Edgar Brandt Windhoek-The newly appointed Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, has called the National Oil Storage project, strategically located close to the port of Walvis Bay, one of the most important national public projects that can be a positive catalyst for future economic growth. During a media event at his ministry on Wednesday, Alweendo confirmed that the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) would indeed manage the facility, which will be able to store 70 million litres of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, paraffin and others, on behalf of the government. The project was initially conceived to cost an estimated N$3.7 billion but with time the project scope grew bigger than initial plans and it is now estimated to cost N$5.6bn. In the meantime, a number of concerns were raised against the project where allegations of irregularities were made. In response, Alweendo said the government has instituted a process that is still ongoing to investigate any wrongdoing. “In addition, there are questions raised with regard to the management of the facility once it is finished. When the project was planned, Cabinet took a decision that Namcor will manage the facility and it is still the case that Namcor will manage the facility on behalf of the government. Given the complexity of the operation, Namcor might need technical expertise to manage the facility. A transparent process of procuring the needed technical expertise will be followed. I need to state here that so far no company has been appointed or is being appointed to manage the facility, either by themselves or together with Namcor,” said Alweendo. The Namibian newspaper recently reported that a Swiss energy company, Vitol SA, offered to pay government US$1 (about N$11.70 million) per year to rent the N$5.6 billion state-owned future fuel storage facility at Walvis Bay for 10 years. Vitol SA, which is one of the world’s biggest oil trading companies, supplies crude and oil products, and refines petroleum through Vivo Energy, which runs Shell-branded service stations and products in Namibia. The Swiss company now wants to take over Namibia’s oil storage facility when it is completed around July this year.
2018-03-15 09:21:09 6 months ago