Sasol's US$1,2 billion Natural Gas Venture was officially inaugurated by presidents Joachim Chissano of Mozambique and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa at the world-scale gas processing plant located near Vilanculos in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique.
The venture between the republics of Mozambique and South Africa and Sasol involves the extraction of natural gas from the gas fields of Temane and Pande and a gas processing facility to clean and dry the gas in Mozambique before it is transported along an 865km pipeline to join Sasol's gas distribution network which starts at Secunda in South Africa.
Sasol chief executive Pieter Cox, said: "The Natural Gas Venture is a manifestation of Sasol's belief that ideas have infinite possibilities. It is also an expression of President Chissano's endeavours to give the people of Mozambique new hope and prosperity and is tangible proof that President Thabo Mbeki's vision of an African Renaissance is well founded."
The Natural Gas Venture brings significant benefits to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa as well as Sasol. For Sasol, it brings greater flexibility in our feedstock for the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals, and environment-friendly gas to a growing customer base in Mozambique and South Africa.
For Mozambique, it unlocks natural wealth and brings much needed foreign investment, economic growth, skills and social development, and for South Africa a new world-class energy source that will stimulate the economy over a broad front.
"Sasol is proud to play a leading role in the NEPAD initiative, by making substantial investments in South Africa and the surrounding region. We at Sasol pay tribute to the leaders of Mozambique and South Africa, who have the vision, desire and leadership strength to firmly guide our two countries towards prosperity for all our people.
"This venture also signals how a partnership between African countries can anchor the development of African resources and accelerate regional integration through economic benefits, capacity building, increased investments and job creation," Cox said. The project has already and will continue to facilitate empowerment of the historically disadvantaged.
Project work on the Natural Gas Venture started in May 2002 and was officially launched by presidents Mbeki and Chissano on the same spot where today's inauguration event took place.
The largest consumer of the gas will be Sasol's Infrachem facility in Sasolburg, were it will be used as replacement for coal-based feedstock. Conversion to natural gas at Sasolburg will be completed in June 2004, bringing significant environmental benefits to the Sasolburg region.
It is currently estimated that Sasol has access to Mozambican gross gas reserves that are expected to provide a steady stream of gas over 25 years, on the basis of projected production and consumption rates. Gas will initially be supplied at a capacity of 80 million gigajoule per annum and slowly ramped up to 120 million over the next several years.
Sasol is the sole investor in the transmission pipeline with the governments of Mozambique and South Africa having an option to acquire a combined 50% ownership. Mozambique's state owned Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Moçambique through its subsidiary Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos (CMH)owns 30% interest in the upstream gas field development. CMH has the option to acquire a 30% interest in the gas processing facility.