IDZ begins to earn its keep in Saldanha Bay
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IDZ begins to earn its keep in Saldanha Bay

oild rigs and ore rail line saldanha bayThe Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in Saldanha Bay is beginning to yield benefits for the province with the arrival of a large oil rig that will be serviced at the port.

MEC for finance Alan Winde said yesterday the docking of the Sedco 700, belonging to the Nigerian-based multinational oil company, was good news for the Western Cape.

This was clear evidence of the interest foreign investors have in the zone. He said the IDZ would generate much needed revenue for the province.

“This illustrates the economic impact of the oil and gas vessel repair industry, and specifically the importance of the newly-designated Saldanha Bay IDZ which is expected to increase our vessel repair capacity drastically,” said Winde.

“The feasibility study has shown that the IDZ has the potential to create 15000 sustainable jobs over the next 10 years and generate R10bn for the region’s economy over the longer term. At this very early stage interest from foreign investors is already promising,” he said.

A number of repair operations would be conducted on the Sedco 700 including a lifeboat upgrade, steelwork, accommodation work and underwater work, in lieu of dry docking.

The unit is 90m long and is expected to be in the port for two-and-a-half months. The Sedco 700 was one of four major oil rigs to be serviced in the Western Cape between October and December. Winde said the servicing of the four oil rigs would create 8000 jobs.

The IDZ has been touted by the government to be a major job driver with a number of investments expected to flow into the Western Cape from various projects.

The IDZ was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma at the end of last month.

During the launch Winde described the IDZ as the single biggest intervention to ramp up the economy and create jobs in the region.

He said the IDZ marked the turning point for the Western Cape as the provincial government wanted to make it the servicing and repair hub for oil and gas ships operating on the African coastline. The zone was also going to attract foreign direct investments in the province and this will boost growth.

He said the project has short-term and long-term goals for the West Coast and urged local people to acquire skills to be able to take part in the projects.


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