CSIR to assess PetroSA facility

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretoria - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been appointed to manage the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for PetroSA's proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) off-loading facility in Mossel Bay.

"The CSIR is required to provide PetroSA with a clear environmental input into the planning and design process which should ensure acceptable environmental and sustainable principles," said the national oil company on Wednesday.

The EIA is a process that identifies and evaluates at the earliest possible stage the environmental characteristics of a proposed project and its possible impact on the environment. The EIA is due to commence on 7 December.

PetroSA has been investigating the possibility of importing LNG to supplement dwindling gas reserves in Mossel Bay since 2008. This project has previously encountered challenges such as commercial viability.

The revised proposal involves the importation of LNG into Mossel Bay through a Floating LNG facility comprising a breakwater and berth structure allowing a permanently moored floating, storage and re-gasification unit to discharge vaporised LNG into a sub-sea and over-land pipeline leading to the Mossel Bay Gas to Liquids Refinery.

Ensuring compliance with the statutory procedures of the National Environmental Management Act forms part of the scope of work for the EIA process. Another aspect of the EIA process is mandatory public participation process ensuring that all interested parties are consulted.

PetroSA group chief executive officer Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo said the establishment of an LNG facility is of critical importance for the sustainability of the company's GTL refinery.

"The LNG project will allow additional time for sourcing further feedstock through either further indigenous production, nearby sources of production or additional LNG.

"Employment levels at the refinery and PetroSA's contribution to the economy of the Southern Cape and the country will be maintained. This will see our GTL refinery continuing to produce liquid petroleum fuels, thus contributing to security of fuel supply for the country," said Nokwe-Macamo. - SAnews.gov.za