Cape Town, 13 April 2010 – PetroSA, South Africa’s National Oil Company, will this week start borehole drilling work, as part of a geo-technical investigation at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), the proposed site of the Port Elizabeth crude oil refinery.
The purpose of the borehole drilling is to ascertain the underlying geological structure of the area and will provide valuable data for possible future civil design work. Close to 110 holes of varied depths will be drilled in Zones11 and 6 of the Coega IDZ site. The drilling will last for a period of about six months.
Vukani Khulu, PetroSA’s Business Integration Manager, has cautioned that the drilling was not an indication that a decision has been taken to build the refinery.
“This is purely exploratory work and is primarily aimed at ascertaining the geological structure of the area. Before we undertake anything a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study would need to be done. It is also important to note that the site is not being cleared for construction, but for the exploratory work,” he said.
PetroSA intends to commission a full EIA study of the IDZ refinery site once approval has been obtained from Government to continue to the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) of the project. Leading South African scientific and research foundation, the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been appointed to conduct the EIA study, which will run parallel to the FEED phase of the project.
The Coega refinery is one of the most important investment projects to be undertaken by a South African company. It is estimated that the project will generate about 27 500 jobs during construction and over 18 000 vacancies during operation, due to the direct and indirect impacts of the refinery. These are much-needed jobs that are important for the regeneration and sustainability of the Eastern Cape economy.
A final investment decision on the refinery will be taken in 2012.
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