South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa rations diesel as refinery shutdowns limit supply

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

After a lockdown to control the spread of devastating Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country was eased, South Africa has implemented diesel rationing, as demand recovered more quickly than expected.

Bloomberg reports that more than half of South Africa’s refining capacity was shut amid the lockdown, which started March 27, 2020, which restricted activity to essential services curbed demand.

Report indicates that Southern African nation eased those rules, and some industries were allowed to start operations in May.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association in a statement Tuesday, May 26 said: “The opening of the economy has resulted in a more rapid recovery than expected.”

It stressed that stock rationing has been implemented to manage demand and to preserve supplies, and is expected to continue to the end of this month.

Stockpiles of diesel are running low, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said in a reply to questions by the agency.

Unplanned equipment shutdowns were also a factor in the shortage, Sapia said.

The Engen Durban refinery restarted May 16 and the country’s biggest oil facility, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc known as Sapref, began to ramp up on May 18, 2020.

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