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Energy News

Local tech at heart of plant

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 The onshore plant receives gas at a normal operating rate of about 210 000 m3/h, and the associated condensate at a rate of more than 9 000 barrels a day. Upon arrival, the natural gas is first treated to recover the liquefied petroleum gas range of materials, propane, butane and heavier. The gas... 

Spotlight on improved drilling methods

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the application of technology in the field of drilling. The reason for the surge of activity in this direction has been the drop in crude-oil prices and corresponding profit reduction. As a result, companies have actively sought new and more... 

Good chrome-chem output from new plant

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 The R700-million sodium dichromate and chromic acid manufacturing plant, a joint-venture project between Bayer and Dow-Sentrachem, located in Newcastle, Kwazulu-Natal, is operating satisfactorily at about 70% of capacity. The plant, on which construction began in 1997, was officially opened in... 

New Johannesburg gas owner by September

By: System Author     25th June 1999 One of South Africa’s few local government gas distributors, Johannesburg’s Metro Gas is to be privatised by the beginning of next year. The selection of prequalification bidders, of which there are expected to be between two to five local and international companies, should be... 

Aluminium fabricators cut costs

By: System Author     25th June 1999 Correct process and gas selection can help aluminium fabricators reduce overall welding costs and improve productivity at the same time, argues a leading welding specialist. Afrox process development welding specialist Wayne Holt works in co-operation with Afrox clients to develop more efficient... 

R100-million global business for Gauteng gas specialist

By: System Author     25th June 1999 IN a bold export plan that is set to develop into a R100-million-a-year global business by 2001, Gauteng gas company Afrox is taking its new locally-designed and -produced gas equipment product range into new international markets. This major new dimension to the globalisation of Afrox is the... 

$1bn Nigeria project set to get nod by Nov

By: System Author     25th June 1999 It is likely that the final go-ahead for a $1-billion gas-to-liquids plant in Nigeria will be obtained following Sasol and Chevron’s respective board meetings in November this year. The two petrochemical companies have been studying the construction of a 30 000- barrel-a-day plant since... 

Imported profiles now made in South Africa

By: System Author     25th June 1999 Automation specialist RM Automation, of Randburg, Gauteng, has opted for local manufacture of aluminium profiles previously imported at high cost. These profiles are required to build various frameworks used, in turn, to build special-purpose machinery for clients, turnkey projects, or system... 

Mini-gas cylinder developed

By: System Author     18th June 1999 A MINI-gas cylinder which is ideal for the safe and convenient transportation of limited quantities of gases, has been developed locally by the specialty gas department of Messer Fedgas. Known as Microcyl, the container is able to store up to 45 l of permanent gas or calibration gas mixtures.... 

Still no end in sight for Cahora Bassa tussle

By: System Author     18th June 1999 There has been no progress in resolving the stand-off between South Africa and Portugal over Cahora Bassa. The dispute over tariff charges for electricity emanating from the Cahora Bassa power station in Mozambique has been under way for three decades. The conflict arose due to differences... 

R161m gas extension gets go-ahead

By: System Author     18th June 1999 A division of Sasol Oil, Sasol Gas, has announced that it will proceed with its R161-million extension into Durban South, in Kwazulu-Natal. The project includes the construction of gas distribution lines from Bayhead to Umbogintwini. Sasol Gas divisional manager Wikus Kritzinger says that Sasol... 

Nelspruit casino on track

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Nelspruit has been dealt a winning hand with the construction of Tsogo Sun’s new R32-million Emnotweni Casino having started. The construction contract is being undertaken by local company Norse Grinaker, a fully-owned subsidiary of Grinaker Construction. The casino will add to the surge of... 

Local chemical industry is in transition

By: System Author     11th June 1999 The chemical industry in South Africa is in transition, with many manufacturers looking to penetrate the speciality-chemicals market after years of focusing mainly on commodity-chemicals manufacturing. “We have been manufacturing commodity chemicals in moderately large tonnages, aimed... 

R140-million project on schedule

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Construction of the R140-million high-purity ethanol plant for Sasol Chemical Industries’ Sasol Solvents division is on schedule for completion in September. The lump-sum turnkey contract to construct the plant, which will produce 85 000 t/y of 99,99% pure ethanol, was awarded to Krupp Uhde... 

Bid to expand higher-value chemical products

By: System Author     11th June 1999 In a bid to expand its product range to include higher-value chemicals and to improve its overall operations, Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI) maintains a highly-focused capex programme for new, expanded and improved chemical plants. Sasol Synthetic Fuels (SSF) and Sasol Technology (Sastech)... 

Offshore petrol association launched

By: System Author     4th June 1999 THE Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (known as Opasa) was officially launched last month in Cape Town. The Department of Minerals and Energy, and others interested in the upstream industry of South Africa, joined with companies involved in the offshore exploration and production of... 

Sports village an energy-efficiency model

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The athletes’ village being built for the seventh All Africa Games, in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg, could serve as a model for future low-cost housing developments. The R80-million, 1 799-unit athletes’ village, situated on a 52 ha site located on the far east bank of... 

South Africa set for a lull in oil deregulation

By: System Author     4th June 1999 A growing number of oil industry ob- servers and practitioners are hinting that there is no real urgency to bring about deregulation in the sector and that plans to increase black economic empowerment are also not well advanced. These views emerged as Engineering News canvassed the opinions of... 

