SA’s largest oil refinery shut down due to civil unrest

By Paul Burkhardt

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s biggest oil refinery, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and BP known as Sapref, shut down because of safety concerns and logistical issues.

The 180,000 barrel-a-day facility was closed “due to the ongoing civil unrest and disruption of delivery and supply routes in and out of the KwaZulu-Natal Province,” the company said in an emailed response to questions. “This decision was taken after careful consideration of risks involved including the safety of our people” as well as operating without confirmed supply to the plant, it said.

Widespread looting and violence in Africa’s most industrialised nation has resulted in blocked roads and delays. Sasol, a chemical and fuel maker in South Africa reported disruptions to customer product deliveries, Sapref said.

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