Sasol 20-F 2009
Documents found in this filing:
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 9 October 2009
Commission file number: 001-31615
Republic of South Africa
1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank 2196
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:
593 991 762 ordinary shares of no par value
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý No o
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer ý Accelerated filer o Non-accelerated filer o
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP o International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ý Other o
Indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17 o Item 18 ý
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No ý
Table of Contents
We are incorporated in the Republic of South Africa as a public company under South African Company law. Our consolidated financial statements included in our corporate filings in South Africa were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for the financial years ended 30 June 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
For purposes of this annual report on Form 20-F, we have prepared our consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS. Our consolidated financial statements for each of the financial years ended 30 June 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 have been audited.
As used in this Form 20-F:
We present our financial information in rand, which is our reporting currency. Solely for your convenience, this Form 20-F contains translations of certain rand amounts into US dollars at specified rates. These rand amounts do not represent actual US dollar amounts, nor could they necessarily have been converted into US dollars at the rates indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, rand amounts have been translated into US dollars at the rate of R7,52 per US dollar, which was the closing rate for customs purposes of the rand as reported by Thomson Reuters on 30 September 2009.
All references in this Form 20-F to "years" refer to the financial years ended on 30 June. Any reference to a calendar year is prefaced by the word "calendar".
Besides applying barrels (b) and cubic feet (cf) for reporting oil and gas reserves and production, Sasol applies the Système International (SI) metric measures for all global operations. A ton or tonne denotes one metric ton equivalent to 1 000 kilograms (kg). Sasol's reference to metric tons should not be confused with an imperial ton equivalent to 2 240 pounds (or about 1 016 kg). Barrels per day, or bpd, is used to refer to our oil and gas production.
In addition, in line with a particular South African distinction under the auspices of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), all Sasol global reporting emanating from South Africa uses the decimal comma (e.g. 3,5) instead of the more familiar decimal point (e.g. 3.5) used in the UK, USA and elsewhere. Similarly, a hard space is used to distinguish thousands in numeric figures (e.g. 2 500) instead of a comma (e.g. 2,500).
All references to billions in this Form 20-F are to thousands of millions.
All references to the "group", "us", "we", "our", "the company", or "Sasol" in this Form 20-F are to Sasol Limited, its group of subsidiaries and its interests in associates and joint ventures. All references in this Form 20-F are to Sasol Limited or the companies comprising the group, as the context may require. All references to "(Pty) Limited" refers to (Proprietary) Limited, a form of corporation in South Africa which restricts the right of transfer of its shares, limits the number of members and prohibits the public offering of its shares.
All references in this Form 20-F to "South Africa" and "the government" are to the Republic of South Africa and its government. All references to the "JSE" are to the JSE Limited, the securities exchange of our primary listing. All references to "SARB" refer to the South African Reserve Bank. All references to "PPI" and "CPI" refer to the Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index, respectively, which are a measure of inflation in South Africa. All references to "GTL" and "CTL" refer to our gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids processes, respectively.
Certain industry terms used in this Form 20-F are defined in the Glossary of Terms.
Unless otherwise stated, presentation of financial information in this annual report on Form 20-F will be in terms of IFRS. Our discussion of business segment results follows the basis used by the Group Executive Committee (GEC) (the company's chief operating decision maker) for segmental financial decisions, resource allocation and performance assessment, which forms the accounting basis for segmental reporting, that is disclosed to the investing and reporting public.
We may from time to time make written or oral forward-looking statements, including in this Form 20-F, in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, in reports to shareholders and in other communications. These statements may relate to analyses and other information which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:
Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the 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 the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in this Form 20-F. You should understand that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include among others, and without limitation:
The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking statements to make investment decisions, you should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and events. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
We are a public company incorporated under the company law of South Africa. All of our directors and officers reside outside the United States, principally in South Africa. You may not be able, therefore, to effect service of process within the United States upon those directors and officers with respect to matters arising under the federal securities laws of the United States.
In addition, substantially all of our assets and the assets of our directors and officers are located outside the United States. As a result, you may not be able to enforce against us or our directors and officers judgements obtained in United States courts predicated on the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States.
A foreign judgement is not directly enforceable in South Africa, but constitutes a cause of action which will be enforced by South African courts provided that:
It is the policy of South African courts to award compensation for the loss or damage actually sustained by the person to whom the compensation is awarded. Although the award of punitive damages is generally unknown to the South African legal system that does not mean that such awards are necessarily contrary to public policy. Whether a judgement was contrary to public policy depends on the facts of each case. Exorbitant, unconscionable, or excessive awards will generally be contrary to public policy. South African courts cannot enter into the merits of a foreign judgement and cannot act as a court of appeal or review over the foreign court. South African courts will usually implement their own procedural laws and, where an action based on an international contract is brought before a South African court, the capacity of the parties to the contract will usually be determined in accordance with South African law. It is doubtful whether an original action based on United States federal securities law can be brought before South African courts. A plaintiff who is not resident in South Africa may be required to provide security for costs in the event of proceedings being initiated in South Africa. Furthermore the Rules of the High Court of South Africa require that documents executed outside South Africa must be authenticated for the purpose of use in South Africa.
The following information should be read in conjunction with "Item 5Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" and the consolidated financial statements, the accompanying notes and other financial information included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
The financial data set forth below for the years ended as at 30 June 2009 and 2008 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2009 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 18 of this annual report on Form 20-F.
Financial data at 30 June 2007, 2006 and 2005 have been derived from the group's previously published audited consolidated financial statements not included in this document.
The financial data at 30 June 2009 and 2008 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2009 should be read in conjunction with, and are qualified in their entirety by reference to, our audited consolidated financial statements.
The audited consolidated financial statements from which the selected consolidated financial data set forth below have been derived were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
Exchange rate information
The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the rand/US dollar exchange rate for the years shown:
Fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The rand is the principal functional currency of our operations. However, a large part of our group's turnover is denominated in US dollars and some part in euro, derived either from exports from South Africa or from our manufacturing and distribution operations outside South Africa. Approximately 90% of our turnover is linked to the US dollar as petroleum prices in general and the price of most petroleum and chemical products are based on global commodity and benchmark prices which are quoted in US dollars. A significant part of our capital expenditure is also US dollar-denominated, as it is directed to investments outside South Africa or constitutes materials, engineering and construction costs imported into South Africa. The majority of our costs are either rand based for South African operations or euro based for European operations. Accordingly, fluctuations in the exchange rates between the rand and US dollar and/or euro may have a material effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
During 2009, the rand/US dollar exchange rate averaged R9,04 and fluctuated between the high of R11,88 and the low of R7,17. This compares to an average exchange rate of R7,30 during 2008 which
fluctuated between the high of R8,25 and the low of R6,43. The rand exchange rate is impacted by various international and South African economic and political factors. Subsequent to 30 June 2009, the rand has on average strengthened against the US dollar and the euro.
Although the exchange rate of the rand is primarily market-determined, its value at any time may not be an accurate reflection of its underlying value, due to the potential effect of, among other factors, exchange controls. For more information regarding exchange controls in South Africa see "Item 10.DExchange controls".
We use derivative instruments to protect us against adverse movements in exchange rates on certain transactional risks in accordance with our group hedging policies. See "Item 11Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk".
Fluctuations in refining margins and crude oil, natural gas and petroleum product prices may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Market prices for crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products may fluctuate as they are subject to local and international supply and demand fundamentals and factors over which we have no control. Worldwide supply conditions and the price levels of crude oil may be significantly influenced by international cartels, which control the production of a significant proportion of the worldwide supply of crude oil, and by political developments, especially in the Middle East, South America and Nigeria. Other factors which may influence the aggregate demand and hence affect the markets and prices for petroleum products in regions which influence South African fuel prices through the Basic Fuel Price (BFP) price formula (used for the calculation of the refinery gate price of petroleum products in South Africa) and/or where we market these products include changes in economic conditions, the price and availability of substitute fuels, changes in product inventory, product specifications and other factors. In recent years, prices for petroleum products have fluctuated widely.
During 2009, the dated brent crude oil price averaged US$68,14/b and fluctuated between the high of US$143,95/b and the low of US$33,73/b. This compares to an average dated brent crude oil price of US$95,51/b during 2008 which fluctuated between the high of US$139,98/b and the low of US$67,73/b.
A substantial proportion of our turnover is derived from sales of petroleum and petrochemical products. Through our equity participation in the National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Limited (Natref) crude oil refinery, we are exposed to fluctuations in refinery margins resulting from differing fluctuations in international crude oil and petroleum product prices. We are also exposed to changes in absolute levels of international petroleum product prices through our synthetic fuels and oil operations. Fluctuations in international crude oil prices affect our results mainly through their indirect effect on the BFP price formula, see "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Synfuels" and "Sasol Oil", as well as the impact on oil derived feedstock. Prices of petrochemical products and natural gas are also affected by fluctuations in crude oil prices.
We use derivative instruments to protect us against day-to-day US dollar oil price and rand to US dollar exchange rate fluctuations affecting the acquisition cost of our crude oil needs. See "Item 11Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk".
While the use of these instruments may provide some protection against short-term fluctuations in crude oil prices it does not protect us against longer term fluctuations in crude oil prices or differing trends between crude oil and petroleum product prices.
We are unable to accurately forecast fluctuations in refining margins and crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products prices. Fluctuations in any of these may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Cyclicality in petrochemical product prices may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The demand for chemicals and especially products such as solvents, olefins, surfactants, fertilisers and polymers is cyclical. Typically, higher demand during peaks in the industry business cycles leads producers to increase their production capacity. Although peaks in the business cycle have been characterised by increased selling prices and higher operating margins, in the past such peaks have led to overcapacity with supply exceeding demand growth. Low periods during the industry business cycle are characterised by a decrease in selling prices and excess capacity, which can depress operating margins. Some areas within the chemicals industry currently show production overcapacity, which has been exacerbated by a contraction in demand for products due to the current global economic downturn. The expected capacity additions in the next few years, together with a less optimistic outlook in the medium term, could continue to put pressure on prices of chemical products. Such pressure may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may not be able to exploit technological advances quickly and successfully
Most of our operations, including the gasification of coal and the manufacture of synfuels and petrochemical products, are highly dependent on the development and use of advanced technologies. The development, commercialisation and integration of the appropriate advanced technologies can affect, among other things, the competitiveness of our products, the continuity of our operations, our feedstock requirements and the capacity and efficiency of our production.
It is possible that new technologies or novel processes may emerge and that existing technologies may be further developed in the fields in which we operate. Unexpected rapid advances in employed technologies or the development of novel processes can affect our operations and product ranges in that they could render the technologies we utilise or the products we produce obsolete or less competitive in the future. Difficulties in accessing new technologies may impede us from implementing them and competitive pressures may force us to implement these new technologies at a substantial cost. Examples of new technologies which may in the future affect our business include the following:
We cannot predict the effect of these or other technological changes or the development of novel processes on our business or on our ability to provide competitive products. Our ability to compete will depend on our timely and cost-effective implementation of new technological advances. It will also depend on our success in commercialising these advances in spite of competition we face by our competitors.
In addition to the technological challenges, a large number of our expansion projects are integrated across a number of Sasol businesses. Problems with the development of an integrated project might accordingly have an impact on more than one Sasol business.
If we are unable to implement new technologies in a timely or cost-efficient manner, or penetrate new markets in a timely manner in response to changing market conditions or customer requirements, we could experience a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Our GTL and CTL projects may not prove sufficiently viable or as profitable as planned
We have constructed a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar and are involved in constructing a GTL plant in Nigeria. In December 2008, Sasol reduced its economic interest in the Escravos GTL (EGTL) project in Nigeria from 37,5% to 10%, while still providing full technical and manpower support to the project. The 10% interest retained by Sasol has been recognised as an investment in an associate at its fair value from the effective date of the transaction.
