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Operations and Refinery

The PetroSA GTL refinery at Mossel Bay, South Africa, is the focal point of PetroSA’s current production activities. As a symbol of our talent for innovation, the complex also plays a key role in our efforts to drive South Africa’s transformation. 

It was commissioned in 1992 as the world’s first gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery and remains the third largest GTL refinery among the five now operating worldwide. It is a recognised centre of GTL excell​ence where our specialist teams produce some of the cleanest fuels on the market using some of the most environmentally friendly processes ever developed. 

Using Fischer Tropsch technology, the refinery converts natural, methane-rich gas into ultra-clean, low-sulphur, low-aromatic synthetic fuels and high value products. It sources its feedstock from PetroSA’s FA-EM and South Coast gas fields, as well as the Oribi and Oryx oil fields in Block 9, offshore South Africa. It is capable of producing a crude oil equivalent of 45,000 barrels per day. 

The final products include unleaded petrol, kerosene (paraffin), diesel, propane, liquid oxygen and nitrogen, distillates, eco-fuels, process oils and alcohols. Its world-class synthetic fuels and petrochemicals are marketed internationally. Meanwhile, the refinery’s research and development teams continue to pioneer new technologies and products, and they are recognised as international leaders in the field of converting olefins to distillates (COD). 

Operational excellence is embedded into the refinery’s safety-first working culture. It holds the National Occupational Safety Association of South Africa’s (NOSA)’s five-star grading, ISO1400 for environmental Management Systems as well as SABS/ISO 9002 accreditation, making quality management one of the cornerstones of its operations. 

The refinery is woven into the fabric of Mossel Bay life and continues to support a wide range of initiatives designed to improve the quality of life among local communities. The refinery employs over 2000 people, most of them from the surrounding area. Significantly, a growing number of its young recruits are graduates from PetroSA’s Centre of Excellence, located close to the refinery. 

Looking ahead, the PetroSA refinery remains core to achieving our 2020 vision.