South Africa does not need another oil refinery because the slowing economy has curbed demand and the country has ample petrol production, said Shash Rabbipal, the new chairman at the local unit of Chevron, the second-largest US energy company.

“Should another refinery be built, it would mean that the country would have to increase its exports of products and this would mean a change from the current practice of ensuring that supply catered mainly for local demand,” Mr Rabbipal said Bloomberg reported.

The six South African refineries, including Chevron’s Cape Town facility, process a combined 703,000 barrels of crude a day, exceeding demand, according to Mr Rabbipal, who has worked for Chevron for 25 years and was recently appointed to the post.

State-owned PetroSA proposes a new plant on the south coast that would be the biggest on the continent and add 43% to fuel production capacity. The government contends the country needs local sources of additional diesel and petrol.