Linde plc member Afrox has invoked force majeure notices following disruption of vehicle movement on the main N3 KZN (KwaZulu Natal) to Gauteng arterial highway in South Africa.

Liquefied natural gas products are included, with force majeure pertaining mainly to KZN and other inland provinces. This is due to closures along the N3 motorway and bulk tankers being unable to safely travel from the important terminal in Richards Bay.

Hard Goods are also affected, in particular where imports are via Durban. In addition to general road safety concerns, the N3 closure has affected transport by road to Afrox’s Gauteng distribution warehouse.

Normal deliveries of industrial gases and medical oxygen via bulk tankers will continue to be undertaken as usual where it is safe to do so. Police escorts will be necessary for delivery to areas deemed unsafe.

As medical oxygen is currently in high demand, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, force majeure has been invoked on the supply of industrial oxygen cylinders to industrial customers. Industrial cylinders will be converted to medical grade cylinders for distribution to hospitals.

Afrox continues to work with the authorities and is prioritising, where police escort is available, deliveries to hospitals in affected areas.

With continual monitoring taking place of its end-to-end oxygen supply chain risk review, Afrox ensure that a range of emergency scenarios are in place and testing and implementing update adjustments are on an ongoing basis.