Engineering News

Natref Refinery's Innovative R600 Million Investment
to Lower Sulphur Content in Diesel

Tuesday May 17, 10:34 am ET

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 17, 2005--The Natref crude oil refinery in Sasolburg, jointly owned by Sasol and Total, is investing close to R600 million in an innovative new diesel desulphurisation reactor which will increase its capability to remove sulphur from diesel.

The 236 ton reactor will allow Natref to remove six times more sulphur from diesel in compliance with more stringent new legislation for the introduction of lower-sulphur diesel in January 2006.

"Sasol, together with its joint venture partner Total, is committed to produce and sell cleaner liquid fuels and this project is part of an ambitious and sustained programme to continue reductions of atmospheric pollutants at all our global operations. This investment is an example of our dedication to continuous technological improvement and it will give Natref the capacity to reduce its current sulphur dioxide emissions by about 40%," says Natref Board representative and Sasol chief executive, Pieter Cox.

"The new reactor will produce high quality low sulphur diesels, which will significantly reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from vehicles at ground level, and this in turn will result in improved ambient air quality," Cox adds. In addition to the direct reduction of sulphur dioxide emitted from motor vehicles, this investment will also enable motor manufacturers to apply the latest technology to their diesel engines to further reduce the environmental impact of mobile sources.

Independent air emission studies conducted prior to approval of the project indicated that estimated sulphur dioxide emissions from diesel driven vehicles in the Vaal Triangle alone amounts to slightly less than 2 tons per day. This figure is conservatively expected to reduce to approximately 0.5 tons per day once the diesel fuel specifications are implemented

The additional desulphurisation capacity will enable Natref to produce diesel that contains 500 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, which is significantly lower than the existing sulphur specification in diesel of 3000 ppm. This feat establishes Natref as top sulphur remover from crude oil in Africa.

Natref, South Africa's only inland crude oil refinery, is a technologically advanced refinery, highly efficient in refining heavy crude oil into petrol, diesel and other white products such as commercial propane, jet fuel, different grades of bitumen and fuel oils. Refining capacity is up to 107 000 barrels per day.

Sasol, with a market capitalisation of approximately USD 16 billion, is an integrated oil and gas group with substantial chemical interests. Based in South Africa and operating in 15 other countries throughout the world, Sasol is the leading provider of liquid fuels in South Africa and a major international producer of chemicals, using a world leading technology for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low grade coal. In the future Sasol expects to apply this technology to convert natural gas to diesel and chemicals. Sasol manufactures over 200 fuel and chemical products that are sold in more than 90 countries and also operates coal mines to provide feedstock for synthetic fuels and chemical plants. The company also manufactures and markets synthesis gas and operates the only inland crude oil refinery in South Africa. Internet address:

Disclaimer - Sasol Ltd

We may in this document make statements that are not historical facts and relate to analyses and other information based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavor" 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 predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may be very different from those anticipated. The factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements are discussed more fully in our most recent annual report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on Form 20-F filed on October 29, 2004 and in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.

Source: Sasol

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