Filtration specialist manufactures key assemblies for major South African refinery

An international leader in filtration and separation is manufacturing key assemblies for the world’s first gas-to-liquid (GTL) refinery in South Africa, further enhancing its highly efficient operation.

PetroSA, South Africa’s national oil company, situated in Mossel Bay, is the world’s third largest GTL facility and produces some of the cleanest fuels on the market by using leading environmentally friendly processes.

UK-based Porvair Filtration Group was engaged to supply highly efficient and durable sintered metal powder Triple Element Filters (TEFs) to PetroSA through its Johannesburg-based agents, Sagisa Process Engineering (Pty) Ltd.

Porvair’s scope of supply included innovative 2.4 meter-long TEF assemblies, manufactured in the UK as well as sintered metal mesh fuse assemblies manufactured in tandem at the filtration specialist’s US factory in Ashland, Virginia.

The TEFs and mesh fuses were fitted into tube sheets and installed into five vessels, manufactured and supplied locally by Sagisa.

The complete vessels were then shipped to the PetroSA refinery and are now helping to clean up catalyst fines – very small particles used in the Fluid Catalytic Cracking process (FCC) of most large, modern oil refineries and in the hydrogen process stream at Mossel Bay.

The assemblies were selected by PetroSA for their ability to operate reliably at temperatures in excess of 400┬░C and at a pressure of around 25bar.

The vessels are located above the Catalyst Reduction Reactor (CRR), enabling the TEF assemblies to be cleanable in situ; therefore operating in a cyclic back flush operation to remove the catalyst cake from the filter surface of the TEFs. The disengaged catalyst then falls into the CRR.

As a consequence, the TEFs are able to operate for a prolonged period in an aggressive environment, only periodically requiring to be removed and chemically cleaned before then being re-installed and operating once more at the same high performance level.

PetroSA engaged Sagisa and Porvair to execute this project based on their previous reliable performance for the TEF quality and service provided. The project was completed exactly on schedule and within cost.

Market Manager, Andrew Fairlie said: “Porvair is proud to be manufacturing components for one of the world’s most environmentally friendly oil companies. We believe that our filtration expertise can help drive further efficiency and cost reductions at the Mossel Bay refinery, in turn providing sustainable growth.

“PetroSA already produces some of the cleanest fuels available, and we are certain that the provision of our TEF and mesh fuse assemblies, with their high performance capabilities, will only enhance that reputation by ensuring security and continuity of supply.”

Porvair – a supplier to the process industry with performance-driven filtration equipment for over 30 years – prides itself on being able to offer high quality, cost effective filters for all stages of the purification or separation process.

Sagisa improves their customers’ existing purification and filtration processes by applying their knowledge excellence and by using the best products available to achieve cost effective and precise outcomes.

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