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New hydrocarbon analysis laboratory for Mali

Certification company SGS will operate the first commercial hydrocarbon analysis laboratory in Mali able to test samples from different organisations.

They will begin operating the Albatros Energy hydrocarbon analysis laboratory in Kayes, Mali at the start of November.

Testing fuels is vital to guarantee the safety of a power station. Any deviations can have a significant impact on the plant and potentially cause severe engine damage. Until now, Albatros Energy Mali has had to send fuel samples overseas for quality and compliance testing. The construction of the laboratory is a way to reduce turnaround times and manage costs.

The laboratory has been financed through independent power project Albatros Energy Mali SA’s own resources and a technical assistance grant from the Private Infrastructure Development Group through the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. The total investment amounts to $1,155 million (€1 million).

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Sampling, testing and quality certification of heavy and light fuels entering the thermal plant facility will be done by two full-time SGS employees.

The new laboratory will not only ensure fast turnaround times for the 90MW heavy fuel Albatros power project but also offer quality and compliance testing of fuels for West African mining companies and importers of petroleum products.

The team can do a wide range of tests, including:

  • Density at 15°C;
  • Viscosity at 50°C, 80°C and 100°C;
  • Analysis of metals including sodium, calcium, zinc, sulfur, aluminum, silicon, iron, nickel, magnesium, and potassium (IP 501);
  • Separability number, compatibility, micro carbon residue (MCR) testing, total sediment potential, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S);
  • CCAI (ignition quality), pour point, and flash point testing; and
  • Elemental analysis (CH) and heat combustion.

Mamadou Sow, Albatros Energy Mali managing director, said: “This agreement will be mutually beneficial to both parties and, more importantly, it will ensure we can deliver electricity to Mali’s citizens and companies more easily.”

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a content producer for Clarion Events Africa.