Washington, D.C. (USA) – Sasol Senior Group Executive for Global Chemicals and North American Operations André de Ruyter testified Thursday before a joint hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade on the benefits of Sasol’s U.S. projects for the U.S. manufacturing and energy sectors.
In his testimony, de Ruyter highlighted the opportunities created by the U.S. shale gas revolution for Sasol’s further growth and investment in the U.S. market and the role of Sasol’s transformational technologies in unlocking the value of these resources.
“Sasol’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility, the first of its kind in the U.S., will be a game-changer for America’s energy future,” de Ruyter said. “While natural gas is a major energy source for global power generation, it has lacked the versatility to address transportation needs. Now, with our proven GTL technology, natural gas can be transformed into a range of high-quality fuels and chemical products, maximizing in-country value.”
Sasol announced in December 2012 that it would begin front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for a world-scale ethane cracker and an integrated GTL facility, to be located near the town of Westlake, Louisiana. At an estimated cost of between $16 and $21 billion, the projects are one of the largest foreign direct investment manufacturing projects in U.S. history and will create approximately 1,200 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs, and thousands of indirect jobs in Louisiana and across the U.S.
De Ruyter also emphasized the positive economic impact the U.S. projects will have on Sasol’s home base of South Africa.
“The benefits of these projects will also extend back home, where we will continue to grow and create value for our shareholders, 70% of whom are located in South Africa, de Ruyter said. “The projects are a compelling example of how bilateral trade can yield substantial foreign direct investment in the U.S., which represents a win-win for both the U.S. and South African economies.”
The GTL facility will convert natural gas into four million tons per annum (mtpa), or 96,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), of high quality transportation fuel, including GTL diesel. GTL diesel is a cleaner-burning, high performance fuel with significant emission reduction benefits. Unlike other proposed alternative fuels, GTL diesel can be used in existing vehicles and fuel delivery infrastructure without modifications.
The world-scale ethane cracker will produce an estimated 1.5 mtpa of ethylene, helping to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, boost exports and spur economic growth. The ethylene produced in the chemical facility will be used to produce a range of high-value derivatives, further strengthening Sasol’s position in the global chemicals market.
A webcast of the hearing and de Ruyter’s full submitted testimony is available