Sasol, iGas and Compania Mozambicana de Gasoduto, as joint partners in the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company (ROMPCO), have recently announced the construction of an R1.1bn gas compression station to facilitate a 20% expansion of natural gas delivery from Mozambique to South Africa, by the end of 2009.

The gas compression station will be based at Komatipoort in South Africa and will increase gas delivery capacity from a current 120 million gigajoules per year to around 147 million gigajoules per year, with construction expected to commence by mid 2008.

Two gas-turbine driven compressor units and ancillary equipment will be used at Komatipoort to increase gas flow rates in ROMPCO's 865 km long transborder pipeline that transports the natural gas from the Pande and Temane gasfield in Mozambique, to Sasol's operations at Secunda and Sasolburg in South Africa. The engineering, procurement and construction management contract has been awarded to Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

The project will provide short-term employment for about 450 people of whom about 150 will be skilled artisans and 300 local workers.

Preference will be given to local and South African suppliers as far as equipment and material sourcing is concerned.

The additional gas will be used as part of the first phase of a planned 20% expansion of Sasol Synfuel's capacity at Secunda over the next eight years.

As part of its transformation and growth strategy and in consultation with key stakeholders, as well as through its internal risk assessment processes, Sasol had recently identified its most material sustainability challenges to include climate change, safety, skills development and BEE (black economic empowerment).

A series of high-level thematic dialogues were held between Sasol management and leading external practitioners on safety, climate change and skills development and Sasol CE Pat Davies said at the November launch of the group’s 2007 sustainability report, “Once again, we have used the sustainable development report as an opportunity to engage in constructive and frank dialogue with our key stakeholders, thus helping us to respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of sustainable development.”

Sasol's Environmental Expert, Fred Goede, also affirmed, “We consider global climate change to be one of our principal strategic challenges, not only for our existing operations, but also as we investigate opportunities to roll out our coal and gas to liquids technologies globally.”

In the light of the potential peaking of crude oil, Sasol believes that its technologies will form an important part of the global search for solutions to the energy challenge. To this end the group is investigating opportunities for carbon capture and storage, and continues to explore the potential for producing fuel from renewable energy and raw material such as fuel cells and biodiesel.