Chemicals and energy company Sasol has joined the Hydrogen Council, with the aim to help secure the future of hydrogen in South Africa
The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative consisting of more than 120 companies from across the hydrogen value chain, with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition for a better, more resilient future.
Sasol president and CEO Fleetwood Grobler says South Africa is ideally positioned to participate in the green hydrogen economy as it has vast renewable energy resources and world’s largest platinum group metal reserves.
“Sasol plays a leading role in the South African economy and, to enable the development of a hydrogen economy in South Africa, the company engages regularly with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI),” Grobler said.
Sasol participates on the advisory board of a DSI-led initiative, Hydrogen South Africa, or HySA, which aims to stimulate and guide innovation along the value chain of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and, ultimately, position South Africa to derive local benefits from supplying value-added products to the growing international fuel cells and hydrogen markets.
“Not only does hydrogen production via ‘greener technologies’ provide the opportunity to transform our operations through alternative feedstocks, but in the longer term, hydrogen as an energy carrier has the potential to decarbonise the energy mix and provide an alternative pathway for the economic development of South Africa,” Grobler notes.
With over 70 years of experience in coal-to-liquid and gas-to-liquid technology, Sasol is one of the largest hydrogen producers in the world, primarily from coal and natural gas feedstocks, with extensive knowledge in coal gasification and methane reforming.
However, as Sasol positions for a low-carbon future, the role of hydrogen takes on more significance as the company decarbonises its business and the economy of South Africa.
Earlier this month, Sasol signed a memorandum of cooperation with the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation to jointly advance South Africa’s green-hydrogen economy.
In a joint statement, the two companies said the memorandum recognised that South Africa was in a unique position to leverage its world-class renewable resources and Sasol’s Fischer-Tropsch technology and skills to position the country as a global hydrogen leader.
Engineering News also reported in April that Sasol was planning to explore the creation, in partnership with Linde, ENERTRAG and Navitas, of a sustainable aviation fuel production demonstration facility, based on green hydrogen, at its Secunda operations, in Mpumalanga.
Sasol also announced at the time that it would partner with vehicle manufacturer Toyota to jointly pursue the development of a proof-of-concept demonstration for a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem in South Africa.