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Sasol eyes growth in North America, exit from Iran

09.10.2012  | 

Sasol's CEO said the company has a “huge strategy” in North America. In Louisiana, it is looking at building an $8 billion to $9 billion gas-to-liquids plant that would produce 96,000 bpd of mostly diesel. It is also looking at a 48,000 bpd plant in Alberta, Canada that would cost about $8 billion.

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By DEVON MAYLIE

JOHANNESBURG -- Sasol, the world’s largest producer of motor fuels from coal, said Monday that as it plans significant growth from its North American assets in the next decade it continues to look for a buyer for its Iranian plant.

Most volume increases in the next eight years will be from North America," Sasol CEO David Constable said. “We're exiting Iran because of sanctions...we see it getting tougher there to do business.”

Sasol, which currently still spends about two thirds of capital in its home country South Africa, said that the company has a series of plans in the pipeline that would place more focus on the US and Canada in the next few years.

In light of that plan, Mr. Constable told Dow Jones Newswires that the company has no plans to resume crude oil imports from Iran and is “progressing” with the sale of its 50% stake in a $900 million Iranian petrochemical project.

Mr. Constable said the company has a “huge strategy” in North America. In Louisiana, it is looking at building an $8 billion to $9 billion gas-to-liquids plant that would produce 96,000 bpd of mostly diesel. It is also looking at a 48,000 bpd plant in Alberta, Canada that would cost about $8 billion.

Sasol said it plans to make a decision on the Canadian plant by the end of the year.

From 2020, Sasol said it also wants to look at Australia, where it is currently exploring for gas assets. It could consider building a gas-to-liquids plant there in the future.

For now, Mr. Constable said its growth in North America will be new capital spent at existing sites, but that acquisitions could “come into play.”

In light of the sanctions from the US and European Union against Iran, Sasol stopped buying Iranian crude oil from Iran in January.

Sasol is sourcing more Arabian crude, Nigerian and Angolan oil in its place. Sasol relied on Iranian oil imports for about 20% of its crude requirement, or 12,000 bpd, at its Natref refinery.

Mr. Constable said Sasol is talking to parties interested in buying its stake in the Iranian polymer plant.

“It doesn't make sense to have 3% of our operating profit in a country with sanctions against it from the US,” he said.


Dow Jones Newswires



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Ramadan Mansour
09.12.2012

I wonder why you had not approached North Africa for GTL technology as the gas reserves there are promising. A country like Libya, though it is not quietly stable, but making preliminary studies to monetize stranded associated and non associated gas will help SASOL to take advantage as a pioneer against other leading GTL companies such as SHELL (middle distillates) who are now knocking at Algeria's doors. Thanks

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