In addition, we are considering opportunities for further GTL and coal-to-liquids (CTL) investments in other areas of the world. The development of these projects, solely or through joint ventures or associates, is a capital-intensive process and requires us to commit significant capital expenditure and devote considerable management resources in utilising our existing experience and know-how, especially in connection with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis technologies. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Synfuels International".
The process used and the products developed by these projects may also give rise to patent risks in connection with the use of our GTL and CTL technologies. See below "Intellectual property risks may adversely affect our products or processes and our competitive advantage".
We consider the development of our GTL and CTL projects as a major part of our strategy for future growth and believe that GTL and CTL fuels will in time develop to become an efficient and widely used alternative and/or supplement to conventional liquid fuels. In assessing the viability of our GTL and CTL projects, we make a number of assumptions relating to specific variables, mainly including:
Significant variations in any one or more of the above factors which are beyond our control, or any other relevant factor, may adversely affect the profitability or even the viability of our GTL and CTL
investments. Most of the above assumptions are also applicable to other growth strategies followed by Sasol. Should we not be successful in the implementation of our GTL and CTL projects, we may be required to write off significant amounts already incurred and we may need to redirect our strategy for future growth. In view of the resources invested in these projects and their importance to our growth strategy, problems we may experience as a result of these factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition and opportunities for future growth.
Increasing exposure related to investments in associates and joint venture companies may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
We have invested in a number of associates and joint ventures as part of our strategy to expand operations globally. We are considering opportunities for further GTL and CTL investments, as well as related opportunities in chemicals, to continue our local and global expansion. The development of these projects may require investments in associates and joint ventures, most of which are aimed at facilitating entry into countries and/or sharing risk with third parties. Although the risks are shared, the objectives of associates and joint venture partners, their ability to meet their financial and/or contractual obligations and their behaviour, as well as the increasing complexity of country specific legislation and regulations, may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition and constrain the achievement of our growth objectives.
There are country-specific risks relating to the countries in which we operate that could adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Several of our subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates operate in countries and regions that are subject to significantly differing political, social, economic and market conditions. See "Item 4.BBusiness Overview" for a description of the extent of our operations in the main countries and regions. Although we are a South African domiciled company and the majority of our operations are located in South Africa, we also have significant chemical businesses in Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Asia and a joint venture in a GTL facility in Qatar and a joint venture in Iran as well as an economic interest in a GTL project in Nigeria.
Particular aspects of country-specific risks that may have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition include:
(a) Political, social and economic issues
We have invested or are in the process of investing in significant operations in African, European, North American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries that have in the past, to a greater or lesser extent, experienced political, social and economic uncertainty. Government policies, laws and regulations in countries in which we operate or plan to operate may change in the future. There is also a risk that our plants that were constructed during buoyant market conditions will have to operate in markets in which product prices may have declined, as we are currently experiencing. The impact of such changes on our ability to deliver on planned projects cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty and such changes may therefore have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results.
(b) Fluctuations in inflation and interest rates
Over recent years, the South African economy has had relatively low and stable levels of inflation and steadily declining interest rates. High interest rates or inflation could adversely impact on our ability to contain costs and to ensure cost-effective debt financing in South Africa.
(c) Transportation, water and electricity and other infrastructure
The infrastructure in some countries in which we operate, such as rail infrastructure, electricity and water supply may need to be further upgraded and expanded and in certain instances possibly at our own cost. Water, as a resource, is becoming increasingly limited as world demand for water increases. The risk in South Africa that water may become significantly limited is exacerbated by the fact that it is one of the drier countries in the world. Water use by our operations varies widely depending largely on feedstock and technology choice. While a GTL plant is typically a net producer of water, a CTL process has a significant water requirement, driven by the need to produce hydrogen and additional cooling requirements. Although various technological advances may improve the water efficiency of our processes, we may experience limited water availability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
(d) Disruptive industrial action
The majority of our employees worldwide belong to trade unions. These employees comprise mainly general workers, artisans and technical operators. Disputes over wage increases have led to a general increase in industrial action in South Africa during 2009. Although we have constructive relations with our employees and their unions, we cannot assure you that significant labour disruptions will not occur in the future.
(e) Exchange control regulations
South African law provides for exchange control regulations which restrict the export of capital from the Common Monetary Area, which includes South Africa, subject to South African Reserve Bank dispensation.
These regulations apply to transactions involving South African residents, including both natural persons and legal entities. These regulations also affect our ability to borrow funds from non-South African sources for use in South Africa or to repay these funds from South Africa and, in some cases, our ability to guarantee the obligations of our subsidiaries with regard to these funds. These restrictions have affected the manner in which we have financed our transactions outside South Africa and the geographic distribution of our debt. See "Item 10.DExchange controls" and "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resources".
(f) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
AIDS, and tuberculosis, which is closely associated with the disease and is exacerbated in the presence of HIV/AIDS, represents a serious health care challenge both for Sasol and South Africa in general. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and South Africa has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. It has been estimated in the UNAIDS 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic that approximately 18,1% of the adult population in South Africa are HIV positive. Based on an actuarial study, which excludes the positive impact of any prevention and management intervention programme, we estimate that, while the percentage of infected employees may not rise significantly in the forthcoming years, there will be a significant increase in the number of AIDS-related fatalities, absenteeism and increase in costs associated with treatment, skills shortage and loss of productivity. See "Item 6.DEmployees".
Although we do not expect HIV/AIDS to materially and adversely affect our operations and results, it is not possible to determine with certainty that costs incurred in managing HIV/AIDS and the impact of HIV/AIDS in general will remain at current levels and no assurances and meaningful future estimates can be given in this regard.
(g) Transformation issues
In some countries our operations are required to comply with local procurement, employment equity, equity participation and other regulations which are designed to address country-specific social and economic transformation issues.
In South Africa, there are various transformation initiatives with which we are required to comply. As a leading and patriotic South African-based company, we embrace and will engender or participate in initiatives to bring about meaningful transformation to assist in correcting the imbalances and injustices of the apartheid era. We consider these initiatives to be a strategic imperative and we acknowledge the risk of not vigorously pursuing them. It is not currently known what additional costs or implications will arise for us to comply with these transformation initiatives. See "Item 4.B Empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans".
We are a participant in transformation charters in the liquid fuels and mining industry, pursuant to which we have undertaken to enable previously disadvantaged South Africans to hold at least 25% equity ownership in our liquid fuels business and 26% equity ownership, by 2016, in our mining business.
The Minister of Trade and Industry published the Codes of Good Practice for broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) on 9 February 2007, effective from the date of publication. These Codes provide a standard framework for the measurement of broad-based BEE across all sectors of the economy.
It is not currently known what implications will arise for us to comply with the said Codes and other requirements of the Liquid Fuels, Mining Charter and the Codes of Good Practice for broad-based BEE. We believe that the long-term benefits to the company and our country should outweigh any possible short-term adverse effects, but we cannot assure you that these implications will not have a material adverse effect on our shareholders or business operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
(h) Engineering and construction contract costs
The worldwide increase in the demand for large engineering and construction projects has resulted in a shortage of engineering and construction resources and strains on these industries. These have impacted on some of our projects and have adversely affected construction timing schedules and costs. Whilst possible higher international crude oil prices in the long term may boost post-commissioning income streams and compensate for construction delays and higher capital costs, these strains in the engineering and construction industries are nevertheless a cause for concern and may impact on our project plans and growth ambitions. Even though the global recession has led to a marginally downward trend in the demand for large engineering and construction projects, we cannot assure you that our engineering and construction resources will not be constrained in the long term following an economic recovery. In order to mitigate the shortage of the availability of engineering resources, we have entered into long-term relationship agreements with large reputable engineering contractors, both locally in South Africa and internationally. This should provide Sasol with preferential access to the resource pools of these engineering contractors on a global basis in order to sustain our projects and growth plans.
Some of the countries where we have already made, or other countries where we may consider making, investments are in various stages of developing institutions and legal and regulatory systems that are characteristic of parliamentary democracies. However, institutions in these countries may not yet be as firmly established as they are in parliamentary democracies in South Africa and some European countries. Some of these countries are also transitioning to a market economy and, as a result, experiencing changes in their economies and their government policies that could affect our investments in these countries.
Moreover, the procedural safeguards of the new legal and regulatory regimes in these countries are still being developed and, therefore, existing laws and regulations may be applied inconsistently. In some circumstances, it may not be possible to obtain the legal remedies provided under those laws and regulations in a timely manner.
As the political, economic and legal environments remain subject to continuous development, investors in these countries face uncertainty as to the security of their investments. Any unexpected changes in the political or economic conditions in the countries in which we operate (including neighbouring countries) may have a material adverse effect on the investments that we have made or may make in the future, which may in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Increase in electricity supply interruptions and increase in electricity costs in South Africa could adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth
Sasol generates one-third of its total power supply needs internally and has plans to increase internal power generation through investments in co-generation and energy efficiency measures. Our South African operations are also dependent on power generated by the state-owned utility, Eskom. In the past two years there has been an increase in the number of electricity supply interruptions, resulting mainly from recent economic growth exceeding expectations and delayed investments in infrastructure upgrades and development. Although Eskom has announced a number of short- and long-term mitigation plans, we cannot assure you that we will not experience power supply interruptions which could have material adverse effects on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
Furthermore, we are experiencing unprecedented higher than normal electricity price increases. In June 2008, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) granted Eskom an average annual tariff increase of 27,5%, which included a 14,2% increase already granted to the state-owned utility in December 2007, recovered in the period from June 2008 to March 2009. In June 2009, NERSA granted Eskom a further price increase of 31,3% to be recovered by March 2010. Any sharp increase in electricity costs may have material adverse effects on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
We may not comply with laws or regulations in the countries in which we operate
The industry in which we operate is highly regulated and requires compliance with a myriad of laws and regulations, governing matters such as minerals, trading in petroleum products, safety, health and environment, etc. in our South African and global operations. Non-compliance can impact business performance dramatically. Although systems and processes are in place to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations we cannot assure you that all employees comply with all laws and regulations at all times, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
New South African mining legislation may have an adverse effect on our mineral rights
In May 2004, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), which places all mineral and petroleum resources under the custodianship of the state, was enacted in South Africa. The MPRDA requires mining companies, including our subsidiary, Sasol Mining (Pty) Limited, to apply for conversion of their existing prospecting permits and mining authorisations (old order rights) to new order rights. The MPRDA allowed existing holders of mineral authorisations a period of five years, which ended on 30 April 2009, to apply for the conversion of these old order rights, and one year, which expired on 30 April 2005, for the conversion of unused old order rights. Thus far all the prospecting rights for which we have applied have been granted and prospecting activities are being conducted in terms of the approved prospecting work programmes. Applications for the conversion of our old order mining rights in respect of our Secunda operations and the Mooikraal mine were submitted well in advance of the 30 April 2009 deadline. However, we are still awaiting the conversion of our old order mining rights into new order mining rights. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
In case of a breach of its obligations by an entity, the new order rights can be suspended or cancelled by the Minister of Mineral Resources if the entity, upon receiving a notice of breach from the Minister, fails to remedy such breach. The MPRDA and applicable provisions in the National Environmental Management Act impose additional responsibilities with respect to environmental management as well as environmental pollution, degradation or damage from mining or prospecting activities. In order to attain alignment in respect of the environmental provisions of these acts, the MPRDA Amendment ACT and the National Environmental Management Amendment Act have been enacted, but will only be implemented on a date still to be published in the Government Gazette. The MPRDA Amendment Act also grants the Minister of Mineral Resources the power to refuse conversions of old order mining rights.
