SA’s largest refinery suspends operations
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SAPREF, South Africa’s largest crude oil refinery, yesterday declared force majeure due to the civil unrest in the country and disruption of supply routes in and out of Kwazulu-Natal.
The unrest had forced suppliers of materials critical to the operations of the country’s major refinery to suspend deliveries due to safety concerns for their staff and damages to their vehicles on the roads.
In a statement sent to retailers, seen by Business Report, issued on behalf of Shell & BP SA Petroleum Refineries (Sapref) yesterday, the refinery said that without these critical materials and with no clarity as to how long the unrest would continue and when normal supply could resume, Sapref said it was unable to sustain refinery operations.
For this reason, the refinery said that it was obliged to make the difficult decision to shut down the refinery.
“As a result of the aforegoing, Sapref hereby declares the occurrence of an event of force majeure, excusing Sapref from performing under the agreement. In the case of a complete shut down of the refinery, the continuation of your agreement with Sapref on the same terms and conditions becomes impossible,” it said in a statement.
To this end, Sapref said it was obliged to suspend and/or limit the scope of work under this agreement.
Sapref’s focal point would be to continue making contact with retailers to communicate the impact of this notice on their resources and/or equipment on all Sapref sites.
“We trust that the need for this action in this critical time is appreciated,” stated Sapref.