Future options for the Enref refinery in Durban include closure in 2023 and conversion into fuel storage for product imports, according to local press reports.
According to media outlet The Mercury, suppliers to the 125,000 barrels-a-day refinery have been notified that closure is an option, as a result of low energy demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and narrow refining margins.
The Mercury quoted Engen spokesperson Gavin Smith as saying in a statement: ‘Despite an excellent track record of operational efficiency, our refinery continues to be negatively impacted by the external global refining environment.’
Smith also said that Engen had begun employee consultation over an investment plan to boost the facility’s import capabilities.
According to The Mercury, Engen has confirmed that it is considering several options relating to the future of the refinery, but no decision has been made.
Commissioned in 1954, Enref is South Africa’s third largest refinery.