Sasol chief executive David Constable. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Sasol has signed an agreement with a Finnish company to operate and maintain a power plant in Sasolburg, the group said on Sunday.

In a statement, it said its subsidiary Sasol New Energy was building a gas power station in Sasolburg to supplement the group's electricity supply.

The plant would be operational from 2013.

Over 140 megawatts of electricity would be generated from natural gas, a cleaner and more efficient fossil fuel than coal.

“This is a milestone for us as we move closer to increasing our own electricity generation capacity for our local requirements,” said Sasol New Energy head Henri Loubser.

Sasol would be able to reduce its carbon emissions from Sasolburg, by around a million tons a year.

The Finnish group, Wärtsilä, would operate and maintain the facility on behalf of Sasol New Energy for three years.

Sasol would leverage Wärtsilä's experience to ensure that the power plant delivered the design output and would implement Wärtsilä's global best practices.

Local Sasol New Energy employees would be trained to operate and maintain the plant, the group said.

Wärtsilä was also contracted to build and supply the plant, Engineering News reported last year. - Sapa