Most refineries in Africa are back online.
Chad’s Ndjamena refinery, in Djarmaya, 30 km (17 miles) from the capital, is providing regular daily shipments of butane, and combined with imports the supply is sufficient to cover domestic demand, according to local media report. There have been some concerns about butane shortages, the report said.
The refinery suspended processing in March because of overproduction, local media reported at the time.
Meanwhile, jet fuel exports from the Midor refinery in Alexandria fell 31% month on month to 32,960 mt in July, latest company data showed, as domestic demand increased as Egypt reopened its borders to international flights after a three-month suspension to contain the spread of coronavirus.
There were no exports of other oil products by the refinery in the month, and company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Egypt has received 126,000 tourists since reopening its seaside resorts to foreign tourists on July 1 after a three-month hiatus, Xinhua reported. “Tourism is one of the main sources of national income and foreign currency in Egypt. The country’s tourism revenues hit a record high of $13 billion in 2019,” Xinhua noted.
Midor supplied 103,049 mt of gasoline to state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation in July, up 60% from June, and the second straight month that sales to Egypt’s domestic supplier of motor fuel increased after movement restrictions were eased in June.
Driving activity in Egypt surged to around 40% above baseline levels in July from 20-30% below baseline levels in June, according to mobility data from Apple.
“There was the Eid al-Adha holiday around the end of July; people would have been traveling around during that long holiday,” one industry participant said.
** Zambia’s Indeni refinery is unlikely to carry out maintenance till at least 2022 after repair work was carried out earlier in 2020. Normally, the plant is shut every year for repair work as it needs to maintain the regeneration of the reforming catalyst. The 1970s-built refinery needs rehabilitation, and the government has been looking to sell it to private investors. Five companies had been shortlisted but the process was stalled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
** Tema Oil Refinery is offline, having run through its reserves of crude again, a source close to the matter said Aug. 6. The plant has been running at levels of 25,000-30,000 b/d recently. The CDU currently only has one furnace and was until recently operating at around the 25,000-30,000 b/d level. The source also said that the residual fluid catalytic cracker has been down for a few months. The plant has been hit by several issues over the past few years, experiencing intermittent outages at its CDU and FCC units.
** South Africa’s Cape Town refinery remains offline and the company continues to import products. It is “too early to determine” when it can resume full operations, Astron Energy said in a statement. The refinery, previously known as Caltex, which has been undergoing maintenance since February, halted production after an explosion and fire broke out at the facility early in the morning of July 2. Traders said it likely came amid works to restart operations at the facility.
** Nigeria is racing to upgrade its four ailing refineries after the coronavirus pandemic is likely to delay repair works, officials at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said. NNPC was hoping to raise operating capacity at the facilities to their full capacity of 445,000 b/d by 2022 and end gasoline imports by then, but this looks tricky now. Nigeria’s refineries, which include the northern Kaduna refinery, Warri refinery and the two plants located in Port Harcourt, have all been shut, with repairs initially planned to start in the second-quarter. NNPC, which manages the refineries, first shut the two refineries in Port Harcourt in March 2019 after it secured the service of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont to handle the overhaul of the facilities, with oil major Eni appointed as technical adviser. The other two refineries — the 125,000 b/d Warri refinery and 110,000 b/d Kaduna refinery — were shut in December 2019.
** The refinery in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, will go into turnaround in 2021, but dates have not been finalized.
** Sudan’s Khartoum refinery is set to carry out works from around mid-September, CITAC Africa reported. The works will last around 75 days.
** Cameroon’s Limbe refinery, which suffered from a fire at the end of May 2019, remains offline, according to sources. Local media reported the restart is not expected until 2021. During a Russia-Africa summit officials said that Russian companies could get involved in the reconstruction of the plant.
** Libya’s Zawiya oil refinery has been forced to shut as domestic oil output has plunged due to a blockade which began on January 18, state-owned National Oil Corp. said. Both CDUs, each with 60,000 b/d capacity, have been affected. In late December, the refinery was the target of an air strike, but the refinery has been operating at around 60,000 b/d over the past six months, with only one of its crude distillation units operating.
