Sasol continues to bet big on renewables with the signing of three new power purchase agreements for renewable energy in its South African operations.
According to the group, it is committed to reducing its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its South African operations by at least 30% by 2030, off a 2017 baseline.
Sasol is South Africa’s biggest fuel producer with major influence over the supply of petroleum products in the country.
The widespread influence of the company was seen in August last year when a disruption caused Sasol to declare a force majeure on petroleum products at its Natref station.
The shutdown meant that the whole of South Africa’s oil-refinery fleet was out of service as other facilities have had production suspended for years prior.
The group is now adding to its focus, noting that renewable power is a key lever towards its GHG emissions reduction and as part of its transition towards a more sustainable product portfolio.
Sasol and Msenge Emoyeni Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd (Msenge) have now signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the supply of 69MW of wind-powered renewable power to the group’s Sasolburg operations.
This is key in achieving the first production of green hydrogen generated from renewable energy sources at Sasolburg and progressing its ambition to lead the development of a green hydrogen economy in Southern Africa, said the company.
The renewable capacity is anticipated to be operational within the first quarter of 2024.
The group has further engaged with Air Liquide, a French multinational company that produces and supplies industrial gases and services to various industries, by signing two long-term power purchase agreements with Enel Green Power for the supply of a total capacity of 220MW of wind-powered renewable power to its Secunda operations.
“The projects are expected to be operational in 2025. The concluded agreements are the first as part of a joint procurement initiative with Air Liquide and demonstrate Sasol’s commitment to procuring 1 200MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.”
Sasol’s recent productions and sales metrics for the six months ended 31 December 2022, paint a positive picture for the company, with it remaining well positioned despite the negative impact of weaker global economic growth.
According to the company, its chemicals business continued to face challenging market conditions, including the macro-economic environment downturn, inflationary pressures, Covid-19 impacts in China and sustained higher energy prices in Europe.
“In addition, production and supply chain challenges in South Africa impacted our ability to produce and move product to customers,” Sasol reported.
“Despite these challenges, external sales revenue for H1 FY23 was only 2% lower compared to H1 FY22, driven by lower sales volumes. H1 FY23 sales volumes were 5% lower than H1 FY22, largely due to lower Eurasia volumes, offset by higher sales volumes in America.”
“The average basket price increased by 3% from H1 FY22 but decreased by 14 compared to Q1 FY23 due to the challenging economic environment.”