25 April 2013
Global energy group BP has announced a more than R5-billion (US$540-million) investment in South Africa and Mozambique over the next five years, the bulk of which will go to South Africa, saying the move was a vote of confidence in the country as an investment destination.
Addressing journalists in Johannesburg on Tuesday, BP Group chief executive for refining and marketing Iain Conn said the company would invest R2.5-billion of the total in upgrading the Sapref refinery it shares with Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Durban in order to meet the cleaner fuels specifications that the government will be introducing in 2017.
According to Engineering News, BP will also invest R1-billion on new fuel terminals in South Africa and Mozambique, and R2-billion on upgrading and expanding its retail network, including a partnership with retailer Pick n Pay to open 120 Pick n Pay Express stores on its forecourts countrywide.
According to Moneyweb, BP will also be partnering with the National Empowerment Fund to help previously disadvantaged South Africans to own BP outlets.
Conn said the investment plan was a sign of BP’s growing confidence in South Africa as an attractive investment destination and in the policy direction the country was taking.
“We are encouraged by the progress being made in South Africa and Mozambique to establish an environment of policy certainty and continuity for all economic activity,” Conn said.
He added that the South African government’s National Development Plan (NDP), a a policy blueprint for sharply reducing poverty and inequality in South Africa by 2030, was “robust enough and contains the pragmatism and realism required to address South Africa’s major socioeconomic challenges”.