South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih and Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi to study establishment of an oil refinery and a petrochemical complex as well, in the country.
The deal according to the President aims to strengthen joint cooperation between the Kingdom and South Africa in the fields of exploration, production, refining, storage, marketing, transportation and distribution of oil and gas; in addition to applying modern technologies in the oil and gas industry.
President”s US $100bn investment drive
The oil refinery and petrochemical complex will be under the supervision and cooperation of Saudi Aramco company and the South African National Oil company, in a location to be agreed upon between the two sides, later on.
Alongside the possible refinery and petrochemical project, Saudi Aramco will also investigate prospects for making commercial use of South Africa’s crude oil storage tanks in Saldanha Bay. Al-Falih said that the storage facility could provide a strategic location for Saudi Aramco in its trading of crude oil with regional off takers.
President Ramaphosa, acknowledged that the deal reaffirms the strength of trade, economic and diplomatic ties binding the two countries and efforts exerted to further enhance and consolidate them.
Both initiatives, if they materialize, will contribute to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pledge to invest US $10bn into the South African economy in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s US $100bn investment drive.