Sasol unveils world's largest oxygen production unit


Secunda - Sasol has unveiled an air production unit which is billed as the largest in the world.  It will supply the company with oxygen used for production of fuels and chemicals.

The  €200m (about R2.9bn) facility, developed and operated by Air Liquide, will enable Sasol to operate its Secunda plant up to at least 2050.

It was unveiled on Monday at Secunda, east of Johannesburg. 

The gases produced at the facility are used for advanced lighting systems, lasers, medical scanners and high-speed photographic systems, among other uses. 

With a total production of 5 000 tons of oxygen per day, the unit is the first to be outsourced to a specialist industrial gas production site at the Secunda complex.

Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa said the oxygen capacity created through the new addition would allow the company to “operate the Secunda complex up to at least 2050”.

A contract to build the site was signed with the French company Air Liquide in 2015.

“We are particularly encouraged by the recent developments that signal a more stable political and investor friendly outlook,” Nqwababa said during the unveiling of the facility.

He also hailed the decision by Moody’s last week to keep South Africa’s investment grade a notch above junk, with revised outlook, from negative to stable.

Moody’s is the only major global ratings agency that has kept South Africa’s investment grade.  Fitch and Standard and Poor’s have South Africa’s credit rating at junk status.

“A more conducive business environment will create even greater opportunities for Sasol to be a force for good,” said Nqwababa.

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