PetroSA Seeks Acquisition to Hit S. Africa Fuel-Sale Goal

PetroSA, South Africa’s state oil company, is looking for an acquisition target as it pursues a goal of supplying a quarter of the fuel needs in the continent’s largest economy by 2020, from about 5 percent now.

“We’ve got an aspiration to enter into the downstream market by way of an acquisition,” Chief Executive Officer Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo told reporters in Johannesburg today at a strategic update presentation by the company. “How we do that is something that is not yet completely defined. We would love to acquire one of the companies in this country.”

The state-owned company is considering buying a controlling stake in Engen Petroleum Ltd., the nation’s biggest fuel retailer, from Malaysian state oil producer Petroliam Nasional Bhd., people with knowledge of the matter said in July. Nokwe-Macamo didn’t identify any potential acquisition targets today.

PetroSA is making efforts to be a “leading energy company in Africa,” Nokwe-Macamo said. The Cape Town-based company also plans a $10 billion oil refinery with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) that will almost double the country’s capacity to process crude oil into fuels.

The feasibility study on the Mthombo refinery is expected to be finished at the end of 2014, with the next step being an engineering design study followed by an investment decision, she said.

Gas Supplies

Ensuring the supply of raw materials for the company’s Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids refinery is a key focus, Nokwe-Macamo said. PetroSA is drilling off the south coast of South Africa to supply the 45,000-barrel-a-day plant, which was running at about 50 percent capacity because of lower gas supply, Thabo Kgogo, vice president of operations, said in July.

PetroSA also plans to build an import terminal for liquefied natural gas on the south coast that could cost as much as $510 million.

The company will conduct due diligence on Engen for three to six months before deciding on a purchase from Petronas, as the Malaysian state oil and gas producer is known, the people with knowledge of the matter said in July, citing a speech to employees by Engen CEO Ahmad Nizam Salleh. Petronas holds 80 percent of Cape Town-based Engen and Pembani Group Ltd. the rest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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