Cape Town - South Africa's dependence on imported petrol, diesel
and other liquid fuels is increasing, according to Energy Minister Dipuo
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled
on Tuesday, she said the country's refineries were not able to meet the
demand for such products.
"The importation of petroleum products to South Africa
is increasing annually. The country is a net importer and therefore
relies on foreign refineries to meet local demand."
Local refineries were currently operating at 80 to 90% of their capacity.
"However, even if they were operating at optimal
levels, they will still not be able to meet local demand for
petroleum... which has exceeded domestic supply," Peters said.
According to a table included in the reply, the volume
of imported petrol has increased from 2.09 billion litres in 2010, to
2.42 billion last year.
Diesel imports rose to 3.75 billion litres last year, from 2.57 billion litres the year before.
Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) imports rose from 3.75 million kilograms in 2010, to 19.67 million kilograms last year.
Peters said building a proposed new refinery at the
Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape would reduce the
country's dependence on imports.
"The development of the Mthombo Project, PetroSA's new
oil refinery initiative, is aimed, among other things, to reduce
reliance on foreign refineries, to meet local demand," she said.