Mulunga wants incomplete oil storage filled up

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

NAMCOR managing director Immanuel Mulunga wants the oil storage facility in Walvis Bay to be filled up with oil, even though the tanks have not been completed.

Mulunga said this in an e-mail, dated 23 April 2020, to the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s executive director Simeon Negumbo.

He wrote that the current low international oil price brought about by geopolitical and supply demand forces had increased demand for storage of crude and refined products worldwide.

“I believe there’s a window of opportunity to capitalize on this by finding a way to fill up those storage tanks even though the facility is not 100% completed. I believe we can find a way to transfer products into those tanks while we wait for the rest of the work to be completed.

“MME/Namcor can make significant revenues should we decide to be proactive in this regards. This window of opportunity will not be open for a long time though.

“I would propose that we tackle this as an agenda item during the next steering committee meeting after the lockdown. In the meantime we can always discuss further here,” Mulunga wrote in the e-mail.

Confidente understands that filling up the oil fuel storage facility would cost government around N$800 million, but Mulunga said government will not be required to fill up the facility as Namcor had come up with a solution to fill up with its suppliers.

“We will have private sector providing the commissioning stock in order not to burden government with additional capital outlay for that amount,” he told Confidente this week.

Although in his e-mail, Mulunga said that Namcor wanted to fill up the facility despite the fact that it has not been completed, this week he told this publication that Namcor is planning to fill up the tanks “as soon as the storage is completed.”

“We are ready to fill them up now but the facility is not completed yet. We hope the Ministry of Mines and Energy can make progress to complete the remaining works to unable the facility to accept product. They need to do the commissioning first,” he said.

He added that the initial plan was that government fill up the facility but since government said it does not have the funds to fill it up, Namcor came up with this solution to avoid the facility ending up as a white elephant.

“The longer the facility stands without being used the more money will be required to carry out maintenance in future because of corrosion. Walvis Bay is the second most corrosive place in the world,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Negumbo asked Confidente to send questions but he had not responded to them at the time of going to print.