Chief Executive of BP South Africa, Priscillah Mabelane told Reuters that in the next five years, the company will invest $1 billion in South Africa, with more than a quarter of that set aside to upgrade the SAPREF refinery to produce lower sulfur diesel.
SAPREF refinery, South Africa’s largest refinery produces 180,000 barrels per day and is a 50:50 venture between Royal Dutch Shell and BP South Africa- a subsidiary of BP Plc, a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, England.
Mabelane said BP plans to invest between $252 million to $288 million to upgrade the SAPREF refinery, which is located in the east coast city of Durban. She noted that about 40 percent of the total $1 billion investment would go on retail activities.
Speaking on the upgrade, Mabelane said the firm would make “sure the refinery can meet the new specifications in terms of low sulfur and Marpol regulations”. She revealed the plant will be shut for maintenance from May to June 2019.
There have been talks between refinery operators and the South African government on how to recover costs from upgrading work needed to produce cleaner fuel in the country.
Addressing the ongoing discussions with the government, Mabelane said “from an industry perspective we are pushing very hard to ensure that there is policy clarity because we have been on this journey very long, almost a decade”.
Mabelane also noted BP South Africa would expand its retail activities in South Africa. She said “we are aggressively going to grow our footprint in the country”.