Benin Republic and South Africa will prioritize building a new oil refinery to meet its growing energy demand.
Speaking at the Africa Oil Week virtual conference, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said he is focused on attracting more investment to the country’s oil and gas sector, which has seen renewed enthusiasm after a major gas discovery in 2019.
The country’s Central Energy Fund is continuing to engage with Saudi Aramco on building a new oil refinery in Richards Bay. The minister said pre-feasibility studies are being carried out and that he hopes to hear a positive outcome from the Saudi Aramco evaluation.
“South Africa needs a new crude oil refinery,” he said. “The scale of petroleum product imports and existing capacity in our refineries make it a necessity.”
Early last year, Saudi Aramco confirmed it was looking to build a new oil refinery and petrochemical plant in South Africa as part of the Kingdom’s $10 billion investment there.
Also, Benin is looking to launch the construction of a new refinery, according to a local media report. The project has been presented at the government meeting. A committee will look at the feasibility studies for the project and will also analyze the market prospects until 2030
Nigeria has reached an agreement with neighbor Niger to build an oil refinery in a border town between Niger and Katsina state in northern Nigeria.
Meanwhile it emerged that South Africa’s Engen is “considering several options with regards to the Engen refinery” although no decision has been made. The company also noted it “remains fully committed to operating the Engen refinery in a safe and reliable manner.” Local media reported that Engen is considering whether to close its refinery in Durban in 2023 and convert it into a fuel storage facility and has started consultation with employees about increasing the import and supply capacity