Engelhard and Sasol announce manufacturing and supply agreement

Jul 05, 2000 02:00 AM

Engelhard and Sasol announced a manufacturing and supply agreement in which Engelhard will produce an advanced Fischer-Tropsch base-metal catalyst for Sasol Technology, an affiliate of Sasol. The catalyst, developed by Sasol and scaled up by Engelhard, will be used in the first commercial plants using Sasol's Slurry Phase Distillate (SPD) process, a proven method for converting natural gas into liquid hydrocarbons.
The combination of Sasol's custom Fischer-Tropsch catalyst and SPD process will enable energy companies to convert remote or associated natural gas, currently often flared off in the production of crude oil, into valuable fuel products. This will allow energy companies to tap natural gas reserves in remote areas by enabling them to convert the natural gas to liquid hydrocarbons such as diesel oil, which are much easier and less expensive to transport. In addition, diesel fuel obtained from the process is of excellent quality and essentially free of sulphur and aromatics.

Sasol is already in negotiations with several major international energy companies to license the SPD process or utilise it in joint projects, and has an agreement with Chevron to form a global alliance to implement gas-to-liquids ventures.
Jan Fourie, executive director of Sasol, said, "The combination of our unique Fischer-Tropsch catalyst and SPD process, together with Engelhard's catalyst development and manufacturing expertise, resulted in a commercially proven and economically viable product that provides a real opportunity to immediately monetise gas reserves. This is demonstrated by the Nigerian and Qatari gas-to-liquids ventures under development, which will utilise Sasol's well-proven technology. This agreement is a further step in Sasol's pursuit of attractive offshore business opportunities created by the utilisation of our world-leading gas-to-liquids technology."
"The commercial potential for this new, important technological process is significant," said James A. Martin, group vice president andgeneral manager of Engelhard's process technologies business. "We are excited by the potential of leveraging our work with Sasol to deliver value to customers world-wide." Engelhard has designed and will soon begin construction on a $ 20-mm capacity expansion at its manufacturing facility in De Meern, The Netherlands. The new capacity will be devoted to production of Sasol's Fischer-Tropsch catalyst. Engelhard and Sasol are sharing the cost of the expansion project.

Engelhard is a leading global provider of environmental technologies, speciality chemical and performance products and related services. The company's process technologies business delivers a uniquely broad portfolio of chemical, petroleum and polyolefin catalyst technologies used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products across a vast spectrum of industries.

Sasol, established in 1950, is a world-leader in the commercial production of liquid fuels and chemicals from coal and crude oil. The company has annual sales of $ 2.8 bn and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (SOL), with a market capitalisation of $ 4 bn, and on the NASDAQ (SASOY). Sasol manufactures more than 200 fuel and chemical products at its plants in Sasolburg and Secunda in South Africa, as well as at several other plants abroad. The company's products are exported to more than 70 countries. Sasol has developed world-leading technology for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low-grade coal as well as the conversion of natural gas to environment-friendly diesel and chemicals.

Source: Business Wire
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