“There’s nothing that really compares with Saldanha Bay,” said Joe Willis, a senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, who highlights its accessibility to supertankers plying an ocean highway that connects key markets in Asia, Europe and the Americas. “It’s quite unique in its own right.”
Saldanha is currently able to hold as much as 45 million barrels, enough to fill more than 20 large tankers. By comparison, Cushing, the better-known US oil storage centre in Oklahoma that serves as the pricing point for the West Texas Intermediate oil benchmark, can hold about 75 million barrels.
The capacity of Saldanha will grow by almost 30% with the addition of more than 13 million barrels of storage and blending facilities by the end of next year, according to a joint venture of Hamburg-based Oiltanking GmbH, the world’s second-biggest independent crude storage provider, and local company MOGS.