South African plastics plant

Sasol has announced expansion plans in South Africa, with the building of a SAR 2 billion plastics plant in Sasolburg, which will use natural gas from Mozambique as a feedstock. The investment is part of Sasol’s existing SAR 34 billion capital expenditure programme, and is expected to generate important export earnings for the group, as around half of its 220000 ton annual output will be exported. It will produce low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is used in a number of consumer and industrial applications, including the manufacture of cling film. Sasol said that the investment meets its objectives of growing its chemicals business, and that the new plant “will provide sufficient capacity to meet the forecast demand for LDPE well into the next decadeâ€?. Technology for the plant is to be licensed from ExxonMobil. “The new world-scale 220000 ton per year plant will use a single tubular reactor unit and is scheduled to be completed in 2005,â€? said Sasol CE Pieter Cox.
The Sasolburg complex is to be converted so that it runs on natural gas from Mozambique, which Sasol is importing in a USD 1.2 billion pipeline project investment. The first gas is expected to arrive in February 2004 along a new 865km pipeline from the temane field in Mozambique to Secunda, and will then be sent along an existing pipeline network to Sasolburg.

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