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South African refiners struggle to compete

Most of the country’s ageing refinery capacity remains offline.

Seven months after a fire at South African fuel company Engen’s Durban refinery, much of the country’s 700,000bl/d nameplate refining capacity remains offline as a handful of ageing facilities await repairs, maintenance or investment reviews by operators. Many of these are foreign oil companies that have weathered stormy market conditions overseas in the past year and now face intense pressure from environmental lobbyists. Engen, a subsidiary of Malaysian NOC Petronas, announced in April that it had decided not to revive the 120,000bl/d plant and would instead convert it into a storage facility. The potential costs of upgrading the 67-year-old refinery to meet government demands for cleaner

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