June 3, 2019 / 10:13 AM / 2 months ago

Cameroon's only oil refinery halted, four units damaged after fire

DOUALA, June 3 (Reuters) - Four units are down at Cameroon’s only refinery, but the shortage will be covered by imports starting on Tuesday, the energy minister said late on Sunday.

The 42,000 barrel-per-day Sonara refinery in Limbe <C}RO7309414019> declared a force majeure on Saturday after a tank exploded, causing a fire that halted output.

“Flames consumed four of the 13 production units, stopping all the Sonara refining process,” Minister of Water Resources and Energy Gaston Eloundou Essomba said. “The market will remain supplied by imports.”

Sonara, which is almost entirely state owned apart from a 4% stake held by Total, has a capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of crude a year. It serves the whole country, so any delay in getting it back up and running has the potential to cause severe fuel shortages. (Reporting by Josiane Kouagheu; writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; editing by Jason Neely)

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