"There is a need to utilise the site to expand capacity of the Durban port," Mkhize said in his state of the province address.
The old Durban International Airport was decommissioned in May when the new King Shaka International Airport was opened and questions have arisen over the use of the old airport’s site.
Mkhize said the petro-chemical hub would be a logical expansion of existing facilities, such as the oil refineries.
"A full report on the progress of this matter will be presented by the steering committee to the political principals at the end of February," he said.
KwaZulu-Natal needed the investment to create jobs and grow the economy, the premier said.
Mkhize said the rest of the property would be made available for the long-planned expansion of the automotive supplier park to produce vehicle components.
"This necessitates a reconfiguration of the car terminal at the port "another opportunity for investment", he said.