ADOPTED REPORT STUDY TOUR TO ENGEN
Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, having conducted a study tour to
ENGEN refinery in
The delegation, under the leadership of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon. E N N Ngcobo (ANC), included Hon. A R Ainslie (ANC), Hon. F Mahomed (ANC), Prof I J Mohamed (ANC), Hon. S N Nxumalo (ANC), Hon. J P I Blanche (DA)
Hon. S Dithebe, Hon. B T Ngcobo (ANC), Hon. B J Mnyandu (ANC), Hon. M J Bhengu (IFP), Hon. A M Dreyer (DA), Hon. P J Nefolovhodwe (AZAPO), Hon. V C Gore (ID) and Hon. N T Godi (PAC)
Ms Z Jansen (Committee Secretary)
Mrs C Adams (Committee Assistant)
Portfolio Committee conducted a study tour of the ENGEN Refinery in
Purpose for the study tour:
The aim of the study tour was to afford the Portfolio Committee an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the manufacturing of crude oils. It was also an opportunity for ENGEN and the Portfolio Committee to interact on issues of mutual interest such as: cleaner fuels program, bio fuels and the interrelationship with cleaner fuels; availability of skills pool and its capacity to meet the quality and demands of anticipated Capex Programs; issues relating to BEE and EE, and the industry charter; environmental issues around ensuring cleaner air in South Durban; challenges that ENGEN face and social responsibility issues.
Presentation by Mr W Hartmann, General Manager of ENGEN Refinery,
· It is unacceptable that the refinery is situated next to a residential area, however it is working together with the community to overcome the challenges.
· It had made tremendous strides in environmental issues. Issue is a “hot potato” but it had worked on it jointly with the communities concerned and the situation has improved.
· It said that approximately 70% of its construction work is outsourced to BEE owned companies. The staff of these companies are trained by ENGEN and used consistently as such staff would become familiar with its refinery and this would improve its safety.
· It is actively involved in training, however there is still a shortage of skills and because of this projects run late.
· It proposed a three point plan:
1. Effective use of training – For example, candidates don’t earn enough money and therefore leave the learnerships.
2. Better management of scarce skills resources – Should have a data base that informs companies of what skills are available in the country.
3. Scheduling of projects to reduce skills demand – Align projects with the shortage of skills and create incentives for going local.
· It will forward report discussed to the Chairperson and suggested that people who compiled the report on scarce skills present to the PC.
· It emphasized that the shortage of skills is an international phenomenon and many of South Africans are approached to work overseas.
· It had further said that it is difficult to unlock funds from Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and requested that the PC assist it with this.
The following formed part of the discussion:
· PC: What environmental issues were discussed with the communities? Expressed concern about the slow rate that women were absorbed in to high profile management positions. Does it facilitate storage tanks for new BEE entrants?
ENGEN: The environmental issues
concern the impact that its sulphur dioxide emissions have on the surrounding
communities. It has a permit to release 90 ton of sulphur dioxide. It had been
issued a five year permit with a list of requirements. It will take some time
to meet the requirements. In terms of the permit, it is allowed 90 ton of
emissions, however it had accumulated to more over time as it had incorrectly
assessed the output. It has an environmental team that works on it and in the
best interest of the community. It had compiled a health study on the impact of
sulphur dioxide and it was ascertained that it only affects people suffering
from asthmatics. Coincidently there are many people suffering from asthmatics in
the surrounding communities. It is striving to improve the air in
· PC: What is the level of Benzine that is being emitted?
ENGEN: Benzine levels are lower than what is required from the guidelines within the refinery. However, outside it is more and was not able to say why that is the case. Presently use MNT in gasoline in order to curb high octane level.
ENGEN: People are returning to
PC: On oversight visit to
ENGEN: Responded that the Joint Initiative Priority on Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) experienced the same problem. It had received a number of Curriculum Vitaes from JIPSA, however was only able to employ two graduates in its operations department. Other graduates did not have science, technology or engineering degrees. It was proposed that such Curriculum Vitaes be forwarded to the office of the General Manager, Mr W Hartmann.
· PC: It had admitted that sanctions were taken against it. Enquired what the nature of the sanctions was?
ENGEN: Its intention was to meet
all requirements. However it had under estimated the weather conditions in
· Proposed that PC have a briefing on this matter wherein the community is included. PC has to assist companies like ENGEN to build relationships with communities as it has a bad history with communities. PC should also assist ENGEN in building relationships with National and Provincial Government.
Secondly, proposed that ENGEN send students overseas to obtain skills in
order that they return and train people in
· PC provides assistance to ENGEN in receiving funds from SETA in order to train more graduates.
The Committee wishes to thank all the people that it met and interacted with during the study tour. The hospitality accorded to the Delegation made the task of the Committee much easier and affordable.
Report to be considered