DRAKO Oil and Energy in R54m Richards Bay property deal

RE/MAX of Southern Africa has concluded one of the largest industrial property deals on the KZN coastline when DRAKO Oil and Energy purchased a 600 ha site close to the Port of Richards Bay. The R54-million deal was finalised this month by Richards Bay-based RE/MAX Marine broker owner, Trudy van der Vlies, according to a group press release.

DRAKO Oil and Energy’s initial brief was to locate 1 500 hectares of coastal terrain on which to develop the first of three new refineries planned for South Africa. Finding 1 500 ha of open land, according to the release, turned out to be problematic as there was just nothing available.

“This was undoubtedly the most challenging and rewarding task I have had in my 13 years of being a property broker. Sourcing the required land for a project of this magnitude took close to a year-and-a-half”, comments van der Vlies.

“We eventually sourced 600 ha of prime industrial terrain close to the Port of Richards Bay. DRAKO Oil and Energy are in negotiations with Portnet (Ports Authority) to lease a further 230 ha”, says van der Vlies.

This project will see DRAKO Oil and Energy develop a R27-billion refinery by 2010, the first of three 300,000 barrel-a-day oil refineries, which together would more than double South Africa’s refining capacity, would make this project the biggest South Africa has seen in terms of development costs.

According to the release the government is fully supportive of the project.

Protocol procedures are being adhered to as far as obtaining official documentation.

The project has reached the implementation stage and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process commenced ome time ago. On September 1 the Department of Economical Development in Durban are having a high-end meeting involving specialists and experts from within all the various relevant government departments on request of the Minister to assist Drako Oil on the project.

Representatives forming part of the project team will be from government departments such as Environmental Impact, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Minerals and Energy.

“RE/MAX of Southern Africa as a company have predominantly been residential focused, however with the conclusion of this deal it demonstrates the flexibility of our business model by being able to successfully take advantage of commercial and industrial opportunities when they come along,” comments Bruce Swain, regional director of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

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