South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe hopes to persuade Saudi Aramco to revive its interest in building a refinery in the country, news24 website reported. 

The refinery project plan was announced in July 2018 during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first state visit to the Gulf country.

Mantashe said South Africa put the refinery project back on the agenda last month.

“We are now engaging a number of players. One is Saudi Aramco’s proposal to build a refinery in the country.”

The newspaper said that the strategic fuel fund was building additional storage capacity for refined petroleum to ensure the country has sufficient strategic stocks.

In September 2019, Reuters reported that South Africa’s Central Energy Fund (CEF), partnering with Aramco, expected the proposed new 300,000 barrel per day crude oil refinery on the east coast to come onstream by 2028.

The cost was estimated at $10 billion, the report said.

(Editing by Seban Scaria