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LAVUMISA OIL REFINERY IN PIPELINE

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MBABANE – Entrepreneurs and job seekers will benefit from a new refinery project in Lavumisa.


Lavumisa is a port of entry for traffic between Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa and the country.
The oil refinery is set to be constructed by USA Fuels, a member of the USA Holding group of companies. This company has been operating in the country for more than 20 years.


If the permission to operate the oil refinery is awarded to USA Fuels, local civil contractors stand to be contracted as per the Construction Industry Council’s regulations.


Attain


It seeks to attain the authorisation for a proposed oil refinery project to be located in Lavumisa, approximately 3 kilometre (kms) from the border alongside the MR8 and railway line.


The proposed oil refinery will be developed in phases from an initial 15 000 barrels per day to 120 000 barrels of refined oil per day.
This is anticipated to materially assist in providing the country with progressive independence from imported refined fuel and petrochemicals, while also generating the capacity to export fuel and petrochemicals.


This project is envisaged to support the sustainable economic and social development of the country.
The company (USA Fuels) noted that it was committed to implementing the project in an environmentally sound manner and in accordance with the country’s regulatory requirements.


“As such, a project brief will shortly be prepared and submitted to the Eswatini Environment Authority (EEA) in accordance with the Environmental Audit, Assessment and Review Regulations, 2000.”
Due to the nature of the project, the company anticipated that it would be registered as a Category 3 project, requiring a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.


This shall be parallel to a compilation of a Comprehensive Mitigation Plan informed by the Impact Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement.
Prior to the formal scoping process, which will be part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study, USA Fuels released a  notification seeking to invite interested and affected parties to communicate with Julian Mlangeni of ESMS Environmental and Social Consultants - for any comments and concerns that might arise regarding the proposed project.  The contact details are as follows:


Email: esms@swazi.net   
Tel.: (+268) 2416 2589   
Cell (+268) 7602 3664
Meanwhile, this would not be the only oil refinery as there is another at Phuzamoya that is being constructed. Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Peter Bhembe, early in the year said the ministry would sign a contract with a Taiwanese company.
Awarded
The oil reserves at Phuzumoya were said to be worth E900 million when the first contract was awarded, without being tendered for. When it was enquired from the minister on what was the status of the reserves, Bhembe said: “Currently, we are reviewing the designs of the oil refinery.” Bhembe could not state the value of the take-over by the Taiwanese company.
He said until the review and drawing of the designs were complete, it was impossible to know the cost of the whole project. Further, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Natural Resources Principal Secretary, Winnie Stewart, Kantey & Templer Swaziland (Pty) Ltd agreements on the development of the strategic oil reserve facility at Phuzumoya with government has lapsed.
“The ministry would like to inform the public and all entities locally and internationally that the Government of Eswatini has no contractual relationship with Kantey & Templer Swaziland (Pty) Ltd on the development of the Strategic Oil Facility Project.”
Risk
Stewart said all agreements or contracts between Kantey & Templer Swaziland (Pty) Ltd and government had lapsed; therefore, any person engaging Kantey and Templer on the Strategic Oil Reserve Facility at Phuzumoya was doing so at their own risk.
Kantey & Templer Swaziland (Pty) Ltd had been contracted to build a ‘Strategic Oil Reserve’ at Phuzumoya in the Lubombo Region. It was to store up to 170 million litres of fuel.
In October 2013, His Majesty King Mswati III officially launched the construction of the project at a sod cutting ceremony.
He said at the time, ‘The project that I bring to you today is one that is geared into transforming lives and take the entire region into higher heights.’

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