Energy and chemicals group Sasol has initiated a process through which it aims to identify potential partners for the development and demonstration of technologies that can utilise the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced at its South African operations as part of a broader strategy to lower its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A CO2 utilisation request for information (RFI) was issued on September 4 and can be accessed by emailing Sasol at CO2utilisation@sasol.com.
The closing date for submissions is September 30.
“Sasol aims to be an enabler for the development and demonstration of CO2 utilisation technologies and wants to partner with other companies to reduce GHG emissions at its South African operations based in Secunda, Mpumalanga, and in Sasolburg, Free State,” Sasol said in a statement confirming the RFI process.
The scale of application for potential projects can range from demonstration level to commercial level, it added.
The initiative forms part of Sasol’s emerging strategy, dubbed ‘Future Sasol’, to streamline the group, the capital structure of which has come under intense pressure as a result of cost overruns at the Lake Charles Chemicals Project, in the US, amid weak oil and chemicals markets, and reposition it for a more carbon-constrained future business environment.
The Future Sasol strategy will be released in November.
In August, CEO Fleetwood Grobler told Engineering News that, under the new strategy, the group would focus increasingly on speciality chemicals, as well as a progressively lower-carbon energy business that would cover the entire Southern African value chain.
This strategic reorientation had already resulted in a decision to abandon any new investment into coal reserves, as well as Sasol’s oil-based growth in West Africa. Sasol’s upstream portfolio was instead being realigned to focus on gas and gas delivery systems in Southern Africa.
Sasol also intended introducing, initially through independent power producers, 600 MW of renewable-energy capacity to supply its South Africa operations – a move that is central to the group’s current commitment to reducing GHG emissions from 63.9-million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2017, to 57-million CO2e tons by 2030.
This proposed 10% reduction has been criticised as insufficient, but Grobler told Engineering News that its ‘2030 Roadmap’, in which the commitments were made, should be viewed as the first stage in a larger multidecade emission- and pollution-reduction plan.
A longer-term plan to 2050 was currently being canvassed with stakeholders and would be shared at the group’s Capital Markets Day in 2021.