A Sasol facility in Mozambique. File picture: Juda Ngwenya

Johannesburg - Sasol, the world’s biggest producer of motor fuel from coal, is considering a gas-to-liquids plant in Mozambique with Eni SpA of Italy and the southern African country’s oil company.

The joint pre-feasibility study will assess the viability of such a plant in the region, Johannesburg-based Sasol said in a statement on its website.

Eni has found about 75 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore Mozambique in a block known as Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin, site of the biggest gas discoveries in a decade.

The country may have 250 trillion cubic feet of reserves, according to state-owned oil company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos.

There is “quite an extended study period,” Alex Anderson, a spokesman for Sasol, said by phone.

He said it’s too early to determine how long the study will take or the cost of such a plant.

Sasol started its first GTL plant outside South Africa in Qatar in 2007.

With Nigerian National Petroleum and Chevron it’s built a similar facility in Africa’s biggest economy, and it’s constructing one in Uzbekistan with Uzbekneftegaz and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

Sasol will make a final investment choice on a US GTL plant 18 to 24 months after it decides on an associated ethane cracker in Westlake, Louisiana.

The GTL facility, which may produce 96,000 barrels of fuel a day, is estimated to cost as much as $14 billion and would be the first of its kind in the US - Bloomberg News