Oil storage capacity boosted

The newly constructed National Oil Storage facility in Walvis Bay will increase the country’s fuel storage capacity significantly.

20 May 2019 | Infrastructure

Kondwanie Chirembo, Deputy Project Manager “…we need to test the entire system with water and there are certain requirements to be met.”

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw

The minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, visited the National Oil Storage Facility in Walvis Bay recently.

Construction of the facility, which is currently 96.8% completed, commenced on 9 January 2015. The cost to date on the project due for completion on 31 May 2019 is N$3 699 297.68.

The oil storage facility consists of offshore and onshore operations, a 6.5 kilometre pipeline and tank farm. Fuel and oil will be transported from tanker ships to the storage tanks via the pipeline.

Kondwanie Chirembo, the deputy project manager, said that before the official handing over of the facility the pre-commissioning of the electric and mechanical systems needs to done.

“To ensure that all components of the facility are working, we need to test the entire system with water, and there are certain requirements to be met. After the pre-commissioning test with water has been passed, only then will we start transferring petrol, ULP 95, Jet A fuel, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), diesel, pp 50 and pp 500 from tanker vessels via the pipeline to the tank farm.”

Chirembo also pointed out that the railway construction works to connect various private fuel storage and distribution sites such as Puma, Engen and Total still need to be done.

“The private terminal connection manifold needs to be completed, as well as the onshore station access road, offshore office building electro-mechanical installation, and final touches on the office building.”

Additional changes were made to the initial design of the facility. It now boasts four pipelines instead of three. Land was also added to the tanker farm, with an additional office building stationed on the offshore site added to the one building initially planned.

According to Fabian Javch, a director of CRB Joint Venture, Namibia stores about seven days worth of fuel currently. With the new additional tanks, the country now has the capacity to store 30 days worth of fuel.

The joint venture responsible for constructing the National Oil Facility includes CHEC, Babyface CC and RCC for the government of Namibia.

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