Fluid couplings for gold-mine

By: System Author     4th June 1999 Fluid couplings have been supplied to Siguri gold-mine in Guinea by Stratford Engineering. The couplings have been supplied to project manager Senet Projects, which will be responsible for the installation and commissioning, due for completion in the first quarter of this year. A variety of... 

Fluid couplings supplied abroad

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The first in a range of FST fluid couplings have been supplied to the Tar Sands oil-extraction plants in northern Alberta, Canada, by UK scoop-trimming, variable-filling and fluid-coupling company, Fluidrive. The tar deposits found in this area of Canada are extracted by excavator and transported... 

World’s most-desirable new natural resource

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Natural gas is fast becoming the world’s most desirable source of future hydrocarbons, and will play a far more important role in the global energy mix. The rationale for this trend is axiomatic, as the globe has abundant reserves of natural gas, and the extent of known reserves is... 

Gas firm embarks on Y2k drive

By: System Author     28th May 1999 IN line with Y2k compliance requirements, speciality and industrial gases manufacturer Fedgas has gone live with the SAP R/3 enterprise resource planning system. As a result, areas of growth and opportunities for enhanced service levels and efficiency have been identified. Fedgas already had a... 

Gas pipeline to link Britain to Belgium

By: System Author     28th May 1999 The United Kingdom–Continent Gas Interconnector has been described as one of the most important European energy infrastructure projects, providing a strategic link between the gas grids of the UK and mainland Europe. The interconnector, with a new 112 MW compression facility located within... 

Transport sector set for transformation

By: System Author     28th May 1999 The final version of the national Department of Transport’s 14-month study – Moving South Africa (MSA) – to determine the transport challenges facing South Africa at the start of the twenty-first century was released earlier this month, containing several ‘action... 

Synfuel expansion project up in the air

By: System Author     28th May 1999 South African synthetic fuels and petrochemicals giant Sasol has announced that its proposed multibillion-rand Sky High expansion project has been put on hold for at least the next two to three years. As a result of the dramatic plunge in the price of crude oil, fuel and chemicals, in conjunction... 

Black gold from coal

By: System Author     28th May 1999 The oil-from-coal process is used by Sasol in its existing operating facilities in South Africa. Currently 150 000 barrels a day of synthetic fuels (synfuels) are produced, and a total of more than 700 million barrels have been produced since the start-up of Sasol Synthetic Fuels (SSF) in the... 

Simulation tool designed for inland refinery

By: System Author     28th May 1999 South Africa’s only inland oil refinery, National Refiners of South Africa (Natref), could save thousands of rands in running costs following the installation of a simulation model for the effective planning of shutdowns and transfer capacities between units. The logistics tool was... 

Marketing campaign initiated

By: System Author     28th May 1999 A MEMBER of the SMX group of companies, Sasol Mining Initiators (SMI) has embarked on a full-scale marketing programme for its revolutionary new electronic initiator system (see page 24). The core of the system is the state-of-the-art SMI*IN*IT microchip technology used to initiate a unique... 

Significant R&D achievements highlighted

By: System Author     28th May 1999 lthough virtually impossible to single out Sasol’s greatest research and development (R&D) of the last year, considering the nature and scope of its various programmes, some achievements are worth highlighting, communications manager Alfonso Niemand tells Engineering News. Besides the... 

Environmental management becomes a gas

By: System Author     28th May 1999 In line with its commitment to the environment, the gas division of Sasol Oil, Sasol Gas, has invested considerably in various programmes and technologies in the last few years to ensure that it can implement and maintain a world-class environmental-management system to ensure its operations have... 

Road-surfacing material breakthrough

By: System Author     28th May 1999 In recent years, Sasol has become an influential and important player in the field of road-surfacing materials through its majority shareholding in Tosas, of Wadeville, Gauteng – a 70:30 joint-venture company formed in conjunction with Total South Africa in the early 1970s. Since its... 

Global interest in proprietary technology

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Worldwide interest in the commercial application of Fischer-Tropsch technology to monetise natural gas is at a high at the moment, said Sasol Technology (Sastech) manager: Fischer-Tropsch technology PR Heydenrich in a paper presented at the AIChe spring meeting held in Houston, Texas, in March.... 

R14bn, five-year capex spend

By: System Author     28th May 1999 With plans to invest an estimated R14-billion over the next five financial years in significant capital-investment projects, Sasol is continuing its focus on the production and marketing of higher-value chemicals, reports communications manager Alfonso Niemand. During the 1996, 1997 and 1998... 

Prestigious tech earns awards

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Sasol has developed and commercialised the Sasol Advanced Synthol (Sas) process for converting synthesis gas into petrol and light olefins. This process can be used to manufacture liquid fuels and chemicals from natural gas in a manner similar to the Sasol slurry-phase distillate process. This... 

Nigerian project is well on track

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Front-end engineering of the natural-gas-to- liquid-fuels joint venture between Sasol and Chevron in Nigeria is expected to start as early as the third quarter of this year following the completion of the feasibility study in March, reports Sasol Synfuels International (SSI) business development... 

Big order placed for distillation equipment

By: System Author     28th May 1999 To ensure the quality of its products, Sasol Solvents, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI), has ordered distillation equipment from Gauteng testing-equipment supplier Wirsam Scientific & Precision Equipment. The Herzog MP627 automatic distillation apparatus and the Herzog HFP364... 

Technical-achievement award

By: System Author     28th May 1999 recipient of several major international awards for excellence in the field of innovating improved Fischer-Tropsch process technologies Sasol Technology has received yet another coveted technical-achievement award. This time the company clinched a Thomas Kuhn bronze candidate award at the 1998... 

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