SONARA was created by presidential decree No. 73/135 of 24 March 1973, incorporated on 07 December 1976, and an establishment convention was signed between the Government of Cameroon and SONARA on 11 January 1978. The initial capital of 400 000 000 CFA Francs was increased to 4 billion CFA Francs in November 1977, then to 14 billion CFA Francs in January 1990, and then to 17.8 billion CFA Francs in January 1992. It now stands at 23 billion CFA Francs.
SONARA is a topping reforming refinery. SONARA places at the disposal of the market the following petroleum products: butane, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, distillate, fuel oil.
The Limbe refinery has a theoretical capacity of 2,100,000 tons/year. It was conceived at first to treat light crude (Arabian light). However Cameroon currently produces heavy crudes and one notes an inadequacy between the existing toolsin the refinery and the crudes available.