Private developers of Angola's new $3.5bn oil refinery are planning to start construction early next year once the site is completely de-mined, officials at US-led Quanten Consortium said, in an effort to reduce reliance on imported fuels.
A shortage of oil refineries across sub-Saharan Africa coupled with soaring crude prices because of the war in Ukraine has left countries dangerously short of fuel supplies, disrupting airlines and causing motorist queues.
The 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery project, known as Soyo, is one of three new refineries planned for Africa's second biggest crude oil producer that imports 80% of its refined products.
The cost includes all associated facilities such as roads, a 60-100MW power plant and marine terminal, said officials at the consortium which includes Cisco Systems and engineering firm KBR Inc.
Ensuring the area is landmine free
"What they are doing now is to make sure the place is landmine free for which we will get a certificate," Segun Thomas, managing partner at Quanten Consortium Angola LLC told Reuters late on Wednesday, 8 June.
Angola remains one of the world's most heavily mined countries, deadly relics of a civil war that ended two decades ago, with over 100 million square metres of land affected and over 1,200 known or suspected minefields, according to the Mines Advisory Group.
Thomas said the refinery, which will be one of the few on the continent able to produce Euro-5 standard cleaner fuels, is expected to see first output in the last quarter of 2025.
"The Euro-5 standard mandates 10 parts per million for sulphur content, we are going to be at 5ppm," Thomas added.
Besides Soyo, Angola is also eyeing a new 200,000 bpd plant in Lobito, while factory acceptance tests of equipment for the first phase of the new Cabinda refinery were completed ahead of installation in the coming months, government officials said.
Angola is also upgrading the country's sole 65,000 bpd refinery in the capital Luanda.
"The work at the Luanda refinery, which mainly aims to quadruple the amount of petrol produced, is expected to be completed in June of this year," oil minister Diamantino Azevedo recently told a consultative meeting.
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