Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says his department will soon convene meetings with oil companies to ensure alternative supply arrangements are put in place, considering some fuel shortages are expected from Astron Energy's Milnerton refinery.
Mantashe notes in a statement issued on July 3 that he was briefed by Astron’s CEO about the incident that occurred early on the morning of July 2, when a fire broke out at the Milnerton refinery, in the Western Cape.
The incident that occurred on site left two workers dead and seven injured.
Astron said some impact on fuel was expected, but assured that it would not be as severe as expected since the refinery had already been shut down prior to the incident.
Astron is planning to import refined products and will also rely on other oil companies to supply the market in the meantime.
Further, Mantashe expressed his condolences to the families of the two workers who lost their lives in the accident and also wished the seven workers who were injured from the accident a speedy recovery.
The CEO explained to the Minister that the refinery was starting up following a planned maintenance shutdown when the incident occurred.
Mantashe confirmed that the Department of Labour and Employment’s inspectors were on site to investigate the incident, while Astron also confirmed that it was investigating the incident.