In an effort to improve efficiency, National Oil Company PetroSA will suspend operations at its Mossel Bay facilities for 37 days later this year for a planned statutory maintenance shutdown.
The maintenance shutdown, which will start on 22 September, will affect the Mossel Bay Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) Refinery and the offshore FA Platform. During the 37-day period, PetroSA will cease all production activities. Products which will not be available during the shutdown window period include Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Propane, Carbon Dioxide, Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Oxygen.
PetroSA has made contingency plans for the availability of other products such as diesel and petrol for the Southern Cape supply area. PetroSA informed its other customers timeously about the shutdown and encouraged them to make alternative supply arrangements.
The statutory shutdown is aimed at ensuring the integrity of equipment and systems at the two facilities, in compliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. PetroSA’s operating permit also requires the company to undergo routine statutory shutdowns in order to inspect and repair critical equipment in order to ensure their integrity.
PetroSA has over the years set a proud record of executing shutdowns within budget and safely. The four-yearly scheduled shutdown is expected to involve a combined workforce of approximately 4000. This is inclusive of temporary employees sourced from the Mossel Bay community. During the 2009 shutdown, 80% of the total workforce was made up of people from the Mossel Bay area.
Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, PetroSA’s Group CEO, said the shutdown was an important opportunity to optimise the functions and reliability of its facilities.
“As always, PetroSA is committed to ensuring the success of its shutdown. For the forthcoming shutdown, we have adopted the slogan ‘if you see it, you own it’. We intend to improve on the standards and records we set in the 2009 shutdown. These are complex projects, with many unknowns, but as PetroSA we have developed a highly unique approach that is effective in ensuring success,” she said.
“The GTL Refinery is of strategic importance to South Africa. Therefore, we have to ensure that we meet all our timelines, without causing disruptions to the supply of products in the country,”Nokwe-Macamo added.