INTERNATIONAL commodity trader Trafigura has delivered the first shipment of low sulphur gas oil to Berbera, in Somaliland. The move comes as part of Trafigura’s investment in terminal facilities.
The gas oil delivery was part of a storage agreement signed with the Somaliland Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism.
Trafigura’s investment in the Berbera Oil Terminal is part of its drive to serve customers in the country. It is also working on oil logistics around the region.
‘The agreement gives Trafigura access to the existing terminal for storage of refined petroleum products in order to supply the local market in a strategically important region,’ said Trafigura’s head of Africa energy trading James Josling.
‘We are working alongside the government to reduce sulphur limits in the local fuel specifications, to give the opportunity for Somaliland to align product specifications with regional market standards such as Ethiopia and Djibouti, which will promote cross-border trade while improving air quality in line with Trafigura’s wider ESG agenda and commitment to Africa.’
The trader said it would eventually import jet fuel and LPG for local and regional demand. Trafigura will upgrade the terminal, improving and expanding storage capacity. It also has plans to increase the port’s draft, to allow larger vessels access.
Somaliland’s government intends to transform the port of Berbera into a strategic hub. Regional demand is growing year on year, it said.
‘We’re delighted to be working with a leading independent, international company like Trafigura to improve the quality and reliability of refined petroleum product supply into the country,’ said Minister of Trade Industry and Tourism Mohamoud Hassan Saad.
‘By working with Trafigura there will be increased transparency, high standards, and increased competitiveness across the supply chain.’
Local reports named the MT Omair as carrying the cargo. According to Marine Traffic, the vessel has now left Berbera and is on its way to the port of Sharjah. The terminal authorities reported the vessel as arriving on September 4. Port authorities described the ship as the biggest ever to have visited.
The Somaliland Chronicle quoted Saad as saying Trafigura would sell diesel from the vessel to fuel traders. Previously, marketers have imported products individually. The arrival of Trafigura will reduce price volatility and improve fuel quality, it said.
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