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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: South Africa's Sapref fully back after brief halt

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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: South Africa's Sapref fully back after brief halt

South Africa's largest refinery Sapref is fully back online since the end of July, the company said Aug. 9.

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Sapref began on July 21 to restart its units at its Durban facility after unrest forced a brief suspension to operations, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. "This start-up process is planned to begin on July 21, 2021 and will take 7-10 days to complete," Sapref said July 10. The refiner had to shut and declare force majeure on the supply of all oil products.

The unrest, which started July 8 following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma, had disrupted "supply routes in and out of KwaZulu-Natal," a letter to clients from Sapref dated July 13 had said.

The refinery had only just restarted in June after a month-long maintenance, according to market sources.

In other news, the Nigerian government has approved a bid by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to acquire a 20% stake in the 650,000 b/d Dangote oil refinery project, oil minister Timipre Sylva said Aug. 5. The Dangote plant, located on the outskirts of Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, is expected to start commissioning in January 2022, project head Devakumar V G Edwin previously told Platts.

Italian energy group Eni said July 21 it had signed a preliminary agreement to convert Kenya's shuttered Mombasa refinery into a biofuel plant and develop waste and residue collection in the country which could be used to feed Eni's own domestic bio-refineries.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya's petroleum and mining ministry, Eni said it would assess converting the Mombasa plant into a bio-refinery and the construction of a new plant for second-generation bio-ethanol from waste biomass using Eni's own refining technologies.

The 70,000 b/d Mombasa plant, Eastern Africa's sole refinery, was shut down in 2013 after the former joint owner, India's Essar, ditched plans to upgrade the plant on the grounds it was economically unviable.

ONGOING MAINTENANCE:

Refinery
Capacity b/d
Country
Owner
Unit
Duration
Ras Lanuf
220,000
Libya
NOC
Restart
Pending
Limbe
72,000
Cameroon
Sonara
Full
Jun'19
Cape Town
100,000
South Africa
Astron Energy
Full
Feb
Pointe Noire
27,000
Congo
CORAF
Full
2021
Indeni
24,000
Zambia
Zambia
Full
ongoing
Engen
125,000
South Africa
Engen
Fire
Conversion
Tema
45,000
Ghana
Tema
Full
Ongoing
Secunda
160,000
South Africa
Sasol
Full
Sep

UPGRADES:

Warri
125,000
Nigeria
NNPC
Overhaul
N/A
Kaduna
110,000
Nigeria
NNPC
Overhaul
N/A
Port Harcourt
210,000
Nigeria
NNPC
Overhaul
N/A
Indeni
24,000
Zambia
Zambia
Upgrade
N/A
Luanda
65,000
Angola
Sonangol
Upgrade
2021
Pointe Noire
25,000
Congo
CORAF
Upgrade
2022
Dakar
24,000
Senegal
Joint
Expansion
N/A
MIDOR
100,000
Egypt
EGPC
Expansion
2022
Assiut
90,000
Egypt
ASORC
Upgrade
2020
Suez
68,000
Egypt
Suez company
Upgrade
N/A
Pointe Noire
27,000
Congo
CORAF
Upgrade
2022
Mombasa
70,000
Kenya
Government
Conversion
NA
Sapref
175,200
South Africa
Joint
Upgrade
NA

LAUNCHES:

Dangote
650,000
Nigeria
Dangote Ind
Launch
2022
Hassi Messaoud
100,000
Algeria
Sonatrach
Launch
2021-22
Tiaret
100,000
Algeria
Sonatrach
Launch
2021-22
Kenya
NA
Kenya
Government
Launch
NA
Ghana
150,000
Ghana
Government
Launch
NA
Takoradi
150,000
Ghana
Joint
Launch
NA
Lobito
200,000
Angola
Joint
Launch
2025
Cabinda
60,000
Angola
Joint
Launch
2022
Soyo
100,000
Angola
Joint
Launch
2024
Albert Graben
60,000
Uganda
Government
Launch
2023
Condensate
200,000
Nigeria
NNPC
Launch
NA
Red Sea Coast
200,000
Sudan
Government
Launch
NA
Nigeria/Niger
NA
Nigeria
Government
Launch
NA
Ndola
NA
Zambia
NA
Launch
2025
Morocco
100,000
Morocco
Joint
Launch
NA
Punta Europa
10,000
Equatorial Guinea
Joint
Launch
NA
Cogo
10,000
Equatorial Guinea
Joint
Launch
NA
Kamsar
12,000
Guinea
Brahms
Launch
NA
Waltersmith
5,000
Nigeria
Joint
Expansion
NA
Benin
NA
Benin
Government
Launch
NA
Paloch
40,000
South Sudan
Trinity Energy
Launch
NA
Kribi
80,000
Cameroon
Joint
Launch
NA
Pointe Noire
50,000
Congo
Joint
Launch
2023
Moribayah
NA
Guinea
Joint
Launch
NA
Akwa Ibom
200,000
Nigeria
Bua Group
Launch
NA

