Sasol to Build World-Scale Ethane Cracker in the U.S.
Yesterday, Sasol Limited, Johannesburg, South Africa, announced the final approval of an USD 8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex at its existing site in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
“Once commissioned, this world-scale petrochemicals complex will roughly triple our chemical production capacity in the United States, enabling Sasol to further strengthen its position in a growing global chemicals market. The U.S. Gulf Coast’s robust infrastructure for transporting and storing abundant, low-cost ethane was a key driver in our decision to invest in America”, David E. Constable, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sasol Limited, commented.
At the heart of the project is an ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually, benefitting from significant economies of scale. The complex also includes six chemical manufacturing plants. Approximately 90 percent of the cracker’s ethylene output will be converted into a diverse slate of commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals for markets in which Sasol has a strong position, underpinned by collaborative customer relationships.
An additional USD 800 million will be invested in infrastructure and utility improvements, as well as land acquisition, to establish the Lake Charles location as an integrated, multi-asset site that will enable growth for decades to come. Sasol is well-advanced in raising the funds required for construction and will utilise a variety of international U.S. dollar-based sources. Site preparation is underway, and the company expects that the facility will achieve beneficial operation in 2018.
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