Sasol Chevron launched an unprecedented challenge to showcase its cleaner, greener GTL (gas-to-liquid) diesel fuel technology. The Sasol Chevron will signal the inauguration of the Oryx GTL plant in Qatar on 6th June. The GTL fuel burns significantly cleaner than conventional diesel and provides superior performance.
A joint venture between the state-owned petroleum company Qatar Petroleum (51%) and Sasol (49%), ORYX GTL in Qatar is the first low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch GTL plant outside South Africa dedicated to the production of new generation GTL diesel and the world's first commercial GTL facility. The plant will use Sasol's proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technology.
GTL diesel dovetails neatly into tighter environmental controls and increased diesel consumption in many parts of the world. In markets such as the US, Europe, Japan and Australia the maximum permissible sulphur content in diesel has plummeted from 5 000 parts per million (ppm) 15 years ago to as little as 10 ppm today. This GTL diesel has a sulphur content of less than 5 parts per million and has been developed entirely at the Sasol plant in Sasolburg. It provides superior performance to diesel engines while reducing emissions.
The ORYX GTL plant will scale up over the next few months to convert gas from the North Field in the Gulf into 34,000 bpd of liquid hydrocarbons (mainly GTL diesel). In conjunction with Sasol Chevron and Qatar Petroleum, the intention is to increase the plant's capacity to more than 100,000 bpd. The partners are also exploring building an integrated GTL plant with a capacity of about 130,000 bpd in the future.
Also under construction is the Escravos GTL (EGTL) plant in Nigeria. It is being built by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). Sasol Chevron is licensing the technology from Sasol and will provide the technology, engineering services and engineering support needed to take the project through the engineering, procurement and construction phase.