SOUTH African oil company PetroSA plans to see the multi-billion rand oil refinery earmarked for Coega, Project Mthombo, operational by 2019-20, according to Jörn Falbe, PetroSA's vice-president of new ventures.
He said while this was the plan, when the project became operational depended on the outcomes of case studies and a future environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Project Mthombo is undergoing a joint study by PetroSA and Sinopec, the Chinese state-owned energy company, which will prepare the final business case for Mthombo in order to prepare for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) stage. The study will finalise the refinery capacity, configuration and costing.
Falbe said Phase 1, which is under way, would also be used to integrate Sinopec, the project's anchor partner, so that they could jointly agree on a business model.
He said Phase 1 was expected to be concluded towards the end of this year.
Phase 2 would include more detailed cost estimates and there would be a lot of work together with the Coega Development Corporation to come up with a plan for logistics infrastructure. Phase 2 was expected to be completed towards the end of next year.
"The output of Phase 2 will be used as input for the EIA. It is expected that the EIA will take about 15 months," Falber said.
"Phase 3 will be the preparations for the procurement process. This will end towards the end of 2014," he said.
He said construction of the refinery would take about four years to complete and was expected to become operational by about 2019 or 2020. – Lee-Anne Butler