SASOLBURG. – Sasol Synfuels International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sasol Group, announced the inauguration of Sasol’s first 100%-owned cobalt catalyst manufacturing facility situated in Sasolburg.
The R1-billion facility is the first of its kind in South Africa. It is estimated the plant will create 50 permanent jobs. At the peak of construction activity, close to 700 local contractors were on site each day. Opportunities were also created for numerous third party suppliers of goods and services.
Sasol’s proprietary cobalt catalyst is at the heart of the technology that makes its gas-to-liquids (GTL) process possible. As Sasol accelerates its GTL growth around the world, this South African facility will be instrumental in supplying a vital ingredient to ensure the success of those ventures. Initially, the plant will be supplying cobalt catalyst to Sasol’s projects in Qatar, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.
Speaking at the inauguration Lean Strauss, Sasol senior group executive, emphasised Sasol’s commitment to its South African roots.
“As Sasol’s growth takes us around the world, we remain firmly rooted in South Africa and continue to make significant investments in growth opportunities at home, as well as in the Southern African region,” Strauss said.
“Our total capital-spend in South Africa over the past years has been R42-billion and with the pipeline of projects in the region, we are looking at spending an additional R40-billion over the next three to four years. Given that South Africa was the country in which Sasol’s proprietary Slurry Phase Distillate™ process was developed, it is a significant milestone to have the ‘heartbeat’ of the GTL and CTL process on South African soil for the first time,” he added.
In addition to this plant Sasol, in partnership with BASF, also produces cobalt catalyst in De Meern in the Netherlands. Strauss thanked BASF for their assistance over the years in helping Sasol reach this milestone. He also congratulated the operations team for commissioning the plant without a single recordable safety incident.