JOHANNESBURG - THE SHARES of Sasol, one of South Africa’s heaviest emitters of greenhouse gases, leapt more than 6 percent on the JSE yesterday after the news that it had launched the country’s biggest corporate procurement of renewables to clean up its carbon footprint.
The shares closed 6.65 percent higher at R225.14.
Sasol, in partnership with French multinational Air Liquide, was procuring 900 megawatts (MW) of energy by 2030 and had issued a request for proposal through which it aimed to procure an initial 600MW, the group said in a statement.
“This transaction will represent the largest renewable energy procurement deal from the private sector in South Africa and is testimony to the opportunities that emanate from partnering,” said Sasol in a statement.
The chief procurement officer for Sasol’s energy business, Lebelo Lukhele, said of the 600MW initial procurement set for this year, 400MW would be allocated to Air Liquide and 200MW to Sasol, with the envisaged commercial operation dates starting in 2023.
Lukhele said it was anticipated that a collaborative approach would not only result in the original Sasol commitment for the Secunda site being met, but would also be exceeded through the combined efforts.
“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.
Ronnie Chalmers, Air Liquide’s vice-president for Africa, Middle East and India, said the call for tenders was the largest launched by the private sector in South Africa and was a major lever to the decarbonisation of the Secunda air separation units.
“Combining operational efficiency and reduction of CO₂ emissions, our partnership with Sasol illustrates our capacity to work with our customers to help them lower their carbon footprint and to act in favour of the climate and local ecosystems. Climate action is at the heart of Air Liquide’s growth strategy, and we will continue to act for a sustainable future.”
The transaction follows the R8.5 billion sale of Sasol’s 16 air separation plants to Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa in July.
As part of the deal, Air Liquide would operate the 16 air separation units, with an installed capacity of 42 000 tons a day, in addition to the unit it already operated.
Sasol, South Africa’s second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after Eskom and which operates the Secunda coalto-fuel plant, is the world’s biggest single-site greenhouse gas emitter.
Sasol was introducing renewable energy as part of efforts to limit its carbon footprint. The group set a target of reducing greenhouse gas at its South African operations by at least 10 percent off a 2017 baseline by 2030.
Sasol said it was committed to further reduction opportunities to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts, aligned with its 2030 roadmap and with a focus on green hydrogen, the introduction of natural gas and energy efficiency improvement.
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