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PetroSA’s Mossel Bay GTL Refinery

March 24, 2012

Site visit to PetroSA’s GTL Refinery in Mossel Bay, South Africa on 03.23.2012

The visit validated the concern that GTL and thermal waste-to-energy processes are being oversimplified by many claiming to have cost-effective commercial process. From mass and energy balance to metallurgy and complex chemistry, doing it right and being profitable is more demanding than most realize.

PetroSA operates the world’s first and one of the largest Gas to Liquids (GTL) complexes in South Africa Operating since the early 90’s , they have acquired over 16 years of experience through the challenges of commercializing the GTL processes.

The 36 000 bbl/d GTL Refinery, which is based in Mossel Bay, has a crude oil equivalent capacity of 45 000 bbl/day. The principal process is the conversion of natural gas produced offshore to synthetic liquid fuels via the High Temperature  Fischer-Tropsch GTL Process. They have led the technology development of Low Temperature Fisher-Tropsch (LTFT) synthesis through their 1,000 bbl/d demonstration plant.

PetroSA’s GTL plant and processes are now well proven, a culture of operational excellence has been firmly embedded and a vision for the future of GTL has been forged. The vision demands that we continually leverage our operational experience to remain at the leading edge of technological innovation in the GTL arena.

Their refinery remains a centre of GTL know-how and operational excellence. It holds the National Occupational Safety Association of South Africa’s (NOSA) five-star grading. It is also further endorsed with SABS/ISO 9002 accreditation, making quality management one of the cornerstones of their operations.

GTL Products

The GTL plant has been producing ultra-clean diesel and naphtha products servicing up to 15 percent of the South African transport fuels market. 

The product slate comprises Unleaded gasoline, ultra-low sulphur diesel, kerosene, low aromatic distillates, drilling fluids, liquid petroleum gas, low sulphur fuel oil, anhydrous alcohols, liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide and more recently with the addition of the Low Temperature Fischer Tropsch unit waxes.

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