Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  04 May 2011

PETROCHEMICALS: Various Lifelines For Mossgas


Recent Western Cape Business News

PETROSA, South Africa’s national oil company, says it has introduced sufficient mechanisms that allow the Mossel Bay GTL Refinery to continue operating without disruptions during periods of drought.

Recently drought has resulted in water levels at the Wolwedans dam, which is the main source of water for the GTL refinery, dropping to 16% of its capacity. As this dam is also the main source of water supply to the Mossel Bay Municipality, alternative supply options have had to be pursued.

These options are:

Reverse Osmosis Facility: PetroSA, together with the Mossel Bay municipality, constructed a R49 million reverse osmosis facility that purifies municipal effluent water. The facility is currently providing about 5 million liters of water per day, it is claimed.

Desalination Plant: PetroSA has also contributed R80 million towards the construction of a 15 million litres of water per day desalination plant (for the removal of salt from sea water) estimated to around R200 million. The desalination plant will provide an estimated 5 million litres of water per day to the GTL refinery while simultaneously supplying 10 million litres of water per day to the Mossel Bay municipality.

The desalination plant was due to come into full production in January this year.

Water conservation: PetroSA has taken several other measures in the quest to more effectively manage water usage at the GTL refinery. These include recycling storm water at a cost of about R8 million.

The company has also encouraged its employees to participate in a water saving campaign by reporting any potable water and firewater leaks for immediate repair. These improvements, together with others currently under consideration make a significant contribution towards the 15 million per day water requirement of the GTL refinery, PetroSA says.

Other interventions under consideration to enhance the water supply include partnering with the Mossel Bay municipality in its plans to develop eight boreholes that can produce up to three million litres of water per day. The total cost to drill and develop these boreholes is estimated at R10 million. It has also built a weir, at an estimated cost of R2 million across the Hartenbos river to utilise the brackish water from the Hartebeeskuil dam via the reverse osmosis plant.

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