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LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana, Aug. 28, 2019 /CNW/ -- Sasol today announced our world-scale U.S. Ethane Cracker reached beneficial operation on 27 August 2019. Sasol's new Cracker, the heart of our Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), is the third and most significant of the seven LCCP facilities to come online and will provide feedstock to our six new derivative units at our Lake Charles multi-asset site.
"The Cracker is the cornerstone of Sasol's transformation into a global chemicals company," said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornell. "It solidifies our presence in the United States and will anchor our operations there for decades to come."
Sasol's Lake Charles Ethane Cracker, which uses Technip Stone & Webster technology, is one of the largest in the world with a nameplate capacity of 1.54 million tons per year. Approximately 90% of the Cracker's ethylene output will be further processed into commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals for markets in which Sasol has a strong position, underpinned by collaborative customer relationships.
The ethylene produced in the facility will be used in six downstream plants on site to produce a range of high-value derivatives including ethylene oxide, mono-ethylene glycol, ethoxylates, low density and linear low density polyethylene, and Ziegler and Guerbet alcohols. Sasol's customers use these products as ingredients in detergents, fragrances, metalworking and lubrication fluids, abrasives, paints and coatings, film, food packaging, personal care products and many more applications and end-markets. The remaining 10% of the ethylene will be sold on the merchant market and supply Sasol's share of our high-density polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture with INEOS in Texas.
The utilities and infrastructure systems that enable the entire project are fully operational. The Linear Low Density Polyethylene and Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol units achieved beneficial operation earlier this year. The Low Density Polyethylene unit is expected to achieve beneficial operation by November 2019, while the Ziegler Alcohol, Ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohol units are on track to achieve beneficial operation in early 2020.
"With the first three units commissioned, plants representing more than 60% of the project's total output are now online," said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Bongani Nqwababa. "Our construction and commissioning teams are working flat out to deliver the rest of the units between November 2019 and by first quarter of 2020."
At present the Cracker continues to operate stably at a capacity utilisation of around 50%. The current output is utilised by the LCCP's downstream units and the remainder is sold to external customers. The company will continue to focus on improving the ethylene quality and ramp up the plant in accordance with our plans.
To date, the project has generated more than 800 full-time quality manufacturing jobs, with up to 6,500 people on site during construction, US$4 billion to Louisiana businesses and nearly US$200 million in local and state taxes.
Sasol is a global integrated chemicals and energy company. Through our talented people, we safely and sustainably create superior value for our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. We integrate sophisticated technologies in world-scale operating facilities to produce and commercialise commodity and specialised chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels, and lower-carbon electricity.
Forward looking statement:
Sasol may, in this document, make certain statements that are not historical facts and relate to analyses and other information which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding exchange rate fluctuations, volume growth, increases in market share, total shareholder return, executing our growth projects (including LCCP), oil and gas reserves, cost reductions, our Continuous Improvement (CI) programme and business performance outlook. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour", "target", "forecast" and "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and there are risks that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. You should understand that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed more fully in our most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed on 28 August 2018 and in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The list of factors discussed therein is not exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking statements to make investment decisions, you should carefully consider both these factors and other uncertainties and events. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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SOURCE Sasol Limited