The MPRDA required the Minister of Mineral Resources to develop a Code of Good Practice for the Minerals Industry (Code) and the Housing and Living Conditions Standard (Standard) by 30 April 2009, both of which were published in the Government Gazette of 29 April 2009. The Code was developed to create principles which would facilitate the effective implementation of minerals and mining legislation and enhance the implementation of the Mining Charter applicable to the mining industry. The Standard aims to include the provision of housing as an integral part of infrastructure during the development of a mine. Both the Code and the Standard provide that non-compliance equates to non-compliance with the MPRDA.
It is unclear whether non-compliance with the Code and the Standard would lead to the cancellation or suspension of a mining right, whether they will be used in evaluating applications for new rights or for the conversion of old rights, and whether they would be considered legislation under the MPRDA. Subsequent to the publication of the Code and the Standard, the Department of Mineral Resources, organised labour and the mining industry have engaged in discussions in an effort to address the concerns of the mining industry and to possibly amend the Code and the Standard, not
only to ensure the constitutionality thereof, but also to ensure alignment between the respective role-players.
It is important to note that the Mining Charter is being reviewed during the 2009 calendar year. The Mining Charter came into effect on 1 May 2004 and the purpose thereof is to facilitate the transformation of the South African mining industry. It is not certain whether it is a full scale review or whether it is intended to review only the targets contained in the Mining Charter. The Department of Mineral Resources is currently evaluating the mining industry to determine the extent to which the targets of the Mining Charter have been met. The information gathered during this process will be utilised during the review process. It is expected that the original role players who took part in the development of the Mining Charter, being the Department of Mineral Resources, organised labour and the Chamber of Mines, will play a significant role in the process.
We cannot assure you that these changes will not affect our operations and mining rights in the future, and as a result have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Royalties from mining activities will become payable to the state from 1 March 2010 under provisions contained in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act and the Petroleum Resources Royalty Administration Act (the Acts). The introduction of the revenue based royalty does not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
New legislation on petroleum and energy activities may have an adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The Petroleum Products Amendment Act regulates a wide range of matters including the licensing of persons involved in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of petroleum products. Although Sasol Oil, Natref and Sasol Synfuels have applied for applicable licences for their respective existing manufacturing and retail activities, we cannot assure you that these licences will be granted and if they are granted, the conditions of the licences may not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. New retail site development by Sasol Oil could be delayed given the requirements under the new regulations for site and retail licences. Pending a decision in respect of these applications, the companies are deemed to be the holders of licences for those activities. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa".
The Petroleum Pipelines Act, which regulates petroleum pipelines and storage and loading facility activities, grants limited discretion to NERSA to adopt different pricing methodologies in connection with the setting of tariffs for different market and geographic conditions. If these tariffs are disadvantageous to us, the prices of our petroleum products may be affected and be less competitive than the prices of our competitors, and as a result, may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. In addition, our ability to recover crude oil pumping costs, incurred to supply our Natref refinery, fully from the market may also be impacted. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Oil" and "Regulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa".
We have applied for appropriate licences under the Petroleum Pipelines Act based on the rules issued by NERSA for our depots and related infrastructure and are awaiting the issue of these licences. We cannot assure you that the licences will be granted. Among the matters governed by the Petroleum Pipelines Act, of particular significance to our business are issues relating to the powers granted to NERSA with respect to the determination or approval of tariffs, the granting of construction, conversion and operating licences and open access to pipelines and depots.
On 1 May 2009, NERSA published guidelines for Monitoring and Approving Piped-Gas Transmission and Storage Tariffs in South Africa pursuant to the Gas Act. Various elements, such as the specific application of the rate or return and discounted cash flow methodologies as applied in a mature market, the method used to value the asset base, suitable benchmarking measurements appropriate to a developing market, calculation of the weighted average cost of capital and a dispute resolution process, remain uncertain. In addition, NERSA has not yet clarified its position regarding the regulatory framework relating to distribution tariffs and maximum prices for trading activities as provided for in the Gas Act. The timeframe within which NERSA plans to develop these additional elements of the regulatory framework also remains unclear. Due to the uncertainty regarding the Regulatory Framework that will ultimately apply to the Sasol Gas business, we cannot assure you that the implementation and enforcement of these regulations will not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
The Gas Act regulates matters relating to gas transmission, storage, distribution, liquefaction and re-gasification activities. Although we negotiated a ten year regulatory dispensation (expiring in 2014) with the South African government with respect to the supply of Mozambican natural gas to the South African market, we cannot assure you that the provisions of the Gas Act will not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of gas related activities in South Africa".
The Department of Mineral Resources has embarked on a process to change the methodology for determining the margins of the regulated retail price of fuel. The results are not yet known, but may impact the wholesale price of fuel, thereby having a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Changes in consumer and safety, health and environmental regulations and legislation and public opinion may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Our products are required to comply with numerous pieces of legislation relating, amongst others, to the protection of the environment, the health and safety of employees, the public and the end consumer, while also meeting customer needs. As these laws and regulations may grow stricter, we may be required in some cases to incur additional expenditure in providing additional test data in order to register our products or to adjust the manufacturing processes for certain of our products, including liquid fuels and chemicals. For example, meeting the registration requirements in the next phase of the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (REACH) compliance procedure, implemented by the European Commission, may have significant costs implications. Similarly, public opinion is growing more sensitive to consumer health and safety and environmental protection matters, and, as a result, markets may apply pressure on us concerning certain of our products
As a result of these additional costs of compliance and other factors, including pressures related to public opinion, we may be required to withdraw certain products from the market, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Our exploration, mining and production operations are required to conform to legislation relating to the protection of the environment, health and safety of the workforce and neighbouring communities. As these regulations may grow stricter, we may be required in some instances to incur additional expenditure in order to provide additional protection, to adjust specifications or manufacturing processes, amend transport and distribution arrangements for certain of our operations and this may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSafety, health and environment.
We are subject to a wide range of general and industry-specific environmental, health and safety and other legislation in jurisdictions in which we operate. Environmental requirements govern, among other things, land use, air emissions, use of water, wastewater discharge, waste management and site
remediation. Compliance with these laws, regulations, permits, licences and authorisations is a significant factor in our business, and we incur, and expect to continue to incur, significant capital and operating expenditures in order to continue to comply with applicable laws, regulations, permits, licences and authorisations.
Failure to comply with applicable safety, health and environmental laws, regulations or permit requirements may result in fines or penalties or enforcement actions, including regulatory or judicial orders enjoining or curtailing operations or requiring corrective measures, installation of pollution control equipment or other remedial actions, any of which could entail significant expenditures.
We continue to take remedial actions at a number of sites due to soil and groundwater contamination. The process of investigation and remediation can be lengthy and is subject to the uncertainties of site specific factors, changing legal requirements, developing technologies, the allocation of liability among multiple parties and the discretion of regulators. Accordingly, we cannot estimate with certainty the actual amount and timing of costs associated with site remediation.
In order to comply with these safety, health and environmental licences, laws and regulations we may have to incur costs which we may finance from our available cash flows or from alternative sources of financing. We may be required to provide for financial security for environmental rehabilitation in the form of a trust fund, guarantee, deposit or other methods as may be required by future regulations to be promulgated under the Petroleum Products Act, the Petroleum Pipelines Act, the Gas Act and other relevant legislation in respect of the rehabilitation of environmental impacts. No assurance can be given that changes in safety, health and environmental laws and regulations or their application or the discovery of previously unknown contamination or other liabilities will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Whilst it is our policy that asbestos-containing materials will be phased out on a risk-based order of priority, there are currently certain asbestos-containing materials at our facilities. In addition, our manufacturing processes may utilise and result in the emission of substances with potential carcinogenic properties. We also manufacture products which may contain carcinogenic components. Although we implement occupational health and safety, product stewardship and other measures to eliminate or mitigate associated potential risks, we cannot assure you that no liabilities may arise as a result of the use or exposure to these materials.
In recent years global understanding and awareness regarding greenhouse gases have increased significantly. Potential CTL technology providers are experiencing an increasing number of questions regarding their CTL technology and how the CO2 emitted will be addressed. We have initiated a focused and coordinated approach to understanding and providing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions from our CTL ventures. We cannot predict the effect of these solutions on our ability to implement our CTL projects, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties' (COP) thirteenth meeting in Bali in December 2007, a roadmap was developed to reach agreement on, inter alia, a long term global goal for greenhouse gas emission reduction. The agreed outcome and adoption of a decision is targeted for the fifteenth session of the UNFCCC COP in Copenhagen at the end of the 2009 calendar year. Countries like South Africa have since indicated that their mitigation strategy can include regulatory mechanisms and economic instruments such as taxes and incentives. The publication of the South African policy is expected towards the end of the 2011 calendar year, with implementation expected from the 2012 calendar year onwards. At present we cannot predict the effect of these potential impacts on our business, but we have updated our greenhouse gas policy and are closely following these developments.
Failure to comply with competition and anti trust laws
Globally, competition authorities are increasingly enforcing legislation, networking and exchanging information relating to potential violation of antitrust laws.
Violations of competition/antitrust legislation could expose the group to administrative penalties of up to 10% of its worldwide turnover and civil claims and damages, including punitive damages, by entities which can prove they were harmed by such conduct. In addition, there is also the significant reputational damage that accompanies findings of such contraventions as well as imprisonment or fines for individuals in some countries where antitrust violations are a criminal offence.
In October 2008 and May 2009, Sasol was fined by the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition and the South African Competition Authorities, respectively. The South African Competition Authority is conducting investigations into the pipeline gas, petroleum, polymers, fertilisers and wax industries. The group embarked on a competition law compliance review programme, conducted by external legal counsel, of all its entities globally and has cooperated with competition authorities to deal pro-actively with non-compliance matters in July 2008. The review programme may reveal further non-compliances, which could lead to further fines being levied against Sasol. Although it is our policy to comply with all laws, and notwithstanding training and compliance programmes, we could, notwithstanding this programme, fall foul of competition or antitrust laws and be subject to the imposition of fines, criminal sanctions and/or civil claims. This could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The competition law compliance risks mentioned above will be aggravated in South Africa when the Competition Amendment Act of 2009 becomes effective. This act will introduce individual criminal liability for collusion as well as the concept of a "complex monopoly". This could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient skilled employees
We are highly dependent on the continuous development and successful application of new technologies. In order to achieve this, we need to maintain a focus on recruiting and retaining qualified scientists and engineers as well as artisans and operators. In addition, we are dependent on highly skilled employees in business and functional roles to establish new business ventures as well as to maintain existing operations.
In the past, we have been successful in recruiting and retaining such personnel. However, globally the demand for personnel with the range of capabilities and experience required in our industry is high and success in attracting and retaining such employees is not guaranteed. Even though we are currently observing a marginally downward trend in natural attrition rates as a result of the current economic downturn, there is a risk that our scientific, engineering and project execution skills base may be constrained over time because of, for example, natural attrition and a shortage of people being available in these disciplines in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Failure to attract and retain people with the right capabilities and experience could negatively affect our ability to introduce and maintain the appropriate technological improvements to our business, our ability to successfully construct and commission new plants or establish new business ventures. This may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Intellectual property risks may adversely affect our freedom to operate our processes and sell our products and may dilute our competitive advantage
Our various products and processes, including most notably, our chemical, CTL and GTL products and processes have unique characteristics and structures and, as a result, are subject to patent protection, the extent of which varies from country to country. Rapid changes in our technology
commercialisation strategy may result in a misalignment between our intellectual property protection filing strategy and the countries in which we operate. The expiry of a patent may result in increased competition in the market for the previously patented products and processes, although the continuous supplementation of our patent portfolio mitigates such risk to an extent. In addition, aggressive patenting by our competitors, especially in developing countries, may result in an increased patent infringement risk and also constrain our ability to operate in our preferred markets.
