The government of South Africa is facing calls to expedite the planning process for Petro SA’s US$ 10 billion Mthombo crude oil refinery. There are hopes that the project will address the problem of ageing refineries and create jobs in the Eastern Cape.
The country currently imports approximately 7% of its refined fuel and is likely to face a shortfall of 180 000 bpd of petrol and diesel by 2020. The planned 360 000 bpd refinery would go a long way to securing South Africa’s future fuel requirements.
However, the project has stalled recently, running into significant costs during the scoping and environmental impact assessment stages.
The refinery is perceived as a potential important economic boost to the local area. An estimated 27 500 temporary jobs would be created in the three or four year construction period, and 18 500 direct and indirect permanent jobs would be created once it was operational.
Elsewhere in Africa, the Nigerian government has stated that it plans to raise the capacity of the nation’s four refineries by 95% in order to make petroleum products widely available. Currently, the capacity of the four refineries stands at approximately 60%.
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