Johannesburg — South African energy and chemicals group Sasol today
announced that it has chosen the southwestern region of the State of Louisiana
as the site for a planned gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. The project is slated to be
the first plant in the U.S. to produce GTL transportation fuels and other products.
In a press conference today with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Sasol
Managing Director: New Business Development Ernst Oberholster said, “We
believe Sasol’s proprietary GTL technology can help unlock the potential of
Louisiana’s clean and abundant natural gas resources and contribute to an
affordable, reliable and high quality fuel supply for the United States.”
“GTL fuels are an important part of the energy mix because they can advance
energy independence in a way that is both cost-efficient and environmentally
friendly,” said Oberholster. In addition, unlike other proposed alternatives to
conventional petroleum-based fuels, GTL fuel is used in existing vehicles and
fuel delivery infrastructure without modifications.
Sasol will embark on a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a GTL venture
in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, over the next 18 months. The feasibility study will
consider two options of a two million tons per annum and a four million tons per
annum facility. The project could create up to 850 permanent positions and up to
approximately 5,500 jobs during peak construction periods.
This is the second “first of a kind” announced by Sasol in the U.S. in less than a
year: In December 2010, Sasol announced the world’s first Ethylene
Tetramerization Unit, also to be built in Calcasieu Parish.