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PetroSA can be rescued, says Central Energy Fund

The company is set to run out of gas and cash by 2022, and has decommissioning debt of R9.6 billion due to its failed Ikhwezi gas exploration project.

The PetroSA GTL refinery at Mossel Bay. Picture: petrosa.co.za

CAPE TOWN - The Central Energy Fund says it believes that PetroSA can be rescued and can play a greater role in the country's economy.

But in order to achieve that, it will require interventions from the fund and government.

The Central Energy Fund says it needs a new operating model.

Entities under its control have been bypassing the fund, leading to governance and compliance problems. It gets around 90% of its revenue from PetroSA.

But the company is set to run out of gas and cash by 2022, and has decommissioning debt of R9.6 billion due to its failed Ikhwezi gas exploration project.

Chairperson of the fund, Luvo Makasi, has acknowledged the project had been a failure due to poor planning.

“It appears that there was no evaluation done on the wells so we were exploring to fit the plant. “

He says once production problems have been sorted out, the company can be turned around.

PROBE

Two weeks ago, the Hawks in the Western Cape confirmed its investigating allegations of fraud and corruption at PetroSA.

It’s understood that several officials are accused of procurement corruption as well as nepotism and bribery.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said: “There’s an investigation that’s currently ongoing and the charges relate to fraud and corruption.”

The complaint was reportedly lodged by a community member at a police station in Mossel Bay.

The suspects allegedly fraudulently claimed grants from the sector’s training authority by submitting claims for ghost pupils.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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