Cargo tanker left at bay for 18 days… costing SA $20K per day

The cargo was reportedly ordered by mistake by a PetroSA staffer.

A tanker with cargo on it for PetroSA has been in the bay of Mossel Bay for 18 days as of Wednesday, 15 July, and the cargo has not been offloaded.

The Mossel Bay Advertiser was told via reliable sources that the cargo was ordered by mistake by a PetroSA staffer. No one who passed on information to the publication wished to be named.

Every day that the tanker is in the bay it incurs a demurrage fee. This fee, which has to be paid if cargo is not offloaded, is US$20,000 per day (R332,351).

One source told the publication: “This is not the first time this has happened because there is very little natural gas, PetroSA imports condensate to mix with the gas; it needs to buy other products to add to the natural gas.”

This source said: “A senior PetroSA person placed the order for the condensate. This product that arrived on the tanker is not the right grade that PetroSA can use because the PetroSA plant is finicky.

“These demurrage fees are a great cost for a company that has no money and no one does anything about it. It has a huge, negative effect on our economy. PetroSA has no future and then this must happen.”

PetroSA spokesperson was approached by the publication for comment by a reasonable deadline and after several more reminders to him, still no comment has been received.

The publication posed two more questions to PetroSA at the same time as the tanker cargo query, but these have not been answered:

  • When will the PetroSA gas to liquid (GTL) refinery be up and running after it was closed temporarily on Friday, 12 July, after electricity interruptions necessitated the closure?
  • What is to happen with the PetroSA platform at sea in the bay of Mossel Bay? How much does it cost per day to keep the platform there?

This article first appeared on Mossel Bay Advertiser and was republished with permission.

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