New South Africa GTL unit to use Statoil process

The advancement of gas-to-liquids technology received another boost late last month with the award of a contract to implement a semicommercial GTL unit in South Africa.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, July 2 -- The advancement of gas-to-liquids technology received another boost late last month with the award of a contract to implement a semicommercial GTL unit in South Africa.

South Africa is one of the pioneering nations in GTL technology; for decades its domestically produced transportation fuels and some chemicals were derived by state oil concern Sasol Ltd. from a coal-based synthetic oil industry based on Fischer-Tropsch technology that incorporated a GTL process. Sasol remains one of the GTL field's leaders.

Petroleum Oil & Gas Corp. of South Africa (Pty.) Ltd. (Petro SA)—a merger of South Africa's Mossgas Pty. Ltd. and other state petroleum assets—on behalf of a joint venture of itself and Norway's state oil firm Statoil ASA let an engineering-services contract to Paris-based Technip-Coflexip to implement the unit. It will be based on Statoil's low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology.

The plant, with a nominal capacity of 1,000 b/d, will be based at Mossel Bay. The expected start-up is yearend 2003.

Mossel Bay is also the site of a major GTL complex that produces liquid fuels from gas produced from fields off South Africa.

Under the contract, Technip-Coflexip will carry out detailed engineering as well as procurement services and supervision of construction.

The project will be undertaken at Technip-Coflexip's engineering center in Rome, in association with Technip-Coflexip's new affiliate, to be created as a joint venture in South Africa with a local partner.

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