Near-term maintenance

New and revised entries

** South Africa's coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in Secunda will shut for four weeks from Aug. 30 for a planned annual maintenance shutdown, Sasol said July 26. "The Sasol maintenance shutdown will take place from 30 August to 24 September 2021 and will comprise service provider employees from different regions," the company said in a statement. South Africa has five refineries, and the Secunda refinery is one of three that are functioning.

Existing entries

** Ghana's sole oil refinery Tema remains offline and the plant is unlikely to restart for a few more months due to a lack of crude and feedstock, a source close to the matter said. The plant has only operated for about two months in 2021 and repair works are being carried out. It had been expected to come back online by the end of June. The plant has been hit by several issues over the past few years, experiencing intermittent outages at its crude distillation unit and FCC unit. The CDU currently only has one furnace, which means the refinery can only operate around 30,000 b/d capacity.

** Zambia's Indeni refinery is likely to stay offline till at least the end-of August, when the country will hold presidential elections, sources close to the matter said. The refinery's operations have been suspended since late December. The government wanted to overhaul the ageing refinery, but the project has been on hold until the elections.

** South Africa's Engen said it will be proceeding with the conversion of its Durban refinery into a terminal. The refinery has been shut since a fire and explosion on Dec. 4. The refinery-terminal conversion was expected to be commissioned in Q3 2023.

** Libya's Ras Lanuf remains offline without any timeline for its restart. The refinery was shut in 2013.

** South Africa's Astron Energy Cape Town refinery is expecting to restart "at some point" in 2022, the company said. The refinery has been halted since an incident in July 2020 involving a fire.

** The refinery in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, will go into turnaround in 2021, but dates have not been finalized.

** Cameroon's Limbe refinery, which suffered a fire at the end of May 2019, remains offline. Local media reported the restart was not expected until 2021.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

** The Nigerian government has approved the release of $1.48 billion to overhaul its Warri and Kaduna refineries, Oil Minister Timipre Sylva said Aug. 5. The repairs will be handled by a consortium led by Italian engineering firm Saipem, and the overhauls are expected to be completed in three phases. The two facilities, along with the Port Harcourt refinery, have been shut down since early 2019 for repairs. NNPC flagged off the repair works on the two Port Harcourt refineries in April, which is being handled by Italian engineering giant Tecnimont SpA, and is to be completed in 18 months in the first phase.

** Cote d'Ivoire's SIR refinery will use use Honeywell UOP Distillate Unionfining technology to produce diesel that complies with both AFRI 6 and Euro-V emission standards, technology supplier Honeywell said. The investment is part of a Cote d'Ivoire clean air program and SIR's refinery modernization, Honeywell added.

Existing entries

** Italy's Kinetics Technology has been awarded a contract to build a naphtha hydrotreater and platformer at Angola's sole oil refinery in Luanda. Sonangol is also in the process of building a fluid catalytic cracker along with Italy's Eni at Luanda to reduce its dependence on gasoline imports.

** KBR has been awarded a contract from South Africa's Sapref for its FCC regenerator project. The project will allow the refinery "to improve the reliability and integrity of the FCC unit by optimizing its catalyst and air distribution," KBR said in a statement.

** State-run Indeni Oil Refinery, Zambia's only refinery, has plans to double its capacity to 2.2 million mt/yr once rehabilitation works are completed. This will be up from the current capacity of 1.1 million mt/year.

** Kenya is considering converting its shuttered Mombasa refinery to a biofuel plant using technology provided by Italy's Eni. The Mombasa refinery, Eastern Africa's sole refinery, was shut down in 2013. Kenya is deciding upon a location for a new refinery in either Lamu or Mombasa.

** TechnipFMC said it has "successfully completed the remaining conditions to enable work to commence" on the EPC contract for the engineering, procurement, and construction of a new hydrocracker at Egypt's Assiut refinery. The contract includes process units such as vacuum distillation, delayed coker, distillate hydrotreater and a hydrogen production facility. It also includes the installation of 880,000 mt/year continuous catalytic reforming and isomerization complex, a 400,000 mt/year vapor recovery unit and 2.3 million mt/year hydrocracker.

