Saudi Arabia is in talks to build an oil refinery in SA as part of a pledge to invest as much as $10bn in the economy. Joint studies for a refinery and petrochemical complex will be conducted by state oil giant Saudi Aramco and the Central Energy Fund, energy ministers from the two countries said in Pretoria on Friday. The negotiations mark a step forward in SA's plans to add a refinery, which it has been considering for about a decade. Saudi Arabia made its spending pledge last July as President Cyril Ramaphosa sought investment to revive a flagging economy. Although SA has struck previous agreements to develop a new refinery — including with China in 2011 — the project is yet to get off the ground. With Saudi Arabia supplying about 40% of SA’s crude, ties between the two countries are close. Energy minister Jeff Radebe has called for an increase in domestic refining to cut reliance on fuel imports. But the pending introduction of clean-fuel standards has, if anything, prompted ref...

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