JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 9/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sasol (JSE: SOL; NYSE: SSL), the world's leading producer of synthetic fuels from coal and natural gas, today announced that it has become the first company worldwide to receive international approval for its 100% synthetic jet fuel produced by its proprietary Coal to Liquids (CTL) process.
Sanctioned by global aviation fuel specification authorities Sasol CTL will be the first fully synthetic fuel to be approved for use in commercial airliners. This marks a significant development in the adoption of clean burning alternative fuels for the aviation industry; engine-out emissions of Sasol's jet fuel are lower than those from jet fuel derived from crude oil due to its limited sulphur content.
Approval of Sasol's CTL fuel for commercial aviation is also a milestone in the effort to secure domestic energy supply for South Africa and other countries with significant domestic coal and natural gas reserves; Sasol's transformative technology will allow these countries to monetize natural resources and increase energy security.
Commenting on the announcement, Pat Davies, CE of Sasol said, "This is an historic breakthrough -- winning approval for a transportation fuel that is 100% synthetic. This approval by the international aviation fuel authorities recognizes the absolute need to develop aviation fuel from feedstocks other than crude-oil in order to meet the world's growing needs. Sasol is the global leader and pioneer in advanced synthetic fuel technology and this is a huge step forward toward integrating a viable alternative transportation fuel into the energy mix and showing the way forward for countries seeking security in a world that is thirsty for energy."
Sasol, for the past nine years, has supplied a fuel mixture comprised of a CTL component blended with crude oil derived kerosene to international airlines operating from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Based on the success of the alternative fuel blend and following a several-year period of rigorous testing and evaluation, international aviation fuel authorities including the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MoD), governing the Defence Standard DEFSTAN 91-91, approved Sasol's wholly synthetic jet fuel as Jet A-1 fuel for commercial use in all types of turbine aircraft.
ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, has also been working closely with the UK MoD and is expected to include Sasol CTL synthetic jet fuel in its ASTM D1655 specification following the publication of the UK's DEFSTAN 91-91. Jet A-1 according to the DEF STAN 91-91 specification is very similar to Jet A-1 defined by the ASTM D1655 except for a small number of areas where DEF STAN 91-91 is more stringent.
In keeping with the stringent regulation of the Joint Checklist, aviation industry stakeholders, including airframe, engine and ancillary equipment manufacturers; airlines and aviation authorities such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and relevant oil companies have all participated in the approval process.
The fuel is fully fungible and aligned with the current aviation infrastructure through its compatibility with the existing engine requirements and can be used with conventional crude oil-derived jet fuelling systems. In addition to the benefiting the end-user, Sasol's process also enhances value by adding synthetic jet fuel to the product range available to the resource provider, who will now have another Sasol produced alternative to crude-oil derived fuels.
The current approval covers jet fuel produced at Sasol's Synfuels facility in Secunda, South Africa. The production in Secunda holds broader implications for the alternative fuel mix as it paves the way for future global production and the use of synthetic fuels for use in transportation. Sasol jet fuel products that will also be submitted for sanction include Oryx GTL plant in Qatar, the joint venture GTL plant in Nigeria and the potential CTL ventures in the USA, China and India.
Research is also underway to find an effective process to produce synthetic fuel from biomass to further improve environmental sustainability.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa Sasol is engaged in the commercial production and marketing of chemicals and liquid fuels; with a growing interest in oil and gas exploration.
Sasol is an integrated oil and gas company with substantial chemical interests. Based in South Africa and operating worldwide, Sasol is listed on the NYSE and JSE stock exchanges. We are the leading provider of liquid fuels in South Africa and a major international producer of chemicals. Sasol uses proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technologies for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low-grade coal and natural gas. We manufacture more than 200 fuel and chemical products that are sold worldwide. In South Africa we also operate coal mines to provide feedstock for our synthetic fuels plants. Sasol operates the only inland crude oil refinery in South Africa. The group produces crude oil in offshore Gabon, supplies Mozambican natural gas to end-user customers and petrochemical plants in South Africa, and with partners involved in gas-to-liquids fuel joint ventures in Qatar and Nigeria. Internet address: http://www.sasol.com
Disclaimer - Forward-looking statements
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. There are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words suchas "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not 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 annual report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on Form20-F filed on November 21, 2007 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 Sasol does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Sasol Ltd