** The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has reviewed a provision of up to $250 million sovereign loan to the Alexandria Petroleum Company to finance resources and energy efficiency investments and other modernization investments. The project includes the installation of a new vapor recovery unit, continuous emissions monitoring system and a burner management system. An expansion program at Egypt's Middle East Oil Refinery near Alexandria is on track for 2022, which will push capacity to 160,000 b/d.

** The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, approved a $50 million loan for an upgrade of Egypt's Suez refinery aimed at introducing cleaner fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

** Senegal's Dakar refinery is planning to increase capacity to 1.5 million mt/year.

Launches

Existing entries

** South Sudan's Bentiu refinery near Juba in Unity state, which started operations in March, is preparing to raise throughput and start supplying the 10 regional states and countries in the region with refined oil products, according to South Sudan's Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chol. Bentiu's refinery has the capacity to process up to 10,000 barrels/day but currently it is operating at a capacity of 3,000 b/d. Bentiu had been offline since 2014 after suffering damage in clashes connected to the country's civil war. Repair and upgrading works had been due to finish by the end of 2019 but did not meet this deadline and then travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to evacuation of engineers at the site in early 2020, causing further delays.

** South Sudan is planning to build four more refineries by the end of this decade to increase its refining potential. Trinity Energy was in advanced preparations to start building a 40,000 b/d refinery near the Palouch oil fields in the Upper Nile. Construction was planned to start in the first quarter of 2019, but COVID-19 and electricity power outages delayed it. One of the refineries is set to be based in Tharjiath.

** The Angolan government has launched a tender process for companies interesting in investing in the country's biggest refinery project in Lobito in southern Angola. Sonangol said it had already carried about economic feasibility studies, the dredging of Lobito bay, and other technical work that "will allow potential partners to act more effectively." The project was initially canceled in 2016 only to be revived a few years later. Sonangol is now banking on this refinery coming online in 2025.

** Algeria's Sonatrach expects the Hassi Messaoud refinery to start operations in 2024.

Construction was launched at the beginning of 2020 and the refinery's start-up has been expected for H2 2024. Sonatrach has contracted with Spanish and South Korean consortium Technicas Reunidas-Samsung Engineering to build the new refinery. Hassi Messaoud, Biskra and Tiaret had been part of the government's 2021-24 oil sector plan, with each refinery intended to have a 5 million mt/year capacity.

However, investment decisions on the refinery projects in Biskra and Tiaret would not be made before 2025.

** State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. is in talks with Dangote Industries to acquire a 20% stake in the 650,000 b/d Dangote oil refinery. The refinery, located on the outskirts of Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, is expected to start commissioning early 2022. When finished, the plant will be Africa's largest refinery. However, the start-up date for has repeatedly been delayed, with the company first announcing the project in 2013, and some Nigeria-based industry sources had told S&P Global Platts that they think it may struggle to come on stream before late 2022 or early 2023, with delays caused by COVID-19 slowing the project work.

** KBR has been awarded a front-end engineering design, or FEED, for Bua Group's new, modern refinery facility in Nigeria. Bua Group plans to build a 200,000 b/d integrated refinery and petrochemical plant in Akwa Ibom, according to its website. The plant aims to produce Euro 5 fuels and polypropylene for the domestic and regional markets.

** Three modular facilities in Nigeria with a combined capacity of 26,000 b/d have "completed construction work and are ready for commissioning", the country's industry regulator the Department of Petroleum Resources, or DPR, said April 2021. The three modular refineries, currently in the completion stage, are the 6,000 b/d plant in Ikpoba, Edo State, the 10,000 b/d plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and the 10,000 b/d modular refinery Ibigwe, in Imo State.

** Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., or NNPC, is close to taking FID with some investors to build a 50,000 b/d condensate refinery. NNPC signed the front-end engineering design for the construction of the plant -- which will be in the Niger Delta -- with engineering firm KBR. NNPC first announced in August 2018 plans to build a condensate refinery with capacity to refine 200,000 b/d of the condensate oil produced by the country.

** Nigeria commissioned in 2020 the country's first modular oil refinery, built in Imo state in the restive Niger Delta region. The commissioning involves the first phase of the refinery with a capacity to refine 5,000 b/d of crude. It would eventually raise capacity to 45,000 b/d. Waltersmith had previously said the plant would eventually try to increase capacity to 50,000 b/d in various phases.

** Nigeria has reached an agreement with neighbor Niger to build an oil refinery in a border town between Niger and Katsina state in northern Nigeria.

