Oil-rich Angola to stop importing when new refinery opens
Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009
Angola's state oil company plans to stop importing refined crude within two years once its new refinery is up and running, state media reported Monday.
Plans for a second refinery in the coastal town of Lobito have been in the cards for more than 10 years. But work has now finally begun and according to the daily newspaper Jornal de Angola, "Sonangol intends to stop importing petrol and diesel within the next two years."
Despite vying with Nigeria to be Africa's biggest oil producer, Angola ironically has to import 60 percent of its gasoline because its existing refinery cannot satisfy national demand.
Additional logistical problems like bad roads and heavy traffic jams in the capital Luanda impacts on distribution and leads to shortages at petrol pumps. Long lines of more than 20 cars are a permanent fixture at many stations.
Expected to cost eight billion dollars (six billion euros) -- double the original estimate -- the new refinery will be linked to new roads and a marine-offloading facility to help speed up distribution around the country.
According to Sonangol, it will create eight thousand direct and indirect jobs during the construction period, with the refinery itself employing around eight hundred people.