The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) in South Africa has signed three new investment deals worth US $18.3m, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier has announced. The total number of signed investments now stands at 11, and the industrial development zone has also launched several new development projects expected to boost the economy and create jobs in the region.
According to Mr Maynier construction of new investment projects and the projects themselves are expected to create job opportunities. This after steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal announced plans to wind down its operations in Saldanha Bay last year due to financial losses. At the time Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said that the resulting retrenchments close to 1 000, would be a harsh blow to industrialisation in the country. “As these projects open their doors, there will be more opportunities for jobs in the oil and gas, maritime fabrication and repair industries and related support services industries,” he affirmed.
Construction of a specialized facilities
The minister further added that construction on the first investment project has already started; for a specialised corrosion protection facility. “Building plans have also been submitted for two additional investment projects. There are also job opportunities in the area of partial assembly or manufacturing of components imported into SA. Furthermore, several private investors have undertaken, at their own cost, bankable feasibility studies that demonstrate demand for repair, maintenance and equipment servicing facilities linked to the oil and gas and marine services sectors, and we look forward to announcing these investments very soon,” he said.
The industrial development zone has also started construction of a commercial office building known as the Access Complex Building, due to be completed next month. An existing Project Leasing Facility has been assisting with government energy projects. It accommodates projects which can be completed in less than 24 months.
These facilities particularly assist Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) with storage space which is used to support renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP).