SOUR TONE TO SALDANHA SHIP REPAIR HUB DEAL

Dutch based shipping line, Universal Africa Lines (UAL), has confirmed its withdrawal from a multimillion rand deal to build a supply base at Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape. However Transnet National Port Authority says in a company statement that the decision is not final as “following discussions (with TNPA) last week, UAL was reconsidering and it would reconfirm its decision within the next two weeks.” The statement continues, “From the outset, TNPA had indicated the anticipated delays in concluding the agreement. EIA approvals – these are out of TNPA’s control – and construction timeframes had the potential of drawing out the implementation of the project.” According to Business Report Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), after some 15 months of negotiations, changed the terms of the lease for the land UAL wanted to acquire. The planned hub is a harbour area at Saldanha devoted to loading, offloading and repair of equipment and ships used in the oil and gas industry.