If your measure of how well our city and country is doing is one based on counting the number of ships anchored in the Bay then you may have to change your way of thinking somewhat.
In the past more empty ships meant more exports and more money flowing into our local economy resulting in a business boom.
The number of empty vessels anchored in Algoa Bay these days is now indicative of and entirely new hub of economic activity attributable to the development of the first offshore fuel service in South Africa attracting passing ships.
Bunkering company, Aegean, has already delivered more than 1,2 million tons of fuel to ships since the service began in April 2016. Using three barges, Aegean services around 100 ships a month.
Apart from bunkering operations, this facility has created many other economic benefits for the people of Port Elizabeth.
Additional services have been generated due to visiting ships need for stores and water, engineering repairs, medical and dental care, as well as crew changes and shore visits. This in turn created a demand for hospitality services and flights.
This booming industry in Algoa Bay has also created new jobs. A significant number of people have been employed by chandler services, shipping agents and marine surveyors since the operation started. Aegean’s vessels have extra accommodation that allows for training and development of cadets.
Visiting ships are mostly foreign vessels, which consider South Africa as a stop-over, not a final destination. The concept of attracting vessels to Algoa Bay was identified as an opportunity to grow the maritime industry. This is a significant historic development, as it marks the growth in the South African Ship Registry and highlights Nelson Mandela Bay’s attractiveness as a maritime city, as well as its potential to exploit the Blue Oceans Economy in line with Operation Phakisa.
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