Home News News around Africa Explosion Rocks South African Oil Refinery Leaving Casualties
News around Africa - December 4, 2020

Explosion Rocks South African Oil Refinery Leaving Casualties

Local emergency services have revealed that an explosion rocked South Africa’s second-largest crude oil refinery in Durban today, injuring seven people.

Engen, which operates the plant and is majority-owned by Malaysia’s Petronas, said the fire broke out at about 0510 GMT and was extinguished by 0645 GMT.

“I saw a massive fireball at the centre of the refinery with thick black smoke billowing from it. A few minutes later many vehicles passed by my home,” Durban resident Shane Lloyd Pretorius told Reuters.

There was no clear extent of damage or impact on production at the 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery.

Those injured are in stable condition, Robert McKenzie, spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal emergency medical services, said.


In a statement, Engen said the cause of the fire was under investigation. It made no mention of injuries and said that later it would provide another update.

Several fire engines spraying foam on the affected part of the refinery were seen by a Reuters witness at the scene, as well as ambulances, metropolitan police and national police standing by.

There are six refineries in Africa’s most industrialised country, four using crude oil and two using synthetic fuel as feedstock. It is a net petroleum products importer.

The third-largest crude oil refinery in the world, a 100,000 bpd facility owned in Cape Town by Astron Energy, also suffered an explosion earlier this year.

Shell and BP South African Petroleum Refineries’ (SAPREF) top producer, which is also located in Durban and is a joint venture between BP and Shell, said the Engen facility incident had no effect on its operations.

The Engen Refinery and SAPREF are part of a big petrochemical centre close to Durban’s port on the east coast.

Leave a Reply

Check Also

The Continuous Wealth Decline of Patrice Motsepe: A Further Loss of $100 Million

Patrice Motsepe, South African billionaire,  continues to face financial setbacks as his n…