** Angola's oil ministry has named the Quantem Consortium, led by US company Quantem, as the winner of the tender to build, open and operate the planned 100,000 b/d Soyo refinery. The refinery was expected to be completed in about three to four years. The selected company or joint venture will finance the construction of the plant on a build-operate-transfer basis. The new plant, along with ones under consideration in Lobito in Benguela province and in Cabinda, is part of the government's plan to transform its downstream sector. That also involves refurbishing the refinery in Luanda.

** Gemcorp and Sonangol have made the final investment decision (FID) for the construction of a full conversion Cabinda refinery in Angola on the Malembo plain. Gemcorp signed a contract with state-owned Sonangol to build the 60,000 b/d capacity refinery. Phase 1 is expected to include a 30,000 b/d CDU with a desalter, kerosene treatment and ancillary infrastructures including a conventional buoy mooring system, pipelines, and storage facility for over 1.2 million barrels. It is due to be commissioned in Q1-Q2 2022. Phase 2 and 3 will upgrade the plant to a full conversion refinery with additional 30,000 b/d capacity, a new catalytic reformer, hydrotreater and catalytic cracking unit.

** The Ministry of Hydrocarbons of Guinea has signed a memorandum of understanding with logistics firm United Mining Supply to set up an oil refinery. UMS has said it will carry out a feasibility study to construct a refinery in Moribayah.

** Africa Finance Corporation, or AFC, has signed an agreement with Brahms Oil Refineries Ltd. to co-develop a refinery and storage terminal in Guinea. AFC will work on the development and subsequent financing of a petroleum storage and associated refinery project in Kamsar, Guinea. This will include a 12,000 b/d modular refinery, a 76,000 cu m crude oil storage terminal, a 114,200 cu m storage terminal for refined products, and ancillary transportation infrastructure. Guinea currently has no refineries.

** The construction of Republic of Congo's Atlantic Petrochemical Refinery project has begun. The government signed a deal with China's Beijing Fortune Dingsheng Investment Co. Ltd., or BFDI, to construct a 2.5 million mt/year refinery in the port city of Pointe Noire. The Chinese company is also keen on launching a petrochemical complex in the country. The African oil producer currently has only one refinery, the 27,000 b/d CORAF plant, which is also located in Pointe Noire.

** The Cameroon government is looking to build a new refinery in the southern port city of Kribi with a capacity of 4 million mt/year after operations at its sole refinery in Limbe were crippled due to a major fire in 2019. Kribi has been chosen as the site as it is already home to the country's main crude export terminal.

** Uganda expects its new Albertine Graben refinery to be launched in 2024 but in the meantime is exploring options on how to fund its 40% stake in the facility. The Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, led by Italy's Saipem, owns the remaining 60% in the refinery. A final investment decision for the new plant is expected in 2022. The FID was initially planned for 2019, while the completion of the refinery was expected in 2023.

** Equatorial Guinea's 5,000 b/d modular oil refinery project at Punta Europa is expected to receive an FID in Q1 2022. The government is hoping to build two modular refineries in the country, one at the Punta Europa complex on Bioko Island, and the other at Cogo on the mainland.

** Benin is looking to launch the construction of a new refinery. A committee will look at the feasibility studies for the project and will also analyze the market prospects until 2030. The project will be developed as a public-private partnership.

** Russian state development bank VEB has signed investment cooperation deals with African organizations on financing a refinery in Morocco. The memorandum on the oil refinery in Morocco was signed with the Russian Export Group and Morocco's MYA Energy, part of the Marita Group. The refinery has a planned capacity of up to 5 million mt/year. Morocco's sole refiner Samir was forced to halt processing at the Mohammedia plant in 2015 after crude oil deliveries were delayed due to financial problems. Since then attempts to resume operations or find an investor have been unsuccessful.

** A consortium of Russian investors is planning a $4 billion project for a new refinery in Northern Zambia at the site of the country's aging state-owned Indeni plant.

** Russian state-owned exploration company Rosgeologia is considering building the Red Sea Coast refinery in Port Sudan, which would supply landlocked countries in Africa. Sudan had begun discussions to develop a 200,000 b/d refinery on its Red Sea coast. The project's timeline has not yet been disclosed.

The only refinery currently operating in the country is the Khartoum, after the Port Sudan refinery closed in 2013 and was decommissioned.

** Ghana's ministry of energy is in the process of submitting a proposal to build a new refinery in Tema. It will replace the 45,000 b/d Tema Oil Refinery. Separately, the government has set its sights on building a 150,000 b/d refinery in Takoradi.