A significant percentage of our products can be regarded as commodity chemicals, some of which have unique characteristics and structure. These products are normally utilised by our clients as feedstock to manufacture specialty chemicals or application-type products. We have noticed a worldwide trend of increased filing of patents relating to the composition of product formulations and the applications thereof. These patents may create pressure on those of our clients who market these product formulations which may adversely affect our sales to these clients. These patents may also increase our risk to exposure from these limited indemnities provided to our clients of these products. Patent-related pressures may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We believe that our proprietary technology, know-how and trade secrets, especially in the Fischer-Tropsch area, provide us with a competitive advantage. A possible loss of experienced personnel to competitors, and a possible transfer of know-how and trade secrets associated therewith, may negatively impact this advantage. In addition, the patenting by our competitors of technology built on our know-how obtained through ex-personnel may further result in loss.
Similarly, operating and licensing technology in countries in which intellectual property laws are not well established and enforced may result in an inability to effectively enforce our intellectual rights. The risk of some transfer of our know-how and trade secrets to our competitors is increased by the increase in the number of licences granted under our intellectual property, as well as the increase in the number of licensed plants which are brought into operation through entities which we do not control. As intellectual property warranties and indemnities are provided under each new licence granted, the cumulative risk increases accordingly. This may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Increasing competition by products originating from countries with low production costs may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Certain of our chemical production facilities are located in developed countries, including the United States and Europe. Economic and political conditions in these countries result in relatively high labour costs and, in some regions, relatively inflexible labour markets. Increasing competition from regions with lower production costs, for example the Middle East, India and China, exercises pressure on the competitiveness of our chemical products and, therefore, on our profit margins. This could result in the withdrawal of particular products or the closure of specific facilities. We cannot assure you that increasing competition from products originating from countries with lower production costs will not result in withdrawal of our products or closure of our facilities, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may face potential costs in connection with industry-related accidents or deliberate acts of terror causing property damage, personal injuries or environmental contamination
We operate coal mines, explore for and produce oil and gas and operate a number of plants and facilities for the manufacture, storage, processing and transportation of oil, chemicals and gas related raw materials, products and wastes. These facilities and their respective operations are subject to various risks, such as fire, explosions, leaks, ruptures, discharges of toxic hazardous substances, soil and
water contamination, flooding and land subsidence, among others. As a result, we are subject to the risk of experiencing, and have in the past experienced, industry-related incidents.
Our facilities, located mainly in South Africa, the United States and various European countries, as well as in various African countries, the Middle East and Asia, may be subject to the risk of experiencing deliberate acts of terror.
Our main Sasol Synfuels production facilities are concentrated in a relatively small area in Secunda, South Africa. This facility utilises feedstock from our mining and gas businesses, whilst the chemical and oil businesses rely on the facility for the raw materials it produces. Industry-related accidents and acts of terror may result in damages to our facilities and may require shutdown of the affected facilities, thereby disrupting production, increasing production costs and may even disrupt the mining, gas, chemicals and oil businesses which make up a significant portion of our total income.
It is Sasol's policy to procure property damage and business interruption insurance cover for its production facilities above acceptable deductible levels at acceptable commercial premiums. However, full cover for all scenarios of maximum losses may in some years not be available at acceptable commercial rates and we cannot give any assurance that the insurance procured for any particular year would cover all potential risks sufficiently or that the insurers will have the financial ability to pay claims.
Furthermore, acts of terror or accidents at our longstanding operations may have caused, or may in future cause environmental contamination, personal injuries, health impairment or fatalities and may result in exposure to extensive environmental remediation costs, civil litigation, the imposition of fines and penalties and the need to obtain or implement costly pollution control technology.
We have implemented a number of programmes, including on-the-job safety training, in order to improve safety, and we monitor our safety, health and environmental procedures. In some cases we also have indemnity agreements with the previous owners of acquired businesses which limit certain of our exposures to environmental contamination. However, there can be no assurance that accidents or acts of terror will not occur in the future, that insurance will adequately cover the entire scope or extent of our losses or that we may not be found liable in connection with claims arising from these and other events.
In general, we cannot assure you that costs incurred as a result of the above or related factors will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Our coal, crude oil and natural gas reserve estimates may be materially different from reserves that we may actually recover
Our reported coal reserves are estimated quantities based on applicable reporting regulations that under present and anticipated conditions have the potential to be economically mined and processed. Our proved developed and undeveloped crude oil and natural gas reserves constitute estimates that are based on applicable reporting regulations. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and in projecting potential future rates of coal, oil and natural gas production, including many factors beyond our control. In addition, reserve/reservoir engineering is a subjective process of estimating underground deposits of reserves that cannot be measured in an exact manner and the accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data and engineering and geological interpretation and judgment. Estimates of different engineers may vary and results of our mining/drilling and production subsequent to the date of an estimate may justify revision of estimates.
Reserve estimates may require revision based on actual production experience and other factors. In addition, several factors including the market price of coal, oil and natural gas, reduced recovery rates or increased production costs due to inflation or other factors may render certain of our estimated
proved and probable coal reserves and proved developed oil and natural gas reserves and undeveloped oil and natural gas resources uneconomical to exploit and may ultimately result in a restatement of reserves. This may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.DProperty, plants and equipment".
There is a possible risk that sanctions may be imposed on Sasol by the US government as a result of our existing investments in Iran
There are possible risks posed by the potential imposition of US economic sanctions in connection with activities we are undertaking in the polymers field, as well as feasibility studies relating to a potential ammonia/urea project at Assaluyeh, in Iran. For a description of our activities in Iran see "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Polymers".
The risks relate to two sanctions programmes administered by the US government that we have considered: the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITRs) administered by the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) administered by the US Department of State.
The ITRs prohibit or restrict most transactions between US persons and Iran. The ITRs, which are administered by OFAC, do not apply directly to either Sasol or the group entities involved in activities in Iran, because none of them would be considered US persons under these regulations. Nonetheless, because the group is a multinational enterprise, the ITRs may apply to certain entities associated with the group, including US employees, investors and certain subsidiaries.
We are taking measures to ensure that our US employees, investors and certain subsidiaries of the group to which the ITRs apply will not violate the ITRs as a result of their respective affiliations with the group. For instance, to that end, we are taking measures to:
By undertaking these steps, we believe that any risks posed by the ITRs to us, as well as to US persons and entities affiliated with the group will be mitigated. Nevertheless, we cannot predict OFACs enforcement policy in this regard and it is possible that OFAC may take a different view of the measures described above. In such event, US persons or affiliates associated with the group may be subject to a range of civil and criminal penalties.
The ISA was adopted by the US government in 1996 with the objective of denying Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism and fund the development or acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. The ISA was extended in 2001 and amended in 2006 by the Iran Freedom Support Act; it will continue in force through 2011. In addition, the House and the Senate continue to consider amendments to ISA that could subject a broader range of business or investment activities to sanctions.
In its amended form, the ISA grants the President of the United States discretion in imposing sanctions on companies found to be in violation of its provisions involving investment in the petroleum industry in Iran or involving exports, transfers or other provisions any person or company, regardless of nationality, that (i) makes an investment in Iran of US$20 million or more in any 12-month period that directly and significantly contributes to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum industries, or (ii) exports,
transfers or otherwise provides to Iran any goods, services, technology or other items with the knowledge that such provision would contribute materially to the ability of Iran to acquire or develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons (or related technologies), or destabilising numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons.
Should the US government determine that some or all of our activities in Iran are investments in the petroleum industry, as statutorily defined by the ISA, the President of the United States may, in his discretion, determine which sanctions to apply. These could include restrictions on our ability to obtain credit from US financial institutions, restrictions on our ability to procure goods, services and technology from the United States or restrictions on our ability to make sales into the United States.
We cannot predict future interpretations of the provisions of the ISA or the implementation policy of the US government with respect to the ISA. Although we believe that our polymers project is not in the petroleum industry and we are involved only in a feasibility study in connection with a possible ammonia/urea project, in Iran, we cannot assure you that our activities in Iran would not be considered investments as statutorily defined by the ISA or that the imposition of sanctions on the company or other entities of the group would not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
In addition to the sanctions administered by OFAC and the US Department of State described above, the US government may impose (and, from time to time, has in the past imposed) restrictions and sanctions against Iranian financial institutions under the USA Patriot Act and other anti-money laundering legislation. Such measures against Iranian financial institutions could have an adverse effect on our operations and investments in Iran.
Legislation by US states that may require US public pension funds to divest of securities of companies with certain Iran-related activities could adversely affect our reputation with US investors or the market price of our shares
Several US states have enacted or are considering legislation that may require US state pension funds to divest securities of companies that have certain business operations in Iran. The terms of these provisions differ from state to state, and we cannot predict which legislation, if any, would require state pension funds to divest our shares. If a substantial number of our shares were to be divested as a result of state legislation, or the perception be created that the divestiture is required to occur, our reputation with US investors or the market price of our shares could be adversely affected.
The exercise of voting rights by holders of American Depositary Receipts is limited in some circumstances
Holders of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) may exercise voting rights with respect to the ordinary shares underlying their American Depositary Shares (ADSs) only in accordance with the provisions of our deposit agreement (Deposit Agreement) with The Bank of New York Mellon, as the depositary (Depositary). For example, ADR holders will not receive notice of a meeting directly from us. Rather, we will provide notice of a shareholders meeting to The Bank of New York Mellon in accordance with the Deposit Agreement. The Bank of New York Mellon has undertaken in turn, as soon as practicable after receipt of our notice, to mail voting materials to holders of ADRs. These voting materials include information on the matters to be voted on as contained in our notice of the shareholders meeting and a statement that the holders of ADRs on a specified date will be entitled, subject to any applicable provision of the laws of South Africa and our Articles of Association, to instruct The Bank of New York Mellon as to the exercise of the voting rights, pertaining to the shares underlying their respective ADSs on a specified date. In addition, holders of our ADRs will be required to instruct The Bank of New York Mellon how to exercise these voting rights.
Upon the written instruction of an ADR holder, The Bank of New York Mellon will endeavour, in so far as practicable, to vote or cause to be voted the shares underlying the ADSs in accordance with the instructions received. If instructions from an ADR holder are not received by The Bank of New York Mellon by the date specified in the voting materials, The Bank of New York Mellon will not request a proxy on behalf of such holder. The Bank of New York Mellon will not vote or attempt to exercise the right to vote other than in accordance with the instructions received from ADR holders.
We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct The Bank of New York Mellon to vote the shares underlying your ADSs. In addition, The Bank of New York Mellon and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and there may be no recourse if your voting rights are not exercised as you directed.
Sales of a large amount of Sasol's ordinary shares and ADSs could adversely affect the prevailing market price of the securities
Historically, trading volumes and liquidity of shares listed on the JSE Limited (JSE) have been low in comparison with other major markets. The ability of a holder to sell a substantial number of Sasol's ordinary shares on the JSE in a timely manner, especially in a large block trade, may be restricted by this limited liquidity. The sales of ordinary shares or ADSs, if substantial, or the perception that these sales may occur and be substantial, could exert downward pressure on the prevailing market prices for the Sasol ordinary shares or ADSs, causing their market prices to decline.
Sasol Limited, the ultimate holding company of our group, is a public company. It was incorporated under the laws of the Republic of South Africa in 1979 and has been listed on the JSE Limited (JSE) since October 1979. Our registered office and corporate headquarters are at 1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, 2196, South Africa, and our telephone number is +27 11 441 3111. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Puglisi and Associates, 850 Library Avenue, Suite 204, P.O. Box 885, Newark, Delaware 19715.
