Engen threatens to shut Durban refinery – report

2011-11-04 08:32

Engen Petroleum has threatened to pull out of its Durban refinery after pressure from government, which wants the plant to sort out its air pollution problems, The Mercury newspaper reported.

A government delegation led by environmental MEC Lydia Johnson and eThekwini Municipality mayor James Nxumalo visited the refinery this week.

The officials served a legal notice on the refinery to clean up or face prosecution.

The newspaper reported that Engen CEO Ahmad Nazim Salleh was not happy with the visit, which he believed portrayed his company in a bad light.

“If this persists, it may well undermine all our efforts to earn the right to operate the refinery. Do we continue with the refinery as part our business? This is an option our majority shareholders have been debating for a while and is receiving careful consideration,” the paper quoted Salleh as saying in an internal communication.

The government delegation visited the refinery following a number of fires and explosions.

Last month, a section of the refinery caught fire, forcing the company to evacuate staff. The refinery processes 30% of South Africa’s liquid fuels.

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