Three Port Elizabeth businessmen are the brains behind a mooted $15 billion crude oil refinery and petrochemical complex at the Coega special economic zone.
The sod-turning ceremony for the project is set for 2022.
The three people heading the venture are Pasco Dyani, former president of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union; Mpumelelo Tshume, the former CEO of PetroSA and the South African National Oil Company; and Loyiso Nkantsu, former leader of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc).
The three are directors of Mestosync Energy, the company undertaking the project.
When fully operational the oil refinery is estimated to produce 400 000 barrels of crude oil a day.
In an interview with City Press Nkantsu, who is the Mestosync Energy chairperson, said they had been granted a licence by the energy department to operate a refinery and a petrochemical industrial complex.
“Feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments have all been completed and we have had the necessary negotiations with the Coega special economic zone. We will be breaking ground within the next 24 months,” said Nkantsu.
Asked where funding of such a huge investment would come from, Nkantsu said: “We are about to finalise funding negotiations.
“In fact, by the end of this year, everything regarding the funding model of the project will be in place.”
Nkantsu said such a big amount was needed for this project because they would be looking for more land as there would be downstream industries for petro-chemical products.
He declined to reveal the investors, saying “it’s confidential”.
The Coega Development Corporation confirmed it was aware of the project but referred any queries to the energy department.
Efforts to get comment from the energy department were futile.
The Coega special economic zone was the chosen site for the Mthombo Project – an oil refinery mooted in 2013.
Mthombo was driven by PetroSA but, because of poor finance and governance, the project appears to be on hold.