In 1947, the South African Parliament enacted legislation detailing the establishment of an oil-from-coal industry in South Africa. This followed 20 years after the publication of a White Paper by Parliament, aiming to protect the country's balance of payments against increasing crude oil imports in view of the lack of domestic crude oil reserves. As a result of this initiative, the South African government in 1950, through the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC), a state-owned entity, formed our predecessor company known as the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation Limited to manufacture fuels and chemicals from indigenous raw materials.
Construction work on our synthetic fuels plant at Sasolburg (Sasol One), in the Free State province, about 80 kilometres (km) south of Johannesburg, commenced in 1952, and in 1955, the original Sasol One production units were commissioned. We supplied our first gasoline and diesel to motorists in Sasolburg in November 1955. The operation of this plant was based on a combination of the German fixed-bed and the US fluidised-bed Fischer-Tropsch technologies, together with German Lurgi coal gasification technologies for the synthetic production of gasoline, diesel, other liquid fuels and chemical feedstock from coal.
During the 1960s, we became a major supplier of raw materials for the chemical industry. This included products such as solvents for paints, butadiene and styrene for synthetic rubber and ammonia for nitrogenous fertiliser. When our first naphtha cracker became operational in the mid-1960s, we added ethylene and propylene for the plastics industry to our product portfolio.
In 1966, we completed construction of our first gas pipeline, which connected 250 industrial companies in the greater Johannesburg area to pipeline gas.
In December 1967, National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Limited (Natref) was incorporated and, at the same time, construction of the oil refinery commenced at Sasolburg. The refinery was commissioned in February 1971. Currently we, through our 75% holding in Sasol Oil (Pty) Limited, and Total South Africa (Pty) Limited (Total), a subsidiary of Total S.A. of France, hold 63,64% and 36,36%, respectively, in Natref.
The increased oil prices experienced in the early 1970's presented us with an opportunity to increase our synfuels production capacity and assist in reducing South Africa's dependence on imported crude oil. We commenced the construction of Sasol Two in Secunda, 145 km southeast of Johannesburg in the Mpumalanga province, in 1976, and in March 1980, this plant produced its first synthetic fuel. During the final construction phases of Sasol Two in 1979, work commenced on the construction of our third synfuels and chemicals plant also in Secunda, Sasol Three, which was completed in 1982. The virtually identical operations of Sasol Two and Sasol Three were merged in 1993 to form Sasol Synthetic Fuels, now Sasol Synfuels.
Towards the time of the completion of the Sasol Three project, all our technical and research and development services were consolidated into a new company, Sasol Technology (Pty) Limited. Since then, Sasol Technology has been an important area of our activities, responsible for research and development, technology development and commercialisation, project management and specialist engineering skills.
In October 1979, Sasol Limited was listed on the JSE, and 70% of its share capital was privatised. We used the proceeds from the private and public issue to acquire 100% shareholding in Sasol One and 50% shareholding in Sasol Two and Sasol Three from the IDC. During 1983, we acquired the IDC's remaining interest in Sasol Two and the remaining interest in Sasol Three was acquired effective 1 July 1990. Subsequently, the interest in our share capital held by the South African government through the IDC was further reduced to its current 8,0%.
In 1982, our American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) were quoted on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) National Market through an unsponsored ADR programme, which was later converted to a sponsored ADR programme in 1994. With effect from 9 April 2003, we transferred our listing to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Our technology enabled us to enter the downstream production of higher-value chemicals, including nitrogenous fertilisers and commercial explosives in 1983 and 1984, respectively, and also of solvents, phenolics, waxes and co-monomers.
During 1988 and 1989, we undertook the construction of a large polypropylene plant that incorporated BASF gas-phase technology. Between 1990 and 1993, Sasol One underwent an R820 million renovation, during which we discontinued the production of synfuels and increased the production of higher-value chemicals, including ammonia, solvents, phenolics, paraffin and waxes.
Polifin Limited (Polifin) was established in Johannesburg in January 1994, as a joint venture with AECI Limited (AECI), a South African listed chemicals and explosives company. The joint venture manufactured and marketed monomers and polymers. In 1996, Polifin was listed on the JSE. In 1999, pursuant to a takeover offer, we acquired Polifin's remaining share capital from AECI and the public, delisted Polifin and subsequently it became part of our chemicals portfolio and was renamed Sasol Polymers.
In June 1994, the first co-monomer plant at Secunda was commissioned to produce 1-hexene and 1-pentene for the international polymers market.
In 1995, we founded Sasol Petroleum International (Pty) Limited (SPI) to undertake oil and gas exploration and production in selected high potential areas in West and Southern Africa. SPI is currently active in South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Australia, Papua New Guinea and, most notably, in Mozambique. In 2000 and 2001, we signed agreements with the government of Mozambique for the development of natural gas fields and the construction of a gas pipeline transporting gas to the South African market. The construction of this pipeline was completed in 2004. We introduced natural gas to the South African pipeline gas market as of 2004 and use natural gas as part of our feedstock for our chemicals and synfuels operations in both Secunda and Sasolburg.
The Schümann Sasol International wax manufacturing and marketing joint venture was established in 1995 after a merger of Sasol Waxes and the Hamburg-based Schümann wax operations. It produces paraffin and Fischer-Tropsch waxes and operates in various countries. Effective 1 July 2002, we acquired from Vara Holdings GmbH and Co KG the remaining third of the share capital of Schümann Sasol and this group of companies, now 100% owned, has been renamed Sasol Wax.
By early 1999, Sasol Synfuels had commissioned the last of its eight new generation Sasol Advanced Synthol (SAS) reactors at Secunda, and a ninth reactor was commissioned in 2001. The 1-octene plant, also at Secunda, was commissioned in April 1999 by Sasol Solvents and commenced supply to Dow Chemical Company polyethylene plants in May 1999.
Over the past years, we have been exploring opportunities through Sasol Synfuels International (Pty) Limited (SSI) to exploit the Sasol Slurry Phase Distillate (Sasol SPD) process technology for the production of high-quality, environment-friendly diesel and other higher-value hydrocarbons from natural gas. In October 2000, we signed agreements with Chevron for the creation of Sasol Chevron,
a 50:50 global joint venture founded on gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. Sasol Chevron was formed in order to take advantage of the synergies of Sasol's and Chevron's GTL strengths. Sasol has advanced Fischer-Tropsch technology and Chevron has extensive global experience with respect to natural gas utilisation, product marketing and hydrotreating technology. Sasol and Chevron have reviewed and optimised their business model for co-operation with respect to their GTL ambitions and have agreed, in future, to work together directly and on a case-by-case basis and not through the Sasol Chevron joint venture that will only be used to support the GTL project in Nigeria.
Sasol together with Chevron is currently involved in the development of a GTL project in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited at existing oil and gas facilities at Escravos in Nigeria. In December 2008, Sasol reduced its economic interest in the Escravos GTL (EGTL) project in Nigeria from 37,5% to 10%, while still providing full technical and manpower support to the project. The 10% interest retained by Sasol has been recognised as an investment in an associate at its fair value from the effective date of the transaction, being 23 December 2008.
In July 2001, we signed a joint venture agreement with Qatar Petroleum to establish Oryx GTL (Qatar Petroleum 51% and Sasol 49%). The joint venture has constructed a GTL plant located at Ras Laffan Industrial City to produce high quality synfuels from Qatar's natural gas resources. The plant started producing on specification product during the first quarter of calendar year 2007 and the first product was sold in April 2007. The performance and production ramp up of Oryx GTL are meeting expectations. The average daily production for 2009 more than doubled that of the previous year.
We acquired Condea in March 2001 from German-based RWE-DEA AG for €1,3 billion (R8,3 billion). Most of this business was subsequently hosted in Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S) with production facilities mainly in the United States, Europe and South Africa. In 2003, it was determined that we would continue to grow our chemical businesses conditional upon projects leveraging our technology or securing integrated or highly cost-competitive feedstock positions. We announced in August 2005 that we were considering the divestment of the Sasol O&S business, excluding our co-monomers activities in South Africa, subject to fair value being attained. In March 2007, we terminated the divestiture process and decided to retain and restructure the business. The reason for the termination of the sale was that fair value could not be obtained. A restructuring programme was implemented in 2007 and the shut down for an indefinite period of the Baltimore, USA and Porto Torres, Italy LAB facilities as well as normal paraffin production in Augusta, Italy constituted the first phase of this continuing programme. In June 2009, agreement was reached for the sale of the Crotone, Italy inorganic facilities. This sale is expected to be concluded within the last quarter of the 2009 calendar year.
In February 2003, we signed a joint venture agreement with the National Petrochemical Company of Iran. The joint venture (Arya Sasol Polymer Company), on behalf of both joint venture parties, constructed a polymer plant designed to produce one million tons of ethylene to be converted into polyethylene or exported as ethylene. The complex comprises one ethane cracker for producing polymer-grade ethylene and two polyethylene plants. The ethane cracker was commissioned in November 2007. The low-density polyethylene plant and high-density polyethylene plant reached beneficial operation in November 2008 and February 2009, respectively.
In 2004, we initiated Project Turbo, our fuel enhancement project, intended to liberate further chemical feedstock and enable concomitant investments by Sasol Polymers to expand its South African polymer production capacity by more than 80%. The selective catalytic cracker (SCC) at Sasol Synfuels was first operated during 2006. The SCC was subsequently taken out of operation for modifications following initial performance problems. Investigations and modifications were performed and the cold section of the plant was started up again in July 2007 and the hot section in January 2008, and
produced ethylene, propylene and gasoline to specification. The new associated polymer plants (polyethylene and polypropylene) have also been commissioned.
Effective 1 January 2004, Sasol Oil entered the South African retail fuel market with the establishment of its first Sasol-branded retail convenience centre (service station). Sasol Oil also completed the acquisition and integration of Exel Petroleum in a major step towards forming Sasol Oil. We now have 411, compared to 406 in 2008, Sasol-and Exel-branded retail convenience centres.
We announced on 16 March 2006, the first phase implementation of Sasol Mining's broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) strategy through the formation of Igoda Coal (Pty) Limited (Igoda Coal), an empowerment venture with Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (formerly Eyesizwe Coal (Pty) Limited) (Exxaro), a black-owned mining company. We recently received a notice of intention to withdraw from the Igoda transaction from our partner, Exxaro. Sasol Mining is actively pursuing alternatives to ensure that its BEE strategy remains intact.
In June 2006, we announced the signing of a co-operation agreement with the Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Company Limited of the People's Republic of China to proceed with the second stage of feasibility studies to determine the viability of an 80 000 bpd coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in the Shaanxi Province, and for another 80 000 bpd CTL plant in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous region. In November 2007, Sasol approved an amount of US$140m for its share of the final stage of the feasibility study for the two China CTL opportunities. In August 2008, Sasol and the Shenhua Ningxia Group agreed to proceed with only one 80 000 bpd plant in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China, about 1 000 km west of Beijing. The proposed site in the Ningdong Chemical and Energy base has excellent infrastructure and this decision will enable the project schedule to be speeded up and result in lower feasibility and project cost. There are abundant coal reserves in the proximity of the large well laid out site, providing the platform for future expansion. The results of the feasibility study are expected in 2010. The Shaanxi feasibility study will not proceed at this stage.
