Sasol Ltd, SA’s largest fuel producer, declared force majeure on the supply of petroleum products due to delays in deliveries of crude to the Natref refinery it owns with TotalEnergies SE, leaving a fraction of the country’s fuel production capacity operational.
Natref, a 108,000 barrel a day plant, was forced to shut after the late oil shipments, the company said.
“Sasol Oil will not be in a position to fully meet its commitments for the supply of all petroleum products from July 2022,” the firm said.
The shutdown means SA’s entire oil refinery fleet is out of action after other facilities suspended production over the past two years. As a result, the country’s monthly petroleum product imports are set to as much as triple by next year from pre-pandemic levels, energy consultant Citac said in a report in May.
Only Sasol’s synthetic fuel operations, which use coal as a feedstock, remain fully operational, making up about a fifth of nationwide capacity.
A fire at the Engen oil refinery, which will be converted into a terminal, and an explosion at Glencore Plc’s Cape Town refinery, have rapidly curbed capacity.