The South African Petroleum Industry Association has applied for exemptions to the nation’s competition rules in order to “prevent and mitigate supply emergencies,” according to a government notice.
The exemptions to the Competition Act would allow joint planning around the scheduled shutdown of refineries and coordinate reactions to unplanned outages by members including Total SE, Royal Dutch Shell and Sasol, that own refineries in South Africa, Sapia, the industry lobby group, said in a Government Gazette notice published December 21.
More than 40% of South Africa’s crude-oil refining capacity has been shut this year by accidents that occurred, including one at a Glencore Plc unit’s refinery in Cape Town and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s Engen refinery in Durban.
Sapia has applied specifically for exemptions from “certain provisions” in Chapter 2 of the Competition Act, the notice said. It also requests that collective interactions between the industry and government be allowed. The lobby group didn’t immediately return emails seeking comment, while the Competition Commission said it would reply later.
“This exemption does not extend to the wholesale, commercial and retail trade of liquid fuels by Sapia members,” it said. It also doesn’t extend to members discussing prices, markets, tenders or competitive strategies.