Sasol’s Green Hydrogen is set to transform the South African energy economy

IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY COLLECTIVELY SEEK TO TRANSFORM ECONOMIES IN A WAY THAT ENABLES A SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ENERGY FUTURE.

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Having placed climate change at the centre of our strategy, Sasol has committed to bold targets that will enable South Africa’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) by reducing our emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by 2050. The innovative commercialisation of Hydrogen is a core lever in enabling all decarbonisation pathways.

Sasol is set to lead the Energy Transition in South Africa Sasol has a heritage of innovation and technology development. Our advantaged and differentiated FT technology positions us as a global pioneer in the production of green fuels and chemicals. Our assets are integrated value chains and existing infrastructure can be repurposed and provide a first-mover advantage. We have access to advantaged feedstocks with pilots already underway to bring in Green H2 and sustainable biomass into our existing operations and our people are world-leaders in their fields with deep engineering and technical know-how. Sasol is the largest marketer, producer and consumer of grey hydrogen in the world (~2,5Mt) and we are a regional energy leader with a globally recognized and respected brand giving us access to green hydrogen customers of the future. These advantages enable us to scale quickly and produce the lowest cost green products in the region and the world.

Sasol’s proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technologies and renewable endowments are some of the best in the world. South Africa’s total green hydrogen potential could reach 4 to 7 million tons by 2050, with over 3 million tons of export opportunity. This can catalyse the roll-out of more than 50 gigawatts of renewable energy for South Africa, contributing more than R100 billion per annum to our economy and create over 370 000 jobs to 2050. Infrastructure rollout of this scale, will require a step change in skills and public-private sector partnerships. This will be done through a mix of process and energy efficiencies, investments in renewables and a shift to incremental natural gas as a transition feedstock.

Sasol has been engaging with others in industry and government to develop a hydrogen economy in South Africa. The country is in the process of advancing several catalytic projects, to develop both local and export opportunities. As part our approach to developing the hydrogen economy, we have established several partnerships, including the Central Energy Fund, the IDC, Toyota South Africa and Imperial. Further, we signed a memorandum of agreement with the Gauteng Provincial Government to leverage Special Economic Zones. These have been earmarked as enablers to unlocking South Africa’s green hydrogen market potential for domestic use, such as mobility, steel and sustainable jet fuels.

Boegoebaai, SA’s Flagship Green H2 Project As one of the world’s largest grey hydrogen manufacturers producing approximately 2.5 million tons per annum for internal use and the domestic market. The production of green hydrogen provides Sasol with an opportunity to leverage its expertise and infrastructure to enter this new market. This can be done through green field facilities like the planned Boegoebaai Project. The project provides Sasol with the opportunity to repurpose its current infrastructure to produce green hydrogen derived products like Sustainable Aviation Fuel from the Secunda complex and repurposing its electrolysers at the Sasolburg complex to produce green hydrogen for the domestic market from 2023, targeting heavy duty mobility, green steel, auxiliary power and mining.

Sasol will play a lead role in developing one of South Africa’s flagship Green H2 for export projects. The Boegoebaai green hydrogen development has been designated a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) in the South African National Development Plan and is located in the Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The project’s location and classification as a SIP are key enablers to exploring Boegoebaai’s potential as a global green hydrogen hub.

In view of this, Sasol has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Northern Cape Development Agency (NCEDA) to lead the feasibility study to explore the potential of Boegoebaai as an export hub for green hydrogen and ammonia. In parallel, Sasol has partnered with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) who will provide joint funding for the feasibility study.

Boegoebaai has the potential to scale to a $10Bn investment bringing unprecedented economic growth and stimulating jobs in the Northern Cape Region. Located in the Northern Cape, 20km south of the Namibian border, it is ideally located for the export market and for accessing the Northern Cape Solar belt. Granted SEZ status provides a fiscal advantage for development in addition to regulatory enablers. The project is also supported by the Presidency which has recognized Boegoebaai as a Strategic Infrastructure Project and it is located within REDZ 8 supporting RE infrastructure.

At full capacity the Boegoebaai plant could drive the development of 9GW of dedicated Renewable Energy (RE) capacity, twice the total installed national RE capacity of today, and 5GW or electrolyser capacity producing ~400 ktpa of H2. The project is envisioned to utilise a 60/40 solar/wind renewable energy supply. This, together with export sales from the facility could create up to 6 000 permanent jobs and more than 50 000 temporary jobs.

With the Boegoebaai project, there is potential to create an ecosystem anchored on localisation to enable long-term, sustainable benefits for communities and the country. The project has the potential to provide a significant number of long-term sustainable jobs, infrastructure investment and skills development in the country, enabling a Just Transition. The outcomes of this feasibility study will determine the next step of development.

While Sasol may be a global enterprise, our roots remain firmly planted in South Africa. Sasol is well positioned to lead the SA energy transition given our history of complex projects, unique technology, iconic brand, experience in collaborating with governments, and track record of delivering in local communities.

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