JOHANNESBURG -- BP (IW 1000/4) said on Tuesday it has earmarked $540 million to increase operations in South Africa and Mozambique over the next five years.

The firm will allocate the largest chunk of that cash, $454 million, to upgrade refineries, terminals and redesign its forecourts and convenience shops across South Africa.

The plans showed growing confidence in South Africa as "an attractive investment destination" especially after the country's adoption of a new development blueprint, the company said.

"The investments we are making in South Africa are not only a sign of confidence in the policy direction the country is taking, but they are also our commitment to all South Africans through the successful development of the energy infrastructure," said group managing director Iain Conn.

About $86 million will go towards upgrading fuel terminals and depots in neighboring Mozambique, through which crude is imported, a company official said.

Around half the investment will go towards modernizing the refinery at Sapref, near the eastern port city of Durban, to comply with South Africa's proposed clean fuels requirements.

BP jointly operates the refinery with Shell.

"Our intent is to be ready to produce clean fuels in 2017," said Conn.

BP is also pursuing upstream opportunities in Angola, Algeria, Namibia, Libya and Egypt.

In South Africa, BP will partner its convenience shops with a leading supermarket chain Pick 'n Pay to open 120 express stores.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013