Firefighters work to extinguish a fire started by an explosion at the Engen oil refinery in Durban, December 4 2020. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire started by an explosion at the Engen oil refinery in Durban, December 4 2020. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD

The department of mineral resources & energy says it will conduct an assessment of petroleum products supply after  a fire at SA's second-largest crude oil refinery.

The 120,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Engen refinery in Durban, majority-owned by Malaysia's Petronas, ceased operations as investigations started into the cause of the fire on Friday. All units were shut down. Engen said it was taking measures to ensure security of supply.

The fire did not cause any injuries and an investigation was under way, the company said on Saturday.

The refinery shutdown comes at a crucial time as SA looks to kick-start an economy hit  by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) warned in May that the country was facing a diesel shortage due to a spike in demand as restrictions on movement eased.

SA is a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products, with the market consuming 11,142-million litres of petrol and 12,539-million litres of diesel in 2018, according to the SAPIA.

In July, the country's third-biggest crude refinery, Astron Energy's 100,000 bpd plant, was hit by an explosion that killed two people and injured several others. The plant remains out of commission.

Reuters 

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