Project Snapshot
Project Mthombo
Facility Type: Refinery
Scope: New Construction
Owner: PetroSA
Location: Coega  South Africa
Region: Africa
Modified:  December 08, 2008

Project description

In an effort to counteract a shortfall of locally refined product, PetroSA has proposed building a new refinery at Coega in South Africa's Eastern Cape province. The new, 400,000-b/d facility would operate in tandem with another PetroSA refinery at Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

According to PetroSA, the refinery would have the flexibility to process both light and heavy crudes. However, it would be best suited to process heavy, high-sulfur and high-acid crudes. The configuration includes the following process units: partial conversion hydrocracker; fluid catalytic cracking unit; delayed coker; residue solvent de-asphalting unit; and conventional top of the barrel conversion units (continuous catalytic reformer, naphtha isomerization unit).

The estimated $11-billion refinery would produce gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, and gasoil.

On Nov. 28, 2007, KBR announced that PetroSA awarded it a contract to conduct the pre-feasibility study. The study focused on determining the economic optimum configuration for the refinery, including: crude oil type and costs; required product slate, prices, and specifications; and capital and operating costs. The pre-FEED study was conducted out of KBR's Houston office with support of KBR South Africa and local engineering company Ilitha.

Project Mthombo next moves on to the feasibility phase, which will define the engineering scope of the refinery. On Dec. 8, 2008, KBR announced that it had been selected to provide feasibility and FEED study services for the project.

According to KBR, work on the feasibility/FEED study is expected to begin in December 2008 and will be conducted primarily out of KBR's Houston and Johannesburg offices.

PetroSA anticipates making a final investment decision for the project in the third quarter of 2010. If it proceeds with the project, the refinery should be online by 2015.

  Key Stats
Major process units:
partial conversion hydrocracker; fluid catalytic cracking unit; delayed coker; residue solvent de-asphalting unit; conventional top of the barrel conversion units (continuous catalytic reformer, naphtha isomerization unit)
gasoline; naphtha; kerosene; gasoil
Construction type:
new construction
Post project capacity:
400,000 b/d
Project cost:
KBR (pre-FEED; combined feasibility and FEED)
Project completion date:
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