A petrol tank containing approximately 7 million litres of petrol at South Africa-based Engen Petroleum's refinery (Enref) exploded after it was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm on Monday 19 November.
The refinery, which had been running at 115,000 bpd capacity, is now back to normal capacity of 150,000 barrels a day after output had been scaled down to 75% as a precaution during the fire.
Engen estimated the total loss from the fire, including the crude product in the tank, at 120 million rand (12 million).
The refinery lost around half a day's production. The Enref facility is the second-largest plant in the country and produces about 20% of South Africa's daily output. 'That means the country has lost about 10% of one day's production,' Enref manager Willem Oosthuizen says.
The replacement value of the destroyed tank has been estimated at 60-80 million rand. The value of the petrol lost was between 20-40 million rand. Early indications were that about half the petrol in the tank has been drained off and saved.
An analysis of air samples by an independent toxicologist is underway.
The company hopes to expand its facilities into the area to be vacated when Durban airport moves to La Mercy, north of the city, in 2010.