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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Massive explosion rocks South African oil refinery in Durban

A massive fire rages at South Africa’s second largest refinery Engen in south of Durban, after an explosion rocked the facility at about 7am on Friday, it was not yet clear whether there had been injuries or deaths.

South African’s Advanced Life Support paramedic Garrith Jamieson said the explosion was heard about 25km away in Durban.

“All emergency personnel are en route to the refinery. From the pictures and videos it seems that some sort of tanker has exploded,” he said.

An Engen spokesman said the company would issue a statement later. Engen is majority owned by Malaysia’s Petronas.

According to Engen’s website, the Durban plant has a crude refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day (bpd).

It was not immediately clear whether there had been any impact on the refinery’s production.

Africa’s most industrialised economy has six refineries, four using crude oil and two synthetic fuel as feedstock. It is a net importer of petroleum products.

The country’s third-biggest crude oil refinery, a 100,000 bpd facility operated by Astron Energy in Cape Town, was also rocked by an explosion earlier this year.

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