The Coega Development Corporation today welcomed the news of the signing of a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) between PetroSA and The Chinese Petrochemical Corporation (The Sinopec Group), the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) state-owned integrated energy and chemical conglomerate.
The study will shape the business case for Project Mthombo, the initiative to construct a world-class crude oil refinery at the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
The study will be divided into two parts. The first will focus on market studies, the review and selection of a business case. The second will develop a business case that is expected to prepare Project Mthombo for the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage.
Once the study has been completed the findings will be handed over to government for consideration. The study is expected to last for 18 months.
The Mthombo Refinery will be the first processing plant in the Eastern Cape and will lead to many economic benefits for the province says Coega Head of Marketing and Communications, Ayanda Vilakazi.
“It will bring together a vast array of skills and training opportunities in various sectors, including engineering and artisans who will be trained and needed for the plant’s operation, installation and its maintenance,” says Vilakazi.
The project will also diversify the local industrial economy of the province, which is currently mainly anchored around the automotive industry and lead to cleaner-fuel technology and will facilitate the introduction of the latest engine technologies in the South African automobile market.
This will ensure that South Africa has the full Euro V standard for motor vehicle fuel emission standards. The project is key to South Africa’s fuel supply security.
“We at Coega are honoured that government continues to show faith in our capabilities and those of the people of the Eastern Cape. Coega remains one of South Africa’s leading investment destinations and the leading job creator in the province and this project will strengthen these roles.”
Mr Kevin Hustler, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said; “The signing today of a joint study agreement by PetroSA and Sinopec (the Chinese state-owned energy and chemical company) is a significant milestone on the road to securing the Project Mthombo oil refinery investment in the Coega IDZ.
“The Business Chamber has played a pivotal role in convening a broad stakeholder interest group to lobby locally and nationally to secure the project, and to work jointly on the skills development and the city’s state of readiness to host such a mega-project.
“We believe Project Mthombo has the potential to be a major catalyst for socio-economic transformation of the Eastern Cape, through employment creation, up- and downstream business opportunities, and the development of the associated infrastructure which will place the region in a much stronger position to attract investment.”