On 30 June 2006, we announced that our R1,45 billion broad-based BEE transaction, through an investment by Tshwarisano LFB Investment (Pty) Limited (Tshwarisano), had been successfully concluded. In terms of the agreement, Tshwarisano acquired a 25% shareholding in Sasol Oil effective 1 July 2006.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the implementation of the second phase of its broad-based BEE strategy. In a transaction valued at approximately R1,9 billion, a black-women controlled coal mining company, Ixia Coal (Pty) Limited (Ixia), will acquire 20% of Sasol Mining's shareholding through the issue of new shares. The transaction will increase Sasol Mining's broad-based BEE ownership component to an estimated 20% (calculated on attributable units of production). Ixia has procured its share of the financing for the transaction. The implementation of this transaction is still conditional on the conversion of the existing prospecting and mining permits (old order mining rights) to new order rights.
On 16 May 2008, our shareholders approved our broad-based BEE transaction valued at approximately R24 billion (at R380 per share), which resulted in the transfer of beneficial ownership of approximately 10% of Sasol Limited's issued share capital to our employees and a wide spread of black South African BEE participants. This transaction will provide long-term sustainable benefits to all participants and has a tenure of 10 years. The following BEE participants acquired indirect or direct ownership in Sasol's issued share capital as follows:
( ) The funded invitation2,6%; and
( ) The cash invitation0,4%.
The Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation were funded entirely through Sasol facilitation whilst the selected participants and the black public participating, through the funded invitation, were funded by way of equity contributions and preference share funding (including preference shares subscribed for by Sasol). The black public participating, through the cash invitation, were financed entirely by the participants from their own resources.
The effective date of the transaction for the Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation was 3 June 2008. The effective date of the transaction for the selected participants was 27 June 2008 and the effective date for the black public invitations was 8 September 2008. See "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
In 2009, the Sasol and Tata 50:50 joint venture progressed towards a pre-feasibility study for a CTL facility in India, following the award by the Government of India of a coal block in the eastern state of Orissa.
In April 2009, we signed a heads of agreement with Uzbekneftegaz, the natural oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, and Petronas of Malaysia, for the possible construction of a 1,3 million tonnes per annum GTL plant in Uzbekistan. On 15 July 2009, we signed a joint venture agreement with our partners and launched a feasibility study for the development and implementation of this GTL project.
Since May 2000, we have undertaken share repurchases, which may be made at times and at prices deemed appropriate by management and consistent with the authorisation of the shareholders. At 30 June 2006, a total of 60 111 477 shares, representing 8,8% of the issued ordinary share capital of the company, had been repurchased since 9 May 2000 at an average price of R60,67 per share. At a general meeting held on 3 October 2006, shareholders approved that we acquire 60 111 477 Sasol Limited ordinary shares held by our subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Limited. These shares were cancelled on 10 October 2006. Except for the related transaction costs, the repurchase and cancellation of these shares had no effect on the consolidated financial position of the group.
At the meeting of 3 October 2006, shareholders also approved that we be granted the authority to acquire up to 10% of Sasol Limited ordinary shares by way of a general repurchase. This authority was renewed by shareholders at our general meeting held on 23 November 2006 and on 30 November 2007.
Through our subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Limited, we had purchased 40 309 886 ordinary shares representing 6,39% of the issued share capital of the company, excluding the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, for R12,1 billion at a cumulative average price of R299,77 per share since the inception of the programme in 2007. 31 500 000 ordinary shares of the repurchased shares were cancelled on 4 December 2009 for a total value of R7,9 billion. 8 809 886 ordinary shares are still held by Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Limited. At the annual general meeting held on 28 November 2008, the shareholders renewed the authority to repurchase up to 4% of the issued ordinary shares of the company. This authority is valid until the company's next annual general meeting. To date, no further purchases have been made under this authority.
As of 30 June 2009, we were the sixth largest JSE listed company by market capitalisation (R179 780 million), with total consolidated turnover of R137 836 million in 2009. We employ approximately 34 000 people worldwide in our operations.
In 2009, we invested approximately R16 billion, compared with R11 billion and R12 billion in 2008 and 2007, respectively, in capital expenditure (on a cash flow basis excluding capitalised borrowing costs and including projects entered into by our joint ventures) to enhance our existing facilities and to expand operations. Capital expenditure incurred on key projects to expand our operations includes:
Key projects to address environmental matters and enhance existing assets during 2009 include:
In addition, we invested approximately R101 million in intangible assets (including investments made by joint ventures), mainly in respect of software, patents and trademarks during the year. For a discussion of the method of financing capital expenditure, see "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity."
As at 30 June 2009, we had authorised approximately R39 billion of group capital expenditure, of which we had spent R14 billion by 30 June 2009. Of the unspent capital commitments of R25 billion, R8 billion has been contracted for. Of this amount, we expect to spend R14 billion in 2010, R9 billion in 2011 and the remainder in 2012 and thereafter. For more information regarding our capital commitments see "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity" and "Item 5.FCapital and contractual commitments."
We expect to spend approximately R21 billion of our capital commitments on projects in South Africa, R2 billion in other African countries, R1 billion in Europe and the remainder on projects in other regions. The following table reflects key projects approved by the Sasol Limited Board and contracted which were not yet completed at 30 June 2009:
The amounts include business development costs and our group's share of capital expenditure of joint ventures.
In 2009, an amount of R2 468 million has been committed by the group for further development of the Escravos GTL project.
Sasol is an integrated energy and chemicals company. We add value to coal, oil and gas reserves, using these feedstocks to produce liquid fuels, fuel components and chemicals through our unique, proprietary technologies. We mine coal in South Africa and produce gas and condensate in Mozambique and oil in Gabon, and our chemical manufacturing and marketing operations span the globe. In South Africa we refine imported crude oil and retail liquid fuel products through our network of retail convenience centres. We also supply fuels to other distributors in the region and gas to industrial customers. We maintain extensive chemical manufacturing and marketing operations, mostly in South Africa, Europe and the United States of America (USA), the Middle East and Asia.
In South Africa, we refine imported crude oil and retail liquid fuels through a network of 411 Sasol retail convenience centres and Exel service stations. We also supply fuels to oil companies operating in South Africa and other distributors in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Through Sasol Synfuels International (SSI), we are pursuing international opportunities to commercialise our CTL and GTL technology. We brought our first international GTL plant, Oryx GTL, into operation in 2007 and we are developing, through our interest in an associate, a GTL plant in Nigeria. We are promoting our GTL technology in Uzbekistan and our CTL technology in China and India.
We employ approximately 34 000 people worldwide and remain one of South Africa's largest investors in capital projects, skills development and technological research and development.
Sasol believes that its ability to compete and grow sustainably is contingent on internal collaboration, knowledge and resource sharing, as well as building effective external partnerships and joint ventures in different markets, territories and cultural contexts. We cluster our businesses according to common business drivers. Clustering, which involves creating linkages among logically related businesses that allow for strategic consistency and operational efficiencies, has been increasingly adopted by world-class companies to become recognised best practice. In 2007, we formalised the group's structure into three focused business clustersSouth African Energy Cluster, International Energy Cluster and Chemical Cluster.
We divide our operations into the following segments:
South African Energy Cluster
empowerment gas marketing company in Durban, and a 50% interest in Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Pty) Limited (Rompco), a company which owns, operates and maintains the 865 km cross-border pipeline that conveys natural gas from the Temane central processing facility in Mozambique to the gas network in South Africa. Sasol Gas accounted for 2% of our total external segmental turnover in 2009.
International Energy Cluster
The following tables present our total external turnover after the elimination of inter-segment turnover by business operation and geographic market in accordance with IFRS:
Sasol is an integrated energy and chemicals company. We add value to coal, oil and gas reserves, using these feedstocks to produce liquid fuels, fuel components and chemicals through our unique, proprietary technologies. We are active in petroleum and chemical sectors in Southern Africa and other countries where we can obtain an advantage through competitive feedstock. Our core business is adding value to competitively priced coal and gas feedstock through our unique Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and other proprietary technologies for the production of fuel, fuel components and chemicals.
Commercialising and expanding our Fischer-Tropsch GTL and CTL technologyWe have made further progress in the drive to commercialise our GTL technology based on the Sasol SPD process in natural gas-rich regions. The Sasol SPD process allows us to monetise underutilised gas resources by converting them into ultra-low sulphur, superior quality diesel and naphtha in line with global trends towards cleaner fuel and reduced emissions to the environment.
We continue to assess various GTL and CTL opportunities in a number of countries. The focus remains on the possible roll out of Sasol's proven CTL technology in China, India, Indonesia and the USA, which together hold the bulk of the world's coal reserves. The possible expansion of the GTL footprint in Qatar also remains a target, in addition to prospects for other GTL facilities, for example Uzbekistan, currently being explored by SSI.
In support of this growth driver, our team of researchers continues to advance our next-generation GTL technology, including our proprietary low-temperature Slurry Phase Fischer-Tropsch reactor and cobalt-based catalysts.
We have started the first phase of significantly expanding our existing synthetic fuels capacity in Secunda, South Africa. We are also proceeding with a pre-feasibility study into a greenfields CTL facility in partnership with the South African government known as Project Mafutha. Before the end of the 2009 calendar year, Sasol Mafutha Mining is scheduled to start bulk sample mining to commence large-scale gasification trials in one of the Sasol Synfuels gasifiers. An environmental impact assessment is scheduled to start before the end of the 2009 calendar year.
We will continue to explore new opportunities to commercialise our competitive Fischer-Tropsch synthesis technology for the beneficiation of coal and other hydrocarbon resources, including environmentally friendly biomass.
Growing our chemicals portfolioThe chemical cluster represents the second leg in Sasol's portfolio, in addition to energy and fuels. In South Africa, the chemical businesses are closely integrated in the Fischer-Tropsch value chain. Outside South Africa, we operate related chemical businesses based on backward integration into feedstock and/or competitive market positions. The chemical cluster is also supplementing our CTL and GTL growth by way of three chemical growth ambitions based on the concepts of Fischer-Tropsch, conventional cracker and syngas platforms.
Outside South Africa, our polymer business continues to gain momentum. In Iran, Sasol has invested €535 million (our 50% share of the total capital project) in a new cracker/polymer complex which is designed to produce one million tons of ethylene to be converted into polyethylene, or exported as ethylene. This project is a 50:50 joint venture (called Arya Sasol Polymer Company) between Sasol and the National Petrochemical Company of Iran. The complex comprises one ethane cracker for producing polymer-grade ethylene and two polyethylene plants. The ethane cracker was commissioned in November 2007. The low-density polyethylene plant and high-density polyethylene plant reached beneficial operation in November 2008 and February 2009, respectively.
Sasol Solvents continues to benefit from its status as a diversified producer and marketer of industrial solvents. The breadth of our solvents product portfolio and international market presence covering all major regions are competitive strengths of this business unit. The Octene 3 plant in South Africa, which produces high quality 1-octene as a co-monomer for the polyolefins market, achieved beneficial operation in June 2008. This new plant has the capacity to produce 100 000 tons per annum of 1-Octene. Recently, Sasol Solvents has installed capacity to produce and market 356 000 tons of 1-Octene and 1-Hexene per annum.
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S), made good progress on their turnaround strategy during 2009. Although a number of assets in the business remain under review, the success of the new strategy and the improved robustness of the business validated the decision by Sasol Limited to retain Sasol O&S.
Exploit upstream hydrocarbon opportunitiesSPI produces natural gas and condensate from its onshore Temane and Pande gas fields in Mozambique. We are continuing our efforts in near field exploration for additional natural gas resources in and around the Temane and Pande gas fields. Our exploration activities were advanced by the drilling of exploration wells in our offshore acreage in Mozambique. SPI has also completed a seismic acquisition and interpretation in its exploration licences in Papua New Guinea (51% interest) and completed a seismic acquisition in its offshore licence in Australia (30% interest). Moreover, SPI remains a 27,75% partner in Gabon's offshore Etame oil field cluster.
