Ramaphosa, Zanganeh Discuss Building Oil Refinery in S. Africa

Ramaphosa, Zanganeh Discuss  Building Oil Refinery in S. AfricaRamaphosa, Zanganeh Discuss  Building Oil Refinery in S. Africa

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh discussed the prospect of building an oil refinery with South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in Tehran on Sunday.

"Iran is ready to help build an oil refinery in South Africa with minimum contribution and on condition that it resumes the import of Iranian crude," Zanganeh said without elaboration, Shana reported.

Tehran wants the refinery to process Iranian oil on a long-term supply basis.

Last month, Tehran and Brasilia reached an agreement to build a crude refinery in Brazil under a similar framework.

Resuming oil export to Pretoria was also discussed with the South African envoy.

"Resuming crude supply will be the first step to boost relations with Pretoria after the lifting of sanctions," Zanganeh said, adding that Pretoria is also interested in buying petroleum products from Iran.

Tehran was once the biggest oil supplier to South Africa–Africa's most advanced economy—contributing around 25% of its total oil demand, or around 380,000 bpd. But Saudi Arabia overtook Iran as the biggest supplier in 2012 after the US and European Union imposed oil and trade restrictions on the Persian Gulf country.

Iran and six world powers reached a historic deal on July 14 in Vienna, which would limit the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program in return for removing sanctions on its energy and financial industries.

Ramaphosa is on a three-day visit to Tehran as part of an 80-strong trade delegation from South Africa to explore investment opportunities in Iran in the post-sanctions period.