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SA’s largest crude oil refinery to restart Wednesday

Published Jul 21, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - South Africa's largest crude oil refinery, SAPREF, will begin restarting on Wednesday, after temporarily shutting down as a wave of violent looting swept across the country, the operators said in a statement on Tuesday.

The refinery, situated in the east coast port city of Durban, shut down last week due to violence that claimed more than 200 lives and caused billions of rands worth of damage.

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A 50/50 joint venture between BP and Shell, SAPREF has a nameplate capacity of 180000 barrels per day and accounts for around 35% of the refining capacity in Africa's most industrialised economy, a net importer of petroleum products.

The refinery restart will take between 7-10 days to be completed, the operators said.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) recently tried to allay motorists fears to stymie panic buying of fuel. The organisation said that the availability of petrol and other related products in the country was stable.

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The association said while an impact assessment of the anarchy in Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng and parts of Mpumalanga had shown that there was nothing to worry about as yet, it was engaged the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to ensure adequate supply to the market was maintained.

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