Sasol expands China presence

27 September 2007

South African petrochemicals company Sasol has opened an office in the Chinese city of Shanghai in order to market its diverse range of chemical solvents in the world’s fastest growing major economy.

“The Chinese market is extensive and forms part of our vigorous pursuit of global growth opportunities in the chemicals sector,” Sasol Chemical Business group general manager Reiner Groh said in a statement on Wednesday. “We believe that we can offer a significant value proposition to the Chinese chemical markets.”

He said that the opening of the Chinese office would lay the foundation for profitable and sustainable growth by enhancing customer service through local currency sales and new business development.

Operating under the banner Sasol Chemicals Shanghai Co Ltd, the company will initially market products from the global Sasol Solvents business.

Sasol Solvents operates plants in South Africa and Germany and supplies a wide range of products, including glycol ethers, C3/C4 alcohols, esters and acids, ethanol, ethyl acrylate, fine chemicals and aldehydes, glacial acrylic acid, ketones, methanol, n-butyl acrylate and mining chemicals.

These are used in aerosol, agricultural, cosmetic, fragrance, mining, packaging, paint, adhesive, pharmaceutical, polish, printing and other applications.

The company has targeted China as a future growth area. Business Report reported in March that Sasol has started feasibility studies for two coal-to-liquid synthetic fuel plants in China, which would produce a combined 160 000 barrels of fuel a day and could be in operation by as early as 2012.

Sasol chief executive Pat Davies stated in the company’s annual report that they were “very upbeat” about the prospects for the two planned plants.

He said the group foresaw “a rebirth in coal utilisation in some of the world’s coal-rich regions. This case is particularly strong in those countries that have insufficient or no oil reserves, such as Australia, India, China and the US.”

Davies has said that processing just 10% of China’s coal reserves could produce as much liquid fuel equivalent as that produced from the world’s proven oil reserves.

SAinfo reporter

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