Natref 2000 Refinery Expansion Project - Foster Wheeler Selected To Perform Basic Engineering

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September 30, 1999

Foster Wheeler Corporation's South African subsidiary, Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty) Limited (FWSA), has been selected by National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Natref) to carry out the basic engineering for the expansion of its gasoline and jet fuel production capacity at its refinery in Sasolburg, Free State (60 miles from Johannesburg)—South Africa's only inland oil refinery. Natref will produce approximately 22% more of these products once this project is completed. Natref is owned by Sasol (63.6%), a South African producer and marketer of liquid fuels, and Total, the French oil and gas multinational (36.4%).
The project, presently estimated to cost up to $120 million, will increase Natref's output from 86,000 barrels per day to 105,000 barrels per day. Involving almost every aspect of refinery operation, 14 process units have been targeted for upgrading in the conceptual engineering phase.

The contract will be executed by Foster Wheeler at its offices located in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, and its project office at the Natref site. The basic engineering will also involve licensors UOP from their U.K. office and U.S.-based Merichem and Process Consulting Services. Foster Wheeler's experience in refinery revamp work, both internationally and in Southern Africa, includes proven ability to effectively manage the interfaces with the licensors.

FWSA's capabilities, particularly process and project engineering, will be enhanced by staff support from Foster Wheeler's Reading (U.K.) office. "We are confident in our team's ability to provide a comprehensive and thorough basic engineering package across all disciplines," says Mark Meyer, FWSA's Managing Director.

The basic engineering will be complete by March 2000 when the implementation phase is expected to be given the green light, subject to approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment being granted by the authorities. The first shutdown to install some of the modifications is scheduled for May 2000. The expansion project is expected to be completed by May 2002. Foster Wheeler has bid on the execution of the implementation phase.

In November 1998, FWSA became the latest of Foster Wheeler's many offices worldwide to achieve ISO 9001 Certification from the international auditors Lloyds Register of Quality Assurance. Meyer adds: "The management discipline required to ensure these standards are met has been in place for a considerable time and will ensure a smooth integration of work from our U.K. colleagues into this project."

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