South African refiner SAPREF has delayed the full start-up of its 180,000 barrels per day plant in Durban until the beginning of October, extending its shutdown to more than three months, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

Maintenance work began on June 26 and had originally been due to last for two months, but was extended into the beginning of September because of extended maintenance time on some units.

The plant, which was then expected to be fully operational in the second week of this month, will now not reach full capacity until the first week of October as the refiner prioritizes health and safety during the start-up process.

While the refinery is in the preliminary stages of switching on the units involved in the maintenance work, SAPREF is continuing to import petroleum products to meet its supply obligations.

The maintenance work opened a rare arbitrage of diesel fuel to South Africa from India in July to cover for reduced supplies.