** Libya’s Ras Lanuf remains offline without any timeline for its restart. The refinery was shut in 2013.
** TechnipFMC said it has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a new hydrocracker at Egypt’s Assiut refinery. The contract includes process units such as vacuum distillation, diesel hydrocracker, delayed coker, distillate hydrotreater and a hydrogen production facility, as well as interconnection. It will transform lower value products into approximately 2.8 million mt/year of cleaner products, such as Euro 5 diesel. Egypt is in the process of upgrading its refineries. The upgrade at Assiut 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, Platts has reported previously. Separately, the expansion program at Egypt’s state-owned Middle East Oil Refinery near Alexandria, is on track for 2022, which will push capacity to 160,000 b/d. Once the revamp is complete, the refinery will produce Euro 5 specification refined products.
** The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a $50 million loan for an upgrade of Egypt’s Suez refinery aimed at introducing cleaner fuel and reducing CO2 emissions. It was the second loan by EBRD, which aims to “increase the flexibility of the plant’s crude intake and allow for the production of higher quality fuels and lower sulfur fuels.”
** Italy’s Kinetics Technology has been awarded a contract to build a fluid catalytic cracker at Angola’s sole oil refinery in Luanda. The unit would take around two and half years to complete. Sonangol is working with Eni for the refurbishment of the Luanda plant. The construction of the fluid catalytic cracker at the Luanda refinery will enable it to produce 1,200 mt/day of gasoline, up from current output of 380 mt/day. The unit is expected to come online mid-2021.
** Cote d’Ivoire’s SIR has secured a Eur577 million ($657 million) debt financing deal from Africa Finance Corporation, or AFC, which will help fund the upgrade of the refinery.
** Senegal’s Dakar refinery is planning to increase capacity to 1.5 million mt/year.
** Algerian state-owned Sonatrach expects to commission the Hassi Messaoud refinery in the second half of 2024, a slight delay to the previous timeline, the country’s energy minister Abdelmadjid Attar told S&P Global Platts on July 29. Construction launched at the beginning of the year, and when complete, the refinery will increase Algeria’s crude oil processing capacity to 31 million mt/year, Attar said. Sonatrach has contracted with Spanish and South Korean consortium Technicas Reunidas-Samsung Engineering to build the new Hassi Messaoud refinery. The consortium had been expected to deliver the refinery in the first half of 2024. Attar, a former Sonatrach CEO who was named energy minister in June, said the state company has also finalized front-end engineering and design studies for two projects at the Skikda refinery: a fuel cracker for diesel production and a naphtha processing unit for gasoline production. However, Attar said investment decisions on refinery projects in Biskra and Tiaret would not be made before 2025, as Algeria reviews its long-term energy strategy. Attar’s predecessor, Mohamed Arkab, had announced in June that the Tiaret refinery would be launched in 2022. 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. Technical, architectural and land development studies had been completed for the facilities in 2017.
** Commissioning of the Bentiu refinery, South Sudan, which was slated to start operation late last year, has been delayed as engineers were evacuated from the site due to fears of an escalation of the pandemic, Daniel Chuang, undersecretary in the ministry of petroleum, said July 20. Safinat, the main investor and implementer of the Bentiu refinery project in South Sudan, said earlier this year that the refinery has not started yet. Construction at the refinery in the Unity oil field started in August 2013 and precommissioning and production began in 2014, although it was subsequently damaged during military action. Restoration works on the site started in December 2018 but it was dependent on assistance from the government to minimize risks. South Sudan officials had previously said they expected the refinery to be operational in 2019.
** The environmental study for Uganda’s proposed oil refinery is delayed after the country imposed a lockdown in March that minimized the movement of people, hampering the progress of the refinery earmarked to start operations in 2023, Robert Kasande, Uganda’s permanent secretary at the Ministry of Energy said. Uganda was supposed to start the environmental, social and impact assessment study for the refinery in March, as part of the requirement before negotiations over a final investment decision for the $3.5 billion project can take off. “The outbreak of the coronavirus has slowed down the progress, but since the lockdown is gradually being lifted, we shall soon resume work,” Kasande said. The front end engineering design study, a crucial component for the FID, is three-quarters completed and the company will spend $88 million to accomplish all that needs to be done before FID. Uganda’s government, through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, is discussing options on how to fund its 40% stake in this refinery. “We hope to reach some agreements in the last quarter of this year,” he said. The Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, led by Italy’s Saipem, owns the remaining 60% in the refinery. The refinery is expected to be funded using debt-to-equity.
** Benin is looking to launch the construction of a new refinery, according to a local media report. The project has been presented at the government meeting. 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. Apart from supplying the local market the refinery would also contribute to supplying other countries in the region.
