Sasol in $1.2bn gas venture

7 February 2008

The Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company (Rompco) – consisting of Sasol, iGas and Compania Mozambicana de Gasoduto – have announced the construction of a R1.1-billion gas compression station to increase the delivery of natural gas delivery from Mozambique to South Africa by 20%, by the end of 2009.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sasol said construction of the gas compression station, to be based at Komatipoort in South Africa, would increase gas delivery capacity from the current 120-million gigajoules a year to about 147-million gigajoules a year.

The pipeline is designed to eventually have the capacity to transport 240-million gigajoules of gas a year

“Two gas-turbine driven compressor units and ancillary equipment will be used at Komatipoort to increase gas flow rates in ROMPCO’s 865-km long trans-border pipeline that transports the natural gas from the Pande and Temane gasfield in Mozambique to Sasol’s operations at Secunda and Sasolburg in South Africa,” Sasol said.

The pipeline forms part of the US$1.2-billion Natural Gas venture inaugurated by former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano and President Thabo Mbeki in June 2004.

The Rompco shareholding partners are the South African government through iGas (25%), the Mozambican government though Compania Mozambicana de Gasoduto (25%), and Sasol Gas (50%).

“The project will provide short-term employment for about 450 people of whom about 150 will be skilled artisans and 300 local workers,” Sasol said. “Preference will be given to local and South African suppliers as far as equipment and material sourcing is concerned.”

The additional gas will be used as part of the first phase of a planned 20% expansion of Sasol Synfuel’s capacity at Secunda over the next eight years.

Three quarters of the eventual additional Synfuels capacity will use natural gas as feedstock with its more benign effects on the environment and the balance will be based on fine coal reserves.

Some of the first phase additional gas is earmarked for the gas turbine driven electricity generators recently ordered by Sasol Synfuels in Secunda.

The engineering, procurement and construction management contract has been awarded to Foster Wheeler South Africa, and construction is expected to start in mid-2008. Commissioning of both the pipeline compressor station as well as the gas turbines is expected by late 2009.

SAinfo reporter

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