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Mthombo refinery to save SA billions

by BuaNews Online
on 18 Oct 2010
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

President Jacob Zuma said the proposed Mthombo crude oil refinery will save the country billions and showcase its competitive ability to counterparts globally.

It would also help the country escape from the current dependency trap, where refined automotive products had to be imported, the president said on Thursday.

Construction on the refinery, which will be the biggest in Africa, was expected to start in 2012, with the refinery to come on stream by 2015.

The $11 billion refinery, which will have a 400 000 barrels a day capacity, is meant to ensure security of fuel supply in SA.

SA is currently dependent on international oil companies to secure the country's future liquid fuels energy needs.

"With Project Mthombo, this country stands to save an estimated R12.6 billion a year in energy costs once the refinery is running, and could export oil across Africa," said Zuma.

Zuma was speaking during his visit to PetroSA's gas liquid refinery in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. The visit by Zuma and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters was to obtain a firsthand account of the operations of PetroSA, his office said.

"We welcome the fact that PetroSA is making its impact, not only in job creation but in empowering the people as well. It employs close to 2 000 people, while 27 500 more will be absorbed within the crude oil refinery that is planned," President Zuma said.

He also commended the National Oil Company (NOC) for the role it was playing in reducing the country's dependence on importing refined fuel.

Zuma also welcomed the impressive growth of PetroSA from its successful merger of Mossgas, Soekor and parts of the Strategic Fuel Fund in 2002.

PetroSA is reaching markets in Europe, the United States, Caribbean, Middle East and Far East, which Zuma said is an important achievement. - BuaNews

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