- Sasol has opened invitations for 900 MW of renewable energy to service its local operations.
- The company said the development would be the largest renewable energy procurement deal from the private sector in the country.
- The chemical and energy firm - which has plants in Sasolburg and Secunda - has been singled out by environmental groups as one of the country's largest greenhouse gas emitters.
Faced with pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Sasol has opened invitations for 900 MW of renewable energy to service its local operations.
The development would be a partnership between Sasol and Air Liquide and is expected to be the largest renewable energy procurement deal from the private sector in the country.
Both companies will jointly procure 900 MW of renewable energy by 2030, with 500 MW allocated to Sasol and 400 MW to Air Liquide.
"We are targeting the procurement of the first 600 MW of capacity this year, around 1 800 GWh per year, of which 400 MW will be allocated to Air Liquide and 200 MW to Sasol, with the envisaged commercial operation dates commencing in 2023," said Lebelo Lukhele, Sasol's chief procurement officer for the energy business.
According to the company, wind and solar photovoltaic technologies would be favoured for the first tranche of the programme.
The chemical and energy firm - which has plants in Sasolburg and Secunda - has been singled out by environmental groups as one of the country's largest greenhouse gas emitters and faced criticism for not doing enough to reduce emissions. Sasol's shareholders are expected to vote on the company's climate change strategy at the 2021 annual general meeting.
However, Sasol has stated that it had set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10%, off a 2017 baseline, by 2030.
"The introduction of renewable energy will be a significant contributor to our decarbonisation efforts."
Sasol in 2020 entered into an agreement to sell its air-separation business to Air Liquide for R8.5 billion as part of its asset-disposal programme to unlock capital. The transaction is subject to approval by the Competition Commission and Air Liquide had also announced its intention to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions above the Sasol targets."Due to the highly integrated nature of the Secunda site and the footprint associated with the Air Separation Units, collaboration between the companies is necessary to ensure optimal greenhouse gas reduction benefits," said Lukhele.
Sasol is shifting its focus to speciality chemicals and has been selling some of its non-core assets. Its US Lake Charles Chemicals project plays a central role in its transition.
*This article has been corrected to clarify that Sasol in 2020 entered into an agreement to sell its air separation units to Air Liquide and the transaction is still subject to Competition Commission. The French company is not yet operating the business.