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Investors Watch As Zambia Decides On Refinery Sale

South Africa’s synfuels giant Sasol and India’s Essar Group are two of several companies known to be waiting in the wings, as the Zambian government takes a decision on selling stakes in the Indeni Refinery sometime in March 2010.

The government would also, on that date, decide whether to divest the refinery along with the 1,300km Tazama pipeline that brings crude from Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania.

Indeni Refinery has a capacity to refine around 1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of crude, but the current configuration allows separation of only diesel and LPG. The firm that gets the refinery will have to invest money, no less than $l50Million for refurbishing and augmenting refining capacity as its current configuration.

Sasol, which already converts imported gas from Mozambique to petrochemical products in South Africa, will use the refinery to further its petro-product footprint on the continent. Meanwhile, Essar, which has acquired the Mombasa refinery in nearby Kenya,  plans to use the refinery, one of the few inland refineries in Africa, to supply petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and even East Angola.

Currently, the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produced at the refinery goes to Kenya by road. Essar plans to take petroleum products instead of LPG to Mpulungu harbour in north Zambia, which is located on lake Tanganyika, and then supply it to countries such as Libya, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and some East African countries by ship as the lake connects all these countries.


Sudan, China, Discuss Refinery Expansion

Sudan’s oil minister Al-Zubair Ahmed Al-Hassan was in China for talks on Khartoum refinery expansion.

He discussed with Chinese officials an agreement to increase its production to 200,000 barrels per day instead of its current capacity of 100,000 bpd to meet the growing need of oil derivatives.

Sudan and the state firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) signed on November 17, 2009, an agreement on the second phase of the expansion of the refinery.

China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), a leading energy investor in Sudan and parent of Asia’s top oil and gas firm PetroChina, owns 50 percent of the refinery, which it built and operates. The Sudan government holds the rest.


Shell Nigeria Gas Connects New Customers

SHELL NIGERIA GAS LIMITED, THE GAS transmission/distribution arm of Shell in Nigeria, has added two more companies to its gas distribution network. Shell said that May&Baker, the drug manufacturer, and Nigerian Foundries Limited, both based in Ota, in the far west of Lagos, were recently connected to the company’s network. Nigerian Foundries Limited is the West African sub-region’s biggest foundry, while May&Baker Nigeria Plc. is one of Nigeria’s largest pharmaceutical companies, with increasing interests in the packaged foods market. Bayo Opadere SNG’s Managing Director, said the tying of the two companies “into our distribution network reflects Shell’s commitment to Nigeria’s industrial development”.


Winfield Resources to Build Oil Refinery in Mauritania

CANADIAN FIRM WINFIELD Resources Limited on Thursday said that Mauritania had granted it a licence to build an oil refinery with a capacity of300,000 barrels per day as part of a multi-billion dollar scheme.

“Our company has received this licence and is preparing the different stages of preparation in terms of investment, training Mauritian technical staff and the other required arrangements,” Winfield’s representative in Mauritania, Bouna Ould Hassen, told AFP.

The refinery proposal, with the start of construction due in six months, is part of a broader seven billion dollar (47 billion euro) investment programme that will also include a seawater desalination plant and an electric power plant for the oil installation.

“The surplus water and electricity will be sold locally and to countries in the region that express a need for them,” Ould Hassen said.

The licence to refine oil in the west African mainly desert nation, the latest producer on the continent, was only announced by Winfield Resources, which published a press release on its web site dated February 15, stating that the refinery was due to be built at the port of Nouakchott.

The Mauritanian government recently dismissed two senior civil servants — the director of legislation and the president of the national hydrocarbon fuels commission — for “non-respect of the law” in the case.


South Africa Petrol Price Rises to $1.2 Per Litre

THE RETAIL PRICE OF A CERTAIN GRADE OF petrol, in some part of South Africa, rose to $1.2 per litre in February 2008, a whopping 15% increase after moving up by 4% in January.

The wholesale price of diesel and 0,005 per cent sulphur increased by 10%. In the last one year, the price of diesel has jumped 55% to $1.1 25 per litre. The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin also increased by 10%, while the single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin increased by 12 percent. The prices are priced per litres The retail price of a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Gauteng increased to $1.2 per litre and to $1.1 per litre at the coast – new highs. During the period under review, the average international product prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin increased.


Transnet Gets The Nod For Durban To Gauteng Oil Pipeline

NATIONAL ENERGY REGULATOR OF South Africa (NERSA) has awarded a licence to Transnet Pipelines to build the new multi products pipeline Durban – Gauteng. The project cost is estimated at $400million by the company for the design, construction and commissioning. The on-line date is scheduled for the third quarter of 2010 by which time the existing pipeline will be short of capacity and will need to be supplemented by rail and road transportation. iPayipi consortium also applied for this project but its application was declined. Transnet owns, operates, manages and maintains a network of 3,000km of high pressure oil and gas pipelines in South Africa. The network traverses five provinces from Kwazulu—Natal to Gauteng.


Iranians To Invest In Zimbabwe Refinery

RASOUL MOMENI, IRANIAN ambassador to Zimbabwe, has spoken plans by his country’s government, to invest the Feruka oil refinery in Zimbabwe and bring it back on stream. The facility is connected by pipeline to the Mozambican port city of Beira. The report

Iran’s interest in the Feruka refinery comes on the heels of a declaration by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, that his country has dumped the West as investment allies. “We are looking to eastern countries for partnership, Mugabe said at a political rally. “We are working with Chinese, Indians, Indonesians and others”.


Kenya’s pipeline company plans regional expansion

KENYA’S MAIN PIPLLINE COMPANY plans regional expansion, targeting countries which are emerging from conflicts. The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has recorded a 300 percent rise in its pumping capacity, rising from 880,000 cubic meters to 3.5 million cubic meters in 2005, due to the unprecedented economic growth generated from the return to peace in Burundi and the relative calm in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Kenya exports refined oil products to 11 countries in the Great Lakes region but KPC’s inability to pump more fuel from Mombasa, where the country’s single crude oil refinery is based -from where transporters take it further inland into the region- has been constrained. KPC plans to rollout oil pipeline to six countries in the Eastern Africa region to offset high demand for petroleum products in the Great Lakes region. “We envisage that demand for petroleum products will increase further in the near future because of the increased economic activities in the neighboring countries which have an average growth of 5.8 percent,” KPC Managing Director George Okungu said in Nairobi.

Okungu said the east African nation would build new oil extension pipeline to act as a new alternative to the Sudanese oil pipeline, while extending its current reach to Kigali in Rwanda, a separate line to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Uganda. KPC has witnessed an unprecedented growth in its commercial operations due to the skyrocketing demand for petroleum products in the region. KPC, a state owned oil pipeline monopoly with the sole mandate to transport “white-oil products” released the company’s financial results of $300 million as dividends for the financial year 2003/04-2005 to the government in November 2006. Kenya plans to build a 1020 km crude oil pipeline extending from Kapoeta in Southern Sudan to its proposed inland free Port of Lamu, in addition to the signing of an oil exploration data exchange pact with Sudan. Kenya imports all oil products consumed in the country from the Middle East and efforts to import oil from Sudan in the past have been fruitless because of the East African nation’s inability to refine the heavy crude oil from the Southern Sudan oil fields. East African countries consume about 3.5 million tons of petroleum products. The importation of these products on average cost the economies of the region huge sums of money totaling 1 billion dollars; this is a total of 25 percent of all international import.

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