Sasol Gas continues to focus on growing the South African gas market following the successful introduction of natural gas from Mozambique in 2004.
South African Energy Cluster
Nature of the operations and principal activities
In South Africa, we have three coal mining operations:
During 2009, total production was 39,1 Mt of coal, compared to 42,8 Mt in the previous year. The reduction in production is mainly due to reduced production volumes at the Twistdraai mine. This resulted from a change in the marketing strategy towards selling a single product with a lower heat value which requires less run of mine (ROM) production to produce the same export product volumes. Each year, saleable production volumes vary according to internal demand and export capacity.
We extract and supply coal mainly to our Synfuels and chemical plants under terms and conditions which are determined on an arm's length basis. We export approximately 9% of the Secunda Mining Complex's production. In 2009, external sales, primarily exports, amounted to 3,3 Mt, compared to 4,3 Mt in 2008. The reduction in external sales tons during the current year resulted mainly from the inability to transport export product from the Secunda complex to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal due to the poor Transnet Freight Rail performance as well as no sales to Eskom, the state-owned electricity provider, as the contract was cancelled in the prior year. In a volatile currency market, average US dollar export prices achieved increased by 33%, while the rand weakened by 18% compared to the prior year. This resulted in a net increase in the rand export coal price of 57%.
Marketing opportunities for coal in both the international and domestic utility market continue to be explored. Our exports are currently constrained by our throughput entitlement at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
External market opportunities
International CTL projects. In support of SSI, Sasol Mining is involved in CTL project studies in China and India. At this stage, Sasol Mining's role is to evaluate the coal feedstock supply in terms of the reserve base, the ability to mine the feedstock, pricing of feedstock, quality requirements of the coal for gasification and safety issues.
Mafutha Mining project. Sasol is conducting a pre-feasibility study for establishing a CTL plant in the Limpopo province, with coal being supplied from the prospecting rights area held by Sasol Mining. The Mafutha Mining project pre-feasibility, consisting of exploration and technical studies, will be concluded during the first half of the 2010 calendar year at a cost of approximately R242 million. The mining of a bulk sample for gasification tests for an amount of R228 million for completion in March 2010 has also been approved.
The demand for coal by our Synfuels and chemical plants is consistent throughout the year. The export coal is sold mainly to Europe and Asia. Even though the demand for coal is seasonal in certain regions, our sales are planned to ensure even shipment of coal throughout the year.
Sasol Mining has appointed a limited number of agents in Europe to represent the company, each responsible for their own specific geographic markets. These agents operate on a commission basis and are authorised to act as intermediaries only with the aim of promoting our product and providing after-sales service. All sales require approval of Sasol Mining before they may be concluded with the customer.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Being part of the Sasol value chain we are continuously engaging with Sasol Synfuels to ensure optimal delivery and utilisation of our coal resources. We also have dedicated strategic capacity management and long-term planning departments who ensure that mining and other related activities are performed in accordance with our strategic plans for the future.
Also refer to Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
Property, plants and equipment
Sasol Mining operates six mines for the supply of coal to Sasol Synfuels, Sasol Infrachem (utility coal only) and the external market. The annual production of each mine, the primary market to which it supplies coal and the location of each mine are indicated in the table below:
Coal handling facilitySasol Coal Supply (SCS)
SCS at Secunda is responsible for the conveyance of coal from the mine mouth to a stock holding facility. Here the coal from the different mines is blended in order to homogenise the product that is then conveyed to Sasol Synfuels as demanded.
A coal beneficiation plant is operated at Secunda to enable coal export to the international market. The design throughput of the plant is 10,5 Mt per annum. The plant feedstock is supplied by Twistdraai mine via overland conveyor belts of approximately 22 km in length.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Established in 1964, originally as the South African Gas Distribution Corporation Limited (Gascor), Sasol Gas operates a 2 084 km pipeline network in South Africa. Sasol Gas is a shareholder in Rompco and Spring Lights Gas (Pty) Limited (Spring Lights Gas).
As part of the Natural Gas Project for the development, production and transportation of natural gas from Mozambique, Rompco was established as the owner of the Mozambique to Secunda gas transmission pipeline (MSP).
Initially, Rompco was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasol Gas Holdings. Pursuant to the Rompco Shareholders' Agreement the South African and Mozambican governments' nominated shareholders, namely the South African Gas Development Company (Pty) Limited (iGas) and Companhia de Moçambicana de Gasoduto, S.A.R.L (CMG) were afforded a deferred option to purchase in aggregate up to 50% of the shareholding in Rompco. With effect from 1 July 2005, iGas exercised its option to purchase 25% of the shares in Rompco. CMG exercised its option with effect from 2 August 2006. A total profit of R576 million was realised on the sale of shares to the respective parties. The change in shareholding positively impacted the political risk profile of the investment in Rompco and the MSP.
As part of Sasol Gas' commitment to broad based BEE, Sasol Gas formed a joint venture company with Coal Energy and Power Resources Limited, to form, Spring Lights Gas, in 2003 to which it sold its marketing business in KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. This venture has realised substantial growth in the market since its inception.
Since 1996, Sasol Gas has been using the Transnet Pipelines, Lilly pipeline for the transportation of gas to the KwaZulu-Natal market. During 2005, we renewed the gas transportation agreement to continue to use the pipeline for a duration of 17 years (until 2022), with an option to extend the agreement for a further three years.
Sasol Gas markets methane-rich gas, produced by Sasol Synfuels and natural gas produced from gas fields in Mozambique. In the energy market, pipeline gas competes with crude oil-derived products, electricity and coal in various industries, such as ceramics, glass, metal, manufacturing, chemical, food and pulp and paper.
The pipeline gas segment in the energy industry in South Africa is still in its infancy. It is expected that the market will grow further as a result of the introduction of natural gas from Mozambique since 2004. The current supply of 133,2 MGJ/a of pipeline gas increased from 122,3 MGJ/a in 2008. Compared to developed countries, South Africa is a small consumer of natural gas as a percentage of its total energy requirements. This presents us with the opportunity to increase sales of environmentally preferred natural gas. Environmental and technological trends together with new environmental legislation are expected to entice customers to convert to gas as a substitute for environmentally less desirable energy sources. During 2009, natural gas volumes sold reached 110,2 MGJ/a and methane rich gas volumes 23,1 MGJ/a.
Sasol Gas supplies 59,4 MGJ/a of gas to 574 industrial and commercial customers in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North-West and the Free State. Besides
marketing pipeline gas to these customers, natural gas is also supplied as feedstock to Sasol's facilities in Sasolburg and Secunda.
The total South African demand for gas is consistent throughout the year and is generally not subject to seasonal fluctuations due to moderate temperature variances between seasons and the absence of a significant domestic market.
The natural gas purchased in Mozambique from an un-incorporated joint venture consisting of Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (SPT), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos, S.A.R.L (CMH) is transported by Rompco to Secunda in South Africa. Methane-rich gas is purchased from the Sasol Synfuels facility in Secunda. Sasol Synfuels has been supplying methane-rich gas to Sasol Gas since 1994.
Over 93% of the products produced by Sasol Gas are sold to end-use industrial customers by our sales and marketing personnel. We also utilise a limited number of traders and resellers to on sell the product to end-use customers.
Factors on which the business is dependant
Licences and regulations
We are in the process of obtaining the relevant licences for the operation of transmission gas facilities in order to comply with the Gas Act and the rules published by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). Refer Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of pipeline gas activities in South Africa" for additional information.
Property, plants and equipment
The MSP natural gas transmission pipeline owned by Rompco is a 26 inch carbon steel underground pipeline of 865 km. The pipeline starts from the natural gas central processing facility (CPF) at Temane in Mozambique and ends at the pressure protection station (PPS) in Secunda, South Africa. The instantaneous capacity of the pipeline is 136 MGJ/a, with an annual average of 120 MGJ/a without any additional compression along the pipeline. Rompco is in the process of constructing the first compressor station near Komatipoort in South Africa. This will increase the operating pressure and enable the pipeline to transport up to an annual average of 149 MGJ/a. The compressor is expected to be commissioned towards the end of the second quarter of 2010.
The inland distribution network of Gauteng is fed from the PPS at Nigel. The network is operated at a pressure of 3 350 kPa and lower and the capacity of the distribution network is 80 MGJ/a. These pipelines supply various low pressure distribution areas as well as some customers directly. Where these lines enter into various distribution areas, a pressure reduction station reduces the pressure to 625 kPa. The southern part of the inland network ends at the auto thermal reformer plant (ATR) in Sasolburg. The ATR plant is used to convert the natural gas into chemical feedstock for the Chemical Cluster businesses located in Sasolburg.
The Secunda, Witbank and Middelburg distribution network receives methane-rich gas from Sasol Synfuels. The normal maximum operating pressure for this pipeline is 3 000 kPa and the capacity of the network is 10 MGJ/a. The same methane-rich gas as supplied to Witbank and Middelburg is compressed and fed into the Transnet Pipelines transmission pipeline to feed our customers in the
KwaZulu-Natal province. The normal maximum operating pressure for this pipeline is 5 900 kPa and the capacity of the network is 20,8 MGJ/a.
Nature of the operations and principal activities
Sasol Synfuels, based in Secunda operates a coal and gas based synthetic fuels manufacturing facility. We produce syngas primarily from low-grade coal with a smaller portion of feedstock being natural gas. The process uses advanced high temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert syngas into a range of synthetic fuel components, as well as industrial pipeline gas and chemical feedstock. We produce most of South Africa's chemical and polymer building blocks, including ethylene, propylene, ammonia, phenols, alcohols and ketones. We operate the world's largest oxygen production facilities (according to Air Liquide, the French industrial gas company), currently consisting of 15 units. We are in a process of expanding the oxygen facility with an additional unit.
Major growth opportunities exist for us in the domestic and international markets. Sasol Synfuels is partnering with Sasol Technology, Sasol Oil and key chemical businesses in a feasibility study for a substantial increase in production. This project consists of two phases. The first phase will expand the current high temperature Fischer-Tropsch volumes and the second phase will use low temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology, with both the natural gas and coal as feed streams. Portions of the first phase are currently in the execution phase, with the remainder of the first phase in feasibility stage. The second phase is in pre-feasibility stage.
Capital to the value of R7,2 billion has been approved for execution of the first stage of the Sasol Natural Gas Growth Project (SNGGP). The total cost of the first stage currently being executed will be approximately R14 billion. This investment will result in an increase in production of approximately 3,2% on a sustainable basis as well as additional power from gas turbines. During 2008 and 2009, Sasol Synfuels has incurred costs of R550 million in respect of the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies related to the SNGGP. Further growth opportunities are being considered, but these are in the early stages and have not yet been approved for commercial development. It is therefore premature to assess the impact they would have on our operations.
Sasol Synfuels sells fuel components to Sasol Oil, and methane-rich gas is sold to Sasol Gas. Chemical feedstocks are sold to the chemical divisions of Sasol and its joint venture partners, including Merisol. Such feedstocks are processed and marketed for a wide range of applications locally and abroad. Ammonia and sulphur are sold to the fertiliser and explosives industries, including Sasol Nitro, our nitrogenous products division.
The dominant feedstock components used by Sasol Synfuels in the production process are low grade coal obtained from Sasol Mining and natural gas obtained from Sasol Gas. Prices of low grade coal are influenced by the South African Producer Price Index while the price of natural gas is mainly determined by the international price of crude oil.
The bulk of our products are primarily sold to other Sasol business units. A very small volume of carbon products are directly marketed to clients abroad, via commercial distribution channels.
