16 September 2008
South African petrochemical company Sasol has approved R558-million for Sasol Wax to double production of hard wax at its facility in Sasolburg, south of Johannesburg.
The funds will go toward completing basic engineering for the operation, as well as for ordering long-lead items for the first phase of the two-phase expansion project.
“Once fully approved, the project will be implemented in phases in line with the projected growth in key markets for hard wax,” Sasol Wax MD Johan du Preez said in a statement this week.
“We are pre-ordering equipment such as the synthesis reactor that has very long delivery times,” he said, adding that this would ensure the fastest possible implementation of the first phase of the project.
According to the statement, Sasol Wax is the world’s leading producer and marketer of synthetic and petroleum-derived waxes, with production facilities in South Africa, North America, and Europe.
The synthetic waxes, which are manufactured via Sasol’s advanced proprietary technology in South Africa, are used in a wide variety of specialised applications, including hot-melt adhesives, polymers, inks and high performance bitumen modifiers.
Construction of the first phase is expected to be completed in 2011, with the second phase expected to be in full operation in 2013.
The project will also result in increased production of medium waxes, mostly used for the candle industry in southern Africa, as well as liquid paraffins used in a variety of industrial applications.
“This investment will be in line with Sasol’s strategy to leverage our advanced proprietary technology,” said Sasol chemical cluster GM Reiner Groh.
“It also fits with our longer term plans to significantly grow the chemicals businesses of the Sasol group.”
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