Newly-elected Sapia chairman Hannes Botha says more than R10 billion will have to be invested in the next three years to ensure local refineries can produce unleaded petrol.

Newly-elected Sapia chairman Hannes Botha says more than R10 billion will have to be invested in the next three years to ensure local refineries can produce unleaded petrol.

The Sasol Oil managing director was elected as chairman of the South African Petroleum Industry Association this week.

He succeeds Caltex chairman Dana Flanders and is the ninth oil company chief to chair the industry association since its establishment in July 1994. Simphiwe Mehlomakulu, a general manager of PetroSA, is the new vice-chairman.

Botha explained that the local refineries must be upgraded to produce unleaded petrol and low sulphur diesel that was required to be marketed by 2006. He said if these investments were not made the country would have to import the required product at a cost of both local jobs and foreign exchange.

“Ensuring the viability of the local industry is going to be the biggest task facing me in my year as Sapia chairperson,” he said.

He also said that the Bill to amend the Petroleum Products Act was expected to be tabled in Parliament early in the year, and this Bill was expected to have an important impact on the way the industry was regulated. He expected the new Act to improve the clarity and predictability of government regulation.

“2003 will again be a year of many challenges for the industry and for reinforcing the strong foundation of open communication, co-operation, and effective delivery that has been established with the Ministry of Minerals & Energy.

Original article from Car