Mestosync Energy, a black-owned and controlled company, has announced a plan to build a crude oil mega-refinery and petrochemical industrial complex at Coega in the Eastern Cape. The project will produce 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is estimated to cost $15bn. The government has, for more than a decade, flagged the need for new fuel-refining capacity to reduce the country’s growing reliance on fuel imports. However, a state initiative also earmarked to be located at Coega, Project Mthombo, has so far failed to get off the ground because of the high cost. Executive chair of Mestosync, Loyiso Nkantsu, said the company has recently been issued a manufacturing licence by the department of energy in terms of the Petroleum Products Act, and are in discussions with critical stakeholders, potential partners, and funders. He said he expected financial negotiations, which are at a sensitive stage, to be concluded by the end of November. The directors of Mestosync include Nkantsu; Mpumele...

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