Today, Sunrise Energy approached KwaZulu Natal High Court (Durban) in an urgent interdict application aimed at preventing Avedia Energy from conducting its highly risky Ship to Truck off-loading of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) at the Saldanha Bay port. The court ordered that the application will be heard on 5 November 2020.
This application follows an earlier decision taken by a tribunal of the Durban-based Ports Regulator on 16 September 2020 that inexplicably allowed Avedia Energy to use rudimentary and archaic mechanisms to transfer highly flammable liquified petroleum gas directly from ships into trucks. If allowed to proceed, these operations pose an unacceptably high safety risk to the port of Saldanha and the surrounding communities.
Sunrise Energy operates a highly sophisticated offloading terminal using world-class technology and best practices and discharges its LPG cargoes through a multi-buoy mooring system at the Saldanha port. The facility, which has a flawless safety record, is available to all port users and is designed to meet international safety and efficiency standards.
Alarmingly, Avedia Energy has for many years unreasonably refused to use these available facilities and has persisted with its high-risk and extremely inefficient ‘ship to truck’ offloading operations.
Avedia Energy has already had previous incidents at the Saldanha port. It is sheer luck that the incidents at the Avedia Energy offloading quay didn’t cause a devastating explosion. Sunrise Energy believes that the High Court will appreciate the magnitude of risk caused by similar activities of Avedia Energy.
Once an interdict is granted, averting the immediate threat posed by Avedia Energy’s operations, Sunrise Energy will proceed to the second part of its application: the review and setting aside of the flawed decision issued by the Ports Regulator to permit Avedia Energy to continue with its risky operations for six months or longer rather than requiring it to use the existing compliant terminal operated by Sunrise Energy.
Sunrise Energy is committed to ensuring that safe, efficient offloading of LPG at this critical terminal is prioritised.