Jonas insists Mthombo project crucial to East Cape development.
Project Mthombo, PetroSA’s planned refinery at Coega, Nelson Mandela Bay, remains a fundamentally crucial component to the Eastern Cape’s development strategy, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said yesterday.
This was after it emerged this week that a planned fuel retail deal between PetroSA and Malaysian oil company Petronas had collapsed after the South African company failed to produce a convincing business case and the Treasury raised concerns that the parastatal’s balance sheet was not strong enough to carry the debt.
The R18-billion deal would have seen PetroSA take control of Engen.
The Treasury’s concerns about PetroSA’s financial muscle raised questions about whether it could afford its ambitious oil refinery at Coega.
Concerns raised by the Treasury about PetroSA’s balance sheet were not the reason the fuel retail deal collapsed, Jonas said yesterday.
– Cindy Preller
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