CEF Partners with Aramco for New Refinery

South Africa’s Central Energy Fund (CEF) and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco are working together to establish a long-term investment and partnership in energy.

The Central Energy Fund (CEF) and the world’s largest oil company, Aramco, have partnered to construct a 300,000 barrel per day crude oil refinery and petrochemical plant in Richard’s Bay, South Africa.

The $10 billion development will be South Africa’s largest refinery and will be funded through a combination of loans and equity. A pre-feasibility study is set to be completed next month and a detailed feasibility study will follow where final designs and capital cost estimates will be submitted.

CEF’s Acting Group Chief Executive Kholly Zono said that the refinery is expected to be operational by 2028.

“This refinery will not only increase capacity for South Africa but also the region,” he said, adding that it would be funded through a mix of debt and equity.

The new refinery will be designed to refine various types of crude and produce fuel compliant with South Africa’s looming clean fuels regulations based on the European emission standards.

The refinery is anticipated to reduce South Africa’s need for refined product imports and strengthen Saudi Arabia’s position in South Africa’s oil sector. 40% of the crude oil consumed in South Africa is supplied by the Gulf kingdom, which is a net importer of petroleum products globally.