the mines and energy ministry and then to NAMCOR, which is envisaged to occur in the coming weeks.
The facility conjointly built by Namibia and China, received its first diesel landing at the end of November.
“The contractors are busy testing and for now they have only commissioned the entire 35,000 metric tonnes of diesel. Once the testing and commissioning processes are accomplished, that’s when handover will happen,” he said.
In additio, Mulunga told the Economist that 15,000 metric tonnes of unleaded petrol arrived on 12 December, also as part of the testing process.
The NAMCOR managing director confirmed that the first week of operationalization went smoothly adding that only 30 people have been recruited so far but the project’s job creation margin is still expected to increase.
Asked when the official inauguration of the project will be, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Tom Alweendo said, “[it] will only be early in 2021 because these things are complicated and we do not want to alert the public not not knowing that everything is working perfectly. We want to do that once everything is sorted out.”
In the next four months all the companies that are in agreement to be hosted and make use of the government facility will make their first landing, according to NAMCOR. These includes Vitol SA, Vivo Namibia, Total Namibia and Gunvor Middle East DMCC.
The N$5.5 billion construction project that commenced in 2015 comprises an oil tanker jetty with a 6430 m long and 180 m wide maritime access channel, various berths and tug berths, and a 1646 m trestle with 155 spans leading to an onshore station. The project also includes a technical area on land, a tank farm with capacity for 75,000 m³ of fuel and a 5.4 km pipeline.
NAMCOR was given the green light by the government to manage and run the national oil storage facility. According to NAMCOR, the possible increase of fuel will increase the security of supply and that the country will be able to benefit from the economies of sale. “It will also lead to a better market share for NAMCOR, and government through NAMCOR will have some sort of control of the fuel industry, instead of just it being in the hands of the private sector,” said Mulunga.