NAMIBIA – Petrochemicals company Engen has acquired the services of a 2,000 metric tonnes (MT) barge, for the bunkering of gas and oil at the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, Namibia.
The company notes that this move will help enhance bunkering supply in Namibia, as Engen will make the barge available to rigs, support services and offshore passing vessels lying at anchorage.
Engen states that the introduction of the barge will give Namibia both inshore and offshore, flexible, reliable and efficient supply options.
Engen Namibia MD Christian Li says the company is a firm supporter of State-owned port authority Namport’s vision to attract increased cargo to the Walvis Bay port and position the Walvis Bay corridor as a natural gateway for international trade, by offering direct access to principal shipping routes.
“The service of the Barge MT Sarah is a first for Namibia and a welcome addition to bunkering operations as it will help to decongest berths and offer an alternative to pipelines and truck delivery,” Li adds.
The barge is 77.4 m long and 10.6 m wide, with a gross tonnage of 1 372 tonnes and a deadweight of 1 975 tonnes. It has a pumping capacity of 200 m3/hour.
The Port of Walvis Bay is situated on Africa’s south-western coast, and as such, is a convenient and fast transit route, connecting Southern Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Located further south, the Port of Lüderitz caters for Namibia’s southern regions and provides access to South African markets in the Northern Cape.
“Our bunkering service will enhance both port’s service offering, by attracting increased cargo into Southern Africa, which in turn will boost Namibia’s economy and create direct and indirect jobs,” Li states.
With many vessels already visiting the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz annually, many more vessels pass without calling into port.
“The introduction of the barge will give Namibia both inshore and offshore, flexible, reliable and efficient supply options. This service will not only allow Engen Namibia to offer more effective bunkering facilities but will also boost the industry as a whole, as Barge MT Sarah is at the disposal of all stakeholders.”
Engen’s presence in Namibia dates to 1897 when the first operations were set up in Walvis Bay. Today, Engen Namibia (Pty) Ltd. has a head office in Windhoek, with terminal/depots in Walvis Bay, Grootfontein, Keetmanshoop, Ondangwa, Lüderitz and Windhoek.
Engen’s deep roots in Namibian communities fuel its commitment to safely deliver quality petroleum products to both commercial customers and to the public at over 60 retail convenience service stations across the country.