The Competition Tribunal has approved JSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol’s intended sale of 16 air separation units (ASUs), in Secunda, to Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa, which designed and installed the plants alongside Sasol over the years.
The tribunal had carefully considered factors relating to the future ownership of the units, including the companies’ joint procurement of renewable power of up to 900 MW, decarbonisation investments by Air Liquide and that there would be no negative impacts on employment.
The tribunal’s approval had been the final outstanding suspensive condition before implementation of the transaction, which is now expected to close within the next ten days.
Sasol in September 2020 entered into a sale of business agreement with Air Liquide to dispose of its ASUs in Mpumalanga.
A seventeeth ASU is already owned by Air Liquide.
Sasol’s will use the more than R8.5-billion payment from Air Liquide to repay debt.
The ASUs produce both industrial and specialty gases mainly for internal use by Sasol, and also produce a small percentage of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen.
The Air Liquide Group supplies similar gases to those produced by the ASUs to various third parties in South Africa.