DEVELOPMENT: New Refinery Makes Progress
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Project Mthombo, PetroSA’s 400 000 bpd crude oil refinery planned for Coega in the Eastern Cape, achieved another important milestone with the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
The Coega refinery will be a major tenant in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) near the new deepwater port of Ngqura and a catalyst for future development in the Eastern Cape.
Sipho Mkhize, PetroSA’s President and CEO said the agreement clarified the roles and responsibilities of the parties in the Coega IDZ during the construction and operation of the refinery. He emphasised that it will give potential investors confidence that the project is developed by major stakeholders in the South African economy and that the project is ready to move to the FEED (Front End Engineering Design) phase.
The agreement provides for the CDC to recognise PetroSA as the official developer and promoter of the proposed refinery, the establishment of a joint project team and a land allocation agreement for the refinery.
The two parties also agreed on roles and obligations with regards to future and downstream activities. Mkhize said the two parties are considering other opportunities in secondary industries towards the establishment of the Coega IDZ as a petrochemical hub serving the whole of Southern Africa. The refinery will generate close to 27 500 temporary jobs during the construction phase and 18 500 permanent direct, indirect and induced jobs once operational.
Pepi Silinga, CEO of the CDC, welcomed the agreement saying that the planned refinery will be a major economic boost for the Eastern Cape region and the South African economy post 2010. “Most current infrastructural developments in the country are in support of the World Cup Soccer tournament, but the country needs to look beyond that to other major projects for sustained growth and economic development. The Coega refinery is a project which will provide economic stimulus, revitalize and redirect the automotive sector (industrial base expansion) and re-skill and up-skill the key artisan employment sector through the CDC’s world-class skills development centre to be jointly established by PetroSA and the CDC.”
The technical feasibility study for Project Mthombo has been completed and the PetroSA Board will decide by the year end to proceed to the next phase of the project. The final investment decision is expected during 2011.
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