The management team of the Cape Town-based Avedia Energy intends to invest R300 million ($32.3 million) over three years in the building of South Africa’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import terminal facility in the Western Cape’s Port of Saldanha.

Construction of the first dedicated LPG import terminal facility is expected to start in July this year.

This facility is the first to be built on a 4300 kilometre shoreline, stretching from Luanda in Angola to Richards Bay on the KwaZulu Natal coast in recent time. And it is the only LPG import storage facility in the Western Cape, according to Avedia Energy.

The planned facility will offer an overall storage capacity of 8000 MT, boosting the existing import LPG storage capacity in South Africa by at least 80 percent.

“Avedia’s first LPG storage tanks are due to arrive at the Port of Saldanha in the last week of April and will be offloaded and stored on Avedia’s site adjacent to the Saldanha Bay port,” the company said in a statement.

“Once the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is complete, construction will begin with completion expected in December 2013.”

Avedia had already won the annual import of 100 000 MT of LPG from the Bonny River Terminal in Nigeria. Additionally, Avedia Energy is currently in talks with other local industrial LPG consumers to ensure the scope of their LPG requirements.

This additional 100 000 MT LPG import per annum will see the percentage of current LPG imports to South Africa increase from between 15 – 20 percent to about 50 percent annually. This will assist in ensuring a more consistent supply of LPG to the South African market.

Atose Aguele, managing director of Avedia Energy, said Avedia Energy’s entry to the South African market was aimed at addressing the shortfalls of the current production and support infrastructure in South Africa and the wider Southern African region.

“The benefits of LPG as a viable, safe and clean fuel energy alternative have been well documented globally. But the uptake of LPG as a viable alternative in South Africa has largely been hampered by grave inadequacies in the LPG production and supply chain,” Aguele said.