PetroSA contemplates major South Africa refinery

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Nov. 28 -- Petroleum Oil & Gas Corp. of South Africa (PetroSA) has hired KBR to assess the feasibility of constructing a 200,000 b/d refinery at Coega in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, by 2014-15.

The refinery, entitled Project Mthombo, is expected to cost $6 billion. KBR described the proposal as one "of the largest post-2010 investments in South Africa."

Under the 6-month prefeasibility study, KBR will examine the economic optimum configuration for the refinery, including crude oil type and costs, required product slate, prices, and specifications, and capital and operating costs. "After the configuration has been approved, Project Mthombo will move on to the feasibility phase, which will define the engineering scope of the refinery," KBR said.

Project Mthombo is an important strategic element to cut South Africa's reliance on imported automotive fuels. If successful, it could be expanded to allow for products exports or other growth opportunities and could be integrated with downstream petrochemical opportunities.

Job opportunities for 20,000 South Africans will also be available if the refinery is constructed in one of the most impoverished provinces in the country. PetroSA said several South Africans would work closely with KBR on the prefeasibility study.

KBR is the engineering and construction unit of Halliburton, Houston.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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