COEGA PLANT

CityPress - - Business - MAX MATAVIRE busi­ness@city­press.co.za

Three Port Eliz­a­beth busi­ness­men are the brains be­hind a mooted $15 bil­lion crude oil re­fin­ery and petro­chem­i­cal com­plex at the Coega spe­cial eco­nomic zone.

The sod-turn­ing cer­e­mony for the project is set for 2022.

The three peo­ple head­ing the ven­ture are Pasco Dyani, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Chem­i­cal, En­ergy, Pa­per, Print­ing, Wood and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union; Mpumelelo Tshume, the for­mer CEO of PetroSA and the South African Na­tional Oil Com­pany; and Loy­iso Nkantsu, for­mer leader of the Na­tional African Fed­er­ated Cham­ber of Com­merce (Naf­coc).

The three are di­rec­tors of Mestosync En­ergy, the com­pany un­der­tak­ing the project.

When fully op­er­a­tional the oil re­fin­ery is es­ti­mated to pro­duce 400 000 bar­rels of crude oil a day.

In an in­ter­view with City Press Nkantsu, who is the Mestosync En­ergy chair­per­son, said they had been granted a li­cence by the en­ergy depart­ment to op­er­ate a re­fin­ery and a petro­chem­i­cal in­dus­trial com­plex.

“Fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments have all been com­pleted and we have had the nec­es­sary ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Coega spe­cial eco­nomic zone. We will be break­ing ground within the next 24 months,” said Nkantsu.

Asked where fund­ing of such a huge in­vest­ment would come from, Nkantsu said: “We are about to fi­nalise fund­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“In fact, by the end of this year, ev­ery­thing re­gard­ing the fund­ing model of the project will be in place.”

Nkantsu said such a big amount was needed for this project be­cause they would be look­ing for more land as there would be down­stream in­dus­tries for petro-chem­i­cal prod­ucts.

He de­clined to re­veal the in­vestors, say­ing “it’s con­fi­den­tial”.

The Coega De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion con­firmed it was aware of the project but re­ferred any queries to the en­ergy depart­ment.

Ef­forts to get com­ment from the en­ergy depart­ment were fu­tile.

The Coega spe­cial eco­nomic zone was the cho­sen site for the Mthombo Project – an oil re­fin­ery mooted in 2013.

Mthombo was driven by PetroSA but, be­cause of poor fi­nance and gov­er­nance, the project ap­pears to be on hold.

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