The Sarlux plant overlooks the sea on the south-western coast of Sardinia – a strategic position in the centre of the Mediterranean – and all the incoming raw materials and a significant part of the oil products leaving the site are carried by sea.
Sarlux’s marine terminals are supervised by the Cagliari Port Authority, to which Saras pays € 21 million a year.
Incoming raw materials used in the production cycle consist mainly of crude oil and, in small quantities, fuel oils and other semi-processed hydrocarbons.
In particular, thanks to its flexibility, the Sarlux plant is able to process up to 35 types of crude oil from over 90 different countries.
This characteristic makes our facility in Sarroch a leading player in the global refining scene.
THE SEA TERMINALS
In order to be admitted to the Sarlux marine terminal, all incoming tankers must comply with strict safety standards based on internationally recognised criteria plus additional requirements put in place by Sarlux.
900 ships per year
The Sarroch plant is located on the coast, and its marine terminals are its gateway to the world.
Most of the crude oil for processing is delivered to the refinery by oil tanker; likewise, most of the finished product is shipped by sea.
Incoming raw materials and intermediate products and outgoing finished products pass through two terminals, called the South Wharf and the North Wharf.
The marine terminal connected to the refinery consists of a 1,600-long wharf and fixed platforms called ‘islands’ connected to the wharf by a 1,200-m piling. Almost all the incoming raw materials and most of the outgoing oil products pass through this terminal.
The terminal has 11 independent docking berths, 9 of which are for shipping finished oil products and the receiving semi-processed materials. It can accommodate oil tankers of up to 65,000 dead-weight tonnage.
In addition to these berths, there are two platforms for the docking of ships with a deadweight capacity of up to 300,000 tons for the reception of crude oils.
The various berthing points can operate at the same time, thus minimising waiting times for ships at anchor.
Advanced monitoring systems ensure that all unloading and loading operations are carried out under conditions of maximum safety.
The phases of tanker berthing, permanence time at berth and connection between the tankers and the loading arms transferring raw materials and finished products to and from the tanker are continuously monitored.
The north wharf has two berthing points, ‘A1’ and ‘A2’, which can accommodate tankers of different capacities and allow the transfer of different products.
The length from the foot of the wharf to the farthest platform, A1 is 1,125 m, while the intersection with platform A2 lies at 727.5 m along the wharf.
The two platforms, equipped for the handling of petroleum products, chemicals and LPG, can accommodate ships up to 212 m long, with draught of 10.2 m and 36,000 deadweight tonnage.
Even before this was a legal requirement, Saras had restricted mooring at its wharves to double-hull tankers only, to ensure safe transport of crude oil and protection of the sea.
In addition to complying with strict international safety standards, the tankers allowed to dock at the Sarlux marine terminals must comply with other minimum safety standards set by the Saras Group, making up a sort of ’identity card’ for each vessel: a precious source of information for our sea terminal staff, which they use to decide which ships are fit for docking and which, instead, fall short of Sarlux standards.
The sea terminal is managed from a dedicated control room, fully renovated and equipped with the best control technologies. The control room, which is manned and operational 24 hours a day, is in constant radio contact with the ships at the terminal to verify that the all crude delivery and product shipping operations – including ship mooring and their connection to the loading arms for loading/offloading products – are carried out in full compliance with all the safety and environmental protection requirements.
The refinery also has a spill response system in place round the clock, with dedicated staff and vessels, guaranteeing rapid response in the event of product spillages, in accordance with the Internal Emergency Plan, which also includes the Marine Pollution Prevention Plan.