South Africa plans to build an oil refinery which will use Iranian crude, Deputy Oil Minister Thembisile Majola says, according to HispanTV.

Majola informed state-owned PetroSA had agreed to help Tehran build a gas-to-liquid refinery in Mossel Bay that will use the Iranian crude.

Director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Qamsari said South Africa is ahead of other countries in the race to resume oil imports from Iran.

In this sense, South African oil companies will meet Iranian officials in October to discuss the resumption of crude imports, the deputy energy minister said Reuters reported.

International sanctions on Iran could start to be lifted as early as spring next year as Tehran and the West rebuild their ties and potentially open up billions of dollars of trade deals.

Iran was once the biggest oil supplier to South Africa, exporting around 380,000 b/d that to power the continent’s most advanced economy.