Mbabane: South Africa has implemented diesel rationing, as demand recovered more quickly than expected after lockdown
The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) confirmed on 26 May that there is inadequate stock of diesel in the country.
According to a statement by SAPIA “since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the transition from Alert Level 5 to Alert Level 4, the opening of the economy has resulted in a more rapid recovery than expected and has been a dramatic increase in demand for diesel”.
SAPIA said “Stock rationing is been implemented to manage demand and to preserve stock. Unplanned shutdowns were a contributing factor which led to this and the shortage. It is likely to continue until the end of May”.
“Both refineries in Durban are currently starting up and on spec production is expected by month end. Diesel supply will then normalize”, reads the statement.
More than half of South Africa’s refining capacity was shut amid the lockdown, which started March 27, that restricted activity to essential services curbed demand.
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.