Foster Wheeler Ltd. revealed that its South African subsidiary Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty) Limited, has been selected by Sasol Technology (Pty) Ltd to perform a pre-feasibility study for a proposed new coal-to-liquids (CTL) facility, known as Project Mafutha in South Africa.

The planned stand-alone greenfield coal-to-liquids facility would produce approximately 80,000 barrels per day of synthetic fuel and a potential location for the facility will be evaluated as part of the study.

Project Mafutha, a Zulu word for ‘oil’, will involve an integrated CTL process comprising three key process steps for the conversion of coal into primary fuel products (gasoline and diesel); gasification of coal to synthesis gas; Sasol's proprietary low and/or high temperature Fischer-Tropsch processes; and refinery technology for converting the Fischer-Tropsch products into fuel products.

The project will also include other processing units, utilities and offsite facilities necessary to support the development. Foster Wheeler's scope for the study will include the integration of other venture elements, such as the mining operation, into the overall venture scope.

“Foster Wheeler is pleased to be involved in this pre-feasibility study for Project Mafutha. This latest award builds on our long-established relationship with Sasol,” said Steve Scott, Managing Director of Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty) Limited.

“In addition, the project demonstrates Foster Wheeler's ability to dynamically combine expertise from multiple offices into a high-quality execution plan. In this instance, our UK Operation's Midstream Technology Group has extensive experience in coal-to-liquids and Fischer-Tropsch technologies.”

The contract value was not disclosed, though the project will be included in the company's first-quarter 2008 bookings.