Natref Refinery's Innovative R600 Million Investment
to Lower Sulphur Content in Diesel
Tuesday May 17, 10:34 am ET
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 17, 2005--The Natref crude oil refinery in Sasolburg, jointly owned by Sasol and Total, is investing close to R600 million in an innovative new diesel desulphurisation reactor which will increase its capability to remove sulphur from diesel.
The 236 ton reactor will allow Natref to remove six times more sulphur from diesel in compliance with more stringent new legislation for the introduction of lower-sulphur diesel in January 2006.
"Sasol, together with its joint venture partner Total, is committed to produce and sell cleaner liquid fuels and this project is part of an ambitious and sustained programme to continue reductions of atmospheric pollutants at all our global operations. This investment is an example of our dedication to continuous technological improvement and it will give Natref the capacity to reduce its current sulphur dioxide emissions by about 40%," says Natref Board representative and Sasol chief executive, Pieter Cox.
"The new reactor will produce high quality low sulphur diesels, which will significantly reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from vehicles at ground level, and this in turn will result in improved ambient air quality," Cox adds. In addition to the direct reduction of sulphur dioxide emitted from motor vehicles, this investment will also enable motor manufacturers to apply the latest technology to their diesel engines to further reduce the environmental impact of mobile sources.
Independent air emission studies conducted prior to approval of the project indicated that estimated sulphur dioxide emissions from diesel driven vehicles in the Vaal Triangle alone amounts to slightly less than 2 tons per day. This figure is conservatively expected to reduce to approximately 0.5 tons per day once the diesel fuel specifications are implemented
The additional desulphurisation capacity will enable Natref to produce diesel that contains 500 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, which is significantly lower than the existing sulphur specification in diesel of 3000 ppm. This feat establishes Natref as top sulphur remover from crude oil in Africa.
Natref, South Africa's only inland crude oil refinery, is a technologically advanced refinery, highly efficient in refining heavy crude oil into petrol, diesel and other white products such as commercial propane, jet fuel, different grades of bitumen and fuel oils. Refining capacity is up to 107 000 barrels per day.
Sasol, with a market capitalisation of approximately USD 16 billion, is an integrated oil and gas group with substantial chemical interests. Based in South Africa and operating in 15 other countries throughout the world, Sasol is the leading provider of liquid fuels in South Africa and a major international producer of chemicals, using a world leading technology for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low grade coal. In the future Sasol expects to apply this technology to convert natural gas to diesel and chemicals. Sasol manufactures over 200 fuel and chemical products that are sold in more than 90 countries and also operates coal mines to provide feedstock for synthetic fuels and chemical plants. The company also manufactures and markets synthesis gas and operates the only inland crude oil refinery in South Africa. Internet address: www.sasol.com
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