In an effort to reduce reliance on imported fuels, private developers of Angola’s new $3.5 billion oil refinery are planning to start construction in early 2023 once the site is completely de-mined, officials at US led Quanten Consortium have said.

A shortage of oil refineries across sub-Saharan Africa coupled with soaring crude prices because of the war in Ukraine has left countries dangerously short of fuel supplies, disrupting airlines and causing motorist queues.

The 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery project, known as Soyo, is one of three new refineries planned for Africa’s second biggest crude oil producer that imports 80 percent of its refined products.

The cost includes all associated facilities such as roads, a 60–100-megawatt power plant and a marine terminal, said officials at the consortium which includes Cisco Systems and engineering firm KBR Inc.

Segun Thomas, managing partner at Quanten Consortium Angola, said: “What they are doing now is to make sure the place is landmine free for which we will get a certificate.”

Angola remains one of the world’s most heavily mined countries, deadly relics of a civil war that ended two decades ago, with over 100 million square metres of land affected and over 1,200 known or suspected minefields, according to the Mines Advisory Group.

Thomas said the refinery, which will be one of the few on the continent able to produce Euro-5 standard cleaner fuels, is expected to see first output in the last quarter of 2025.

Thomas added: “The Euro-5 standard mandates 10 parts per million for sulphur content, we are going to be at 5 ppm.”

Besides Soyo, Angola is also eyeing a new 200,000 bpd plant in Lobito, while factory acceptance tests of equipment for the first phase of the new Cabinda refinery were to be completed ahead of installation in the coming months, government officials said.

Angola is also upgrading the country’s sole 65,000 bpd refinery in the capital Luanda.

Diamantino Azevedo, minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, told a consultative meeting last week: “The work at the Luanda refinery, which mainly aims to quadruple the amount of petrol produced, is expected to be completed in June of this year.”

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21st June 2022