** Angola’s new refinery project in the Cabinda province is expected to receive a final investment decision, with formal site construction set to begin in August, Gemcorp Capital said. Angola urgently needs to cut its reliance on imported fuels, and the government has been working to construct a new plant, along with expanding capacity at its existing refinery in Luanda. Gemcorp signed a contract with state-owned Sonangol in January to build the 60,000 b/d capacity refinery. The first phase of the Cabinda refinery project will complete by late 2021, starting with a capacity of 30,000 b/d, Gemcorp said in a statement. An additional 30,000 b/d of capacity will be added in a second phase, along with installation of a reformer that will convert straight run naphtha to gasoline. It also plans to add a hydrocracker by 2023. Gemcorp said the preliminary stage of construction, which comprised of land clearance and site preparation for 38 hectares of land along with the Front End Engineering and Design, is complete.
** The startup of the Dangote refinery in Lagos, Nigeria — set to be Africa’s largest — is likely to be delayed until late 2021, sources close to the matter said. Strict coronavirus lockdown measures in place in Lagos has had “some dampening effect on progress,” according to one source. “Management, however, have made maximum provisions to moderate this effect, while all attempts will made in future to recoup much of whatever time is lost now.” The refinery’s chief executive, Devakumar Edwin, previously said the plant would be ready by early 2021 and that it would reach full capacity within six months. But due to the lockdown measures, work has been affected and the launch date will be pushed back to later in the year, sources added. The startup date of this refinery has been repeatedly delayed, after the company first announced the project in 2013.
** Houston-based VFuels Oil & Gas Engineering will undertake a feasibility study for the launch of 5,000 b/d modular oil refinery at Punta Europa in Equatorial Guinea, the country’s ministry of mines and hydrocarbons said. Earlier, the country’s minister for mines and hydrocarbon Gabriel Obiang Lima said the country was hoping to build two modular refineries in the country, one at the Punta Europa complex located on Bioko Island, and the other at Cogo in the mainland. Equatorial Guinea planned to start construction of the two modular refineries, which are expected to eventually reach a capacity of at least 20,000 b/d, by the end of 2020.
** Angola’s oil ministry has postponed the announcement of the winner of the Soyo refinery tender due to the coronavirus outbreak. The winner of the tender for building the refinery will be announced after the coronavirus outbreak is controlled, according to local media reports. The company to build the new Soyo refinery was due to be announced in March. Out of 31 interested companies, 15 have submitted bids in a tender for the construction of Soyo, the country’s ANGOP news agency reported previously. Nine of the bids have been validated. The tender was launched in October. The refinery is 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 (BOT) 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. This also involves refurbishing the refinery in Luanda.
** Nigeria hopes to have its first modular oil refinery, built in the restive Niger Delta region, come on stream in May 2020, the oil ministry said. Modular refineries are crude oil processing facilities with capacities of up to 30,000 b/d and these are being built as part of plans to curb oil theft and promote peace in the country’s main oil producing region. According to the ministry, the Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema, in southern Imo state, will consume 5,000 b/d of crude in the first phase, producing gasoline and diesel. The plant’s production capacity will be subsequently increased to 25,000 b/d of crude and condensate and will produce in addition LPG, kerosene and aviation fuel.
** State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it hoped to take a final investment decision for its condensate refinery project by July 2020. NNPC signed the front-end engineering design for the construction of the plant — which will be located in the Niger Delta — with engineering firm KBR. NNPC is partnered in the project by indigenous oil producer Seplat Petroleum. 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.
** Africa Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with Brahms Oil Refineries Ltd to co-develop a refinery and storage terminal in the West African country. The deal means 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 and is entirely dependent on imports from neighboring Ivory Coast and Senegal for its fuel needs.
** Russian state development bank VEB has signed investment cooperation deals with African organizations including on financing a refinery in Morocco. The deals were signed during a Russia-Africa Summit. VEB said 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.
** Sonaref’s Joaquim de Sousa Fernandes, chairman of the executive council, said that the Lobito refinery in Angola is aimed for completion in 2025. The construction of the Lobito refinery has been frozen due to high costs. Sonangol has been under pressure to build a new refinery as it heavily depends on imports for its fuel requirements, but it canceled the Lobito project in 2016. It has indicated plans for building Lobito have been revived, for a 200,000 b/d plant.
** 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.
** 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.
** Kenya is hoping to decide soon on the location for a new refinery in either Lamu or Mombasa.
** 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 had set its sights on building a 150,000 b/d refinery in Takoradi.