Oil and gas company Sunrise Energy intends taking the Ports Regulator to the High Court.
In a press statement, Sunrise Energy, which was awarded a concession to build and operate a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) import facility in the port of Saldanha, said they consider the decision of the Ports Regulator to set the concession aside, as anything but a victory for South Africa. They said this will lead to a long-term shortage of LPG in the country, to the great disadvantage of the economy and the poor.
Last week Weslander reported oil and gas company Avedia Energy, also in the process of building a LPG import and storage facility at the port of Saldanha, is elated over a recent ruling by the Ports Regulator declaring the concession and the preceding Section 56 process between the National Ports Authority and Sunrise Energy “null and void”.
Sunrise Energy said they had applied for the concession in an open and public tender, a process that Avedia Energy chose not to participate in.
In terms of the National Ports Act, any third party is entitled to object to this award within 15 days. However, more than two years after the concession was awarded by Transnet, Avedia Energy launched its appeal.
Sunrise Energy says the Ports Regulator’s decision to “condone the late appeal and to uphold Avedia’s contentions is unprecedented.
“Sunrise Energy accordingly intends to challenge the granting of the appeal in the High Court and believes that the concession will be reinstated in the very near future to the benefit of all consumers”.
Avedia Energy lodged its appeal with the Ports Regulator after failing to negotiate an agreement with Sunrise Energy to access the LPG import pipeline that Sunrise Energy will construct at its own cost, to transport LPG from ships in the port to their storage facility.
Sunrise Energy emphasised that its storage facility will be an open-access facility for all buyers of LPG and that it will not own or trade in LPG products.
The company said one of the cornerstones of the tender awarded to it was “to remove barriers to entry of new entrants, specifically SMMEs, and to proliferate the use of LPG in the country”.
In conclusion, Sunrise Energy proclaimed its belief that its terminal remains the only viable solution to relieve the LPG shortages in the Western Cape, and remain confident it will be operational by December 2016, as scheduled.
Phase 1 of Sunrise Energy Terminal, which includes 5 500-ton storage, will allow for the importing of up to 17 500 tons of LPG per month