Oil Storage Terminal project will propel Mauritius into next phase of development, says PM
The Mer Rouge Oil Storage Terminal (MOST) project will propel Mauritius into the next phase of development and will contribute to transforming the country into a full-fledged maritime hub in the years to come.
The Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, made this statement on 27 December 2016 at the laying of foundation stone ceremony of the MOST project in Mer Rouge, Port Louis. He recalled that The MOST project is a testimony of the commitment to implement the Government programme 2015-2019 and the Vision 2030 Economic Mission Statement which aim, amongst others, to transform Port Louis into a leading regional petroleum hub, he said in his address.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth underlined the close linkage between the private and the public sectors while highlighting Government’s commitment to facilitate implementation of private-led projects that impact on the economic stature. He also pointed out that all development projects are being fast tracked in a bid to bring Mauritius closer to high league countries.
Speaking about port transformation, the Prime Minister pointed out that the port has embarked on a transformational strategy which comprises the injection of public sector investments of over Rs 8 billion to enable the emergence of a state-of-the-art port infrastructure.
The MOST project forms an integral part in the emergence of Mauritius as a petroleum hub. Bunkering activities coupled with the storage of petroleum products for re-exports to the region remain key components for the development of Mauritius as a petroleum hub, he said.
“Our country is strategically located in the South-South trade route with over 30,000 vessels passing through its maritime zone annually. The bunker segment has experienced a sustained average growth of 7 % per annum since 2004 to reach some 280,000 metric tonnes in 2015. This volume represents roughly 6% of the current regional demand, estimated at 5 million metric tonnes. Our target is to capture around 20 % of the current regional demand by increasing the bunker volume sales at Port-Louis to one million metric tonnes in the medium term”, he said.
For his part the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Ashit Kumar Gungah, outlined that the petroleum sector worldwide evolves constantly and very fast. The price of petroleum products changes practically every day and features amongst the major determinants of world economy, he added.
As a Small Island Developing State and a non-producer country, Mauritius, he said, is more vulnerable. Hence the need to be prepared to face the challenges of the local economy and the international uncertainty in the petroleum sector through implementation of the MOST project that will guarantee a more comfortable storage capacity.
Speaking about the petroleum sector, Mr Gungah said that Mauritius has benefitted from a decrease in the price of petroleum products on the world market. He also pointed out that historical and diplomatic ties with India have moved a step ahead with two major economic projects in the pipeline.
They are: the successful outcome in the renewal of the contract of supply of petroleum products for the next three years between State Trading Corporation (STC) and Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd whereby Mauritius will benefit from a decrease of Rs 620 million on the premium for the first year of the contract; and the grant of US 200 million dollars by the Indian government for the setting up of a petroleum port.
The MOST project derives from a joint venture between the STC and four international petroleum companies present in Mauritius namely Engen, Indian Oil, Total and Vivo Energy.
The petroleum terminal, which will be constructed to the tune of Rs 600 million, will come into operation at the end of 2017. It will comprise five tanks of 5 000 metric tonnes each. Three tanks will be used for storage of motor gasoline and the rest for gas oil.
The project comprises the erection of the dyke area; three MOGAS and two diesel tanks; hydrocarbon pumping station equipped with five pumps and hydrocarbon piping network; and firefighting station fitted with water and foam pumps and piping network. The proposed oil farm will be operated by processed controllers and associated instrumentation.