Property, plants and equipment
Specific product volumes
Sasol Synfuels is continuing the development of an Operations Excellence approach suitable for Sasol Synfuels' manufacturing activities. Greater energy efficiency is also being pursued through new programmes aimed at reducing overall unit cost, improving environmental performance and assuring the reliability of electricity supply. Sasol Synfuels has commenced with the construction of a 200-megawatt power-generation plant at Secunda. Beneficial operation is planned to be achieved during the latter part of 2010. This facility will be commissioned on natural gas but will eventually use waste-gas streams as an energy source to reduce costs and environmental impact as well as overall site energy efficiency.
Overall production volumes for 2009 were lower than 2008. This was mainly due to production instabilities experienced at the gasification and gas reforming plants. Various capital renewal projects are in progress to ensure improved plant reliability, especially at these two plants. The renewal programmes are planned for completion by the latter part of 2012.
Sasol Synfuels continues to advance a series of major environmental projects as part of a wider group initiative in South Africa to reduce our environmental footprint and enhance operational efficiency. We are starting up the sulphuric acid plant at Sasol Synfuels and an ammonium sulphate facility at Sasol Nitro that is expected to cost R1 142 million. The sulphuric acid plant will use hydrogen sulphide and offtake gas from the Rectisol plant as feedstock. Sasol Nitro will convert a large percentage of the sulphuric acid into ammonium sulphate, an important fertiliser ingredient. The sulphuric acid plant is expected to achieve beneficial operation in the fourth quarter of the 2009 calendar year.
We are also focusing on opportunities to reduce volumes of low-level volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Projects are in various development phases.
Sasol Synfuels has approved capital of R774 million for environmental clean up projects. This amount includes spending on black product remediation, rehabilitation of the waste ash site and dolomite pits and the reduction of VOC emissions. To date, the expenditure on these projects amounts to R268 million, with the remaining R506 million to be spent in the future.
Nature of the operations and principal activities
Sasol Oil encompasses the established liquid fuels, bitumen and lubricants marketing activities of Sasol through our commercial and retailing interests, featuring both the Sasol and the Exel brands. Operations include fuel blending and storage facilities at our Secunda operations to turn fuel components procured from Sasol Synfuels into market ready products. We are also responsible for
crude oil procurement, shipping and the subsequent refining of crude through our majority shareholder interest in the Natref refinery in Sasolburg, as well as final product supply to, and trading with, other licensed wholesalers operating in Southern Africa. Products include petrol, fuel alcohol, diesel, jet fuel, illuminating paraffin, LPG, fuel oils, motor and industrial lubricants and bitumen.
Liquid fuels marketed
Sasol Oil's fuel production is primarily located in South Africa's industrial heartland, where an estimated 62% of the country's petrol and diesel is consumed. Our full production of approximately 8,4 million m3 of white products per year is insufficient to supply this market. The balance of the market is supplied from coastal refineries and imports, transported via the Transnet Pipelines' (previously Petronet) pipeline, road and rail tankers. Limited amounts of white products are exported overland to neighbouring countries.
The total South African demand for transportation fuels is fairly consistent throughout the year. However, slightly higher demand for petrol is evident during the December holiday period and diesel demand tends to peak during October, the summer grain planting season. Demand during the first quarter of the calendar year is generally weaker than the annual average.
As a result of South Africa's longstanding regulatory regime, which is based on import alternatives, the local oil industry is a price taker from international markets. Local price seasonality is mainly as a result of northern hemisphere demand peaks for petrol in the summer and diesel in the winter. This normally results in petrol and diesel prices being higher during our winter and summer compared to the USA and Europe, respectively. During 2009, international petrol and diesel price trends have been substantially different to the established historical norm. A reduction in global demand for petrol and diesel has affected the prices and reduced normal seasonality, resulting in lower than anticipated refining margins. It is, however, too early to determine if the traditional seasonality has changed permanently.
Sasol Oil's main raw material inputs are blending components from Sasol Synfuels, crude oil and base oils for lubricant manufacturing.
Sasol Oil has an agreement with Sasol Synfuels to uplift white product components, which are then blended to market specifications in Secunda. Fuel oil components from Sasol Synfuels and Natref are blended to provide customer specific heating fuel solutions.
Natref obtains approximately 50% of its crude oil requirements from the Middle East (of the purchases from the Middle East approximately 12 000 bpd of crude oil is purchased from Naftiran Intertrade Company Limited of Iran and approximately 20 000 bpd of crude oil is
purchased from Saudi Arabia) through crude oil term contracts. The balance of the requirement is bought on the spot market from West Africa and other sources. Volatility in crude oil prices has increased since the late 1990's as result of international supply/demand dynamics and geo-politics. Crude oil prices were extremely high at the beginning of the 2009 financial year, dropping to levels seen four years ago and then slowly rising again towards the end of the financial year. Crude oil is landed at Durban and transferred to the refinery by a 670 km pipeline owned and operated by Transnet Pipelines, a subsidiary of Transnet, which is a state-owned multi-modal transport company.
Sasol Oil owns a portion (40%) of the ESA Lubricants Blending facility of Island View in Durban. The plant is managed by Engen Petroleum and blends automotive and industrial lubricants to Sasol Oil specifications. Base Oils are predominantly procured locally.
Sasol Oil's marketing effort can be divided into four main areas namely sales to licensed wholesalers, retail and commercial markets in South Africa and in other African countries, as well as overland exports into Africa.
Sasol Oil is predominantly a bulk supplier to licensed wholesalers. Multi-national oil companies with their own South African refining capacity, namely, British Petroleum (BP), Engen Petroleum Limited (Engen), Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), Chevron and Total South Africa (Pty) Limited (Total), rely on Sasol to supply a large part of their inland retail and commercial marketing requirements. A new type of licensed wholesaler, referred to as a Non-Refining Wholesaler, has emerged over the past few years. Non-Refining Wholesalers have limited access to retail networks and tend to compete with major oil companies in the commercial market.
Individual agreements that vary in terms of duration, volume, and modes of delivery, regulate the relationship between Sasol and its licensed wholesale customers. The agreed product slates reflect Sasol Oil's production slate to aid efficient and reliable supply. Product is imported to cover planned and unplanned refinery outages to ensure that supply commitments are met.
We believe that independent access to retail and commercial markets have strategic, competitive and growth opportunities, and we intend to improve our position in the South African fuels market in this respect. Sasol Oil entered the South African retail market on 1 January 2004 with Sasol- and Exel-branded retail convenience centres. Currently our network consists of 411 retail convenience centres across South Africa. Sasol's current national market share is estimated at 9,4%. New site development is progressing, although slower than anticipated, due to, amongst other things, a challenging regulatory environment.
The commercial business has been repositioned to become a significant contributor through customer focused strategy. A significant number of large supply contracts have been signed. Current estimated market share is 6%.
Efforts for future growth in the retail and commercial business are focused in our "Marketing Corridor" consisting of the Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Currently 95% of our commercial volumes and 82%
of our retail sites are within this marketing corridor. Lubricants are marketed within our group of companies and retail networks as well as targeted industrial market segments.
During 2009, we acquired the remaining 50,1% of Exelem Aviation (Pty) Limited. The business is now trading as Sasol Aviation (Pty) Limited (Sasol Aviation). Sasol Aviation is tasked with jet fuel marketing at South Africa's premier airport, OR Tambo International. Since its inception in 2003, Sasol Aviation's market share at the airport has grown to approximately 17%.
The Fuel Oil business provides a remarkably diverse range of heating fuels and applications to industrial and mining customers. The Natref refinery is situated 670 km from the coast. The resultant lack of a bunker fuels market makes this business unit crucial to ensure smooth refining operations at Natref.
We now fully own Tosas Holdings (Pty) Limited after having purchased the 30% share held by Total in November 2007. Tosas Holdings (Pty) Limited procures bitumen from Sasol Oil.
Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana are in the natural supply area of Sasol Oil's production facilities. Exel Lesotho and Exel Swaziland, fully owned subsidiaries of Sasol Oil, acquired the marketing assets of British Petroleum (BP) in Lesotho and Swaziland in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Exel Lesotho is the marketing leader in Lesotho and Exel Swaziland currently has 7% market share in Swaziland. Entry into the Botswana market has not yet been finalised.
Sasol Oil holds a 49% interest in Petromoc e Sasol Sarl (PeSS), which is a joint venture with the Mozambican national state oil company, Petromoc. PeSS operates a network of 8 retail convenience centres and has 30 commercial customers. It has 8% market share in Mozambique. Both petrol and diesel are marketed through PeSS.
Export sales to other African countries are effected at the refinery gate, as Sasol Oil has no marketing assets in these countries. Volumes available for export to these markets are limited as a result of significant demand growth in South Africa.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Activities across the value chain, including manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, are regulated through as licensing regime. Further, retail pump prices of petrol, the maximum refining gate price of LPG and a maximum single national retail price of unpacked illuminating kerosene are controlled by the Petroleum Controller under the Petroleum Products Act, 1977 (Act 120 of 1977).
A licensing regime for activities in the South African oil industry was introduced during 2006. Manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing of petroleum products may only be conducted once a licence has been issued by the Petroleum Controller under the Petroleum Products Act, 1977 (Act 120 of 1977). Onerous application requirements and a lengthy licensing process may hamper the development of retail convenience centres in future. Refer Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa" for additional information.
The methodology to determine marketing margins via controlled fuels prices is currently under review by the Petroleum Controller, and it is uncertain how the results of this review will impact our marketing activities.
NERSA, under the Petroleum Pipelines Act, sets tariffs for petroleum pipelines and approves tariffs for third party access to storage and marine loading facilities. This Act grants NERSA limited discretion when applying its pricing methodologies to set tariffs, which may prove advantageous for
some competitors, because of different market and geographic positions. Recently, NERSA approved new pipeline tariffs that became effective on 6 May 2009. These tariffs are lower than those ruling during the previous tariff period and resulted in a reduced tariff differential between crude oil and refined products, which negatively affects Natref. In the short term, and until a new white products pipeline is commissioned, this situation will persist. Upon commissioning of the new white products pipeline, the tariff differential between crude oil and refined products may increase, if NERSA's tariff setting methodology remains unchanged. Refer Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa" for additional information.
Property, plants and equipment
Natref refinery operational statistics(1)
Natref is an inland refinery, focusing on the production of refined distillate fuels and producing only a small percentage of fuel oil and bitumen. It is designed to upgrade relatively heavy crude oil with a high sulphur content (sour) to yield about 90% white petroleum products. Crude oil selection and degree of upgrade are ultimately dictated by refinery configuration and overall economics. Products of the refinery include petrol, gasoil, commercial propane, jet fuel, different grades of bitumen and fuel oils.
While Sasol Oil operates the refinery, Total participates in its management with veto rights in respect to a number of corporate actions, including, among others, increasing or reducing Natref's share capital, amending Natref's Memorandum and Articles of Association and the rights attaching to its shares, appointing directors to serve as executive officers and determining directors' remuneration.
Under the terms of an agreement concluded between Total and Sasol, Total has the option to purchase up to 13,64% of the ordinary shares in Natref from Sasol at fair market value upon the occurrence of certain events. Since December 2003, Total has had two opportunities to increase its shareholding in Natref to 50%, the first being the termination of the Main Supply Agreements and the second the proposed transaction between Sasol and Petronas, which was subsequently prohibited by the Competition Tribunal. On both occasions Total decided not to exercise its option to increase its shareholding in Natref.
During 2005, we invested in the Natref refinery to meet new fuel specifications, which required us to discontinue the addition of lead additive to gasoline and to produce diesel that contains less than 500 ppm sulphur. The impact of this has been that Natref's refining capacity was reduced to 89% of capacity. We are currently busy with initiatