PetroSA, South Africa’s National Oil Company (NOC) announces that due to the statutory planned maintenance shutdown of its GTL Refinery and offshore platform operations, the NOC will not able to produce certain saleable products during the period.
Products which will not be available during the shutdown window period include the following gases; LPG, Propane, Carbon Dioxide, Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Oxygen. These products will not be available from 22 September 2009 to 14 November 2009. The last day for loading of products will be Monday 21 September 2009.
In the run up to the shutdown, the NOC has built-up stock to ensure it fulfils its obligations to its stakeholders. PetroSA has made contingency plans for the availability of other products such as diesel and petrol for the Mossel Bay supply area.
The statutory shutdown is aimed at ensuring the integrity of equipment and systems at both the Gas-to-liquid refinery and the FA Platform, in compliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and in order to maintain PetroSA’s operating permit.
Dr Nompumelelo Siswana, PetroSA’s Vice-President for Trading, Supply & Logistics said the shutdown is necessary for the continued safe operations of the Mossel Bay Gas-To-Liquids Refinery and the offshore FA Platform.
“It is critical to note that the duration could be impacted once the plant equipment is opened and inspected. We would therefore appreciate if our customers could make alternative arrangements to meet their requirements during this period and make contingency plans should the maintenance plan be extended,” she added.
PetroSA has informed all its customers of the pending refinery shutdown. The NOC has also urged customers to contact it, should there be any uncertainties on the availability of products.
The three-yearly scheduled shutdown is expected to cost R495 million. It will involve a combined workforce of 4200 that includes amongst others a group of 150 people from the Mossel Bay community, who have been employed as safety watchers. More than 50% of the labour source is from Mossel Bay and surrounding areas. The shutdown is expected to last 37 days. It commences on 26 September 2009.
Engineering management contracting fimrs Grinaker LTA and Kentz, have been appointed to assist with the Shutdown. Their brief includes ensuring that local community people in Mossel Bay participate and benefit during the Shutdown.
Statistics show that PetroSA has recruited about 92% of all required workforce from the Mossel Bay and surrounding areas, while Kentz has sourced 64% from the local community and Grinaker LTA 61%.
According to Dan Marokane, Vice-President for Operations, the company has emphasised the use of local labour for the execution of the Shutdown as a means of maximising job opportunities for Mossel Bay.
“Our strategy is clear, we give local people the opportunity first, then we can only get people outside Mossel Bay if required skills are not found,” said Mr Marokane.
“We will however not comprise on the required level of competency and skills coupled with safety alertness in this regard, hence our slogan Do it Right the first Time every Time,’ he added.