Chemical conglomerate Sasol closed part of the Natref inland crude oil refinery in Sasolburg following an explosion early on Monday morning, which affected 14 people. Through its subsidiary Sasol Oil, the group owns 63.64% of Natref, with the remainder owned by Total SA. According to the 2015 South African Petroleum Industry Association annual report, Natref is the fourth-largest of SA’s six refineries and has a capacity of 108,000 barrels a day. Since January 2016, the refinery has been producing low-sulphur diesel graded as 50 parts per million. It also produces a number of other products, including petrol, jet fuel and liquid petroleum gas. Sasol said the explosion occurred at about 7.45am near the plant’s hydrogen compressors and resulted in a fire that was extinguished by 8.45am. Eight people were treated for shock, three for dust inhalation and three for minor injuries. Commentators on social media said the blast was heard and felt in Vereeniging, about 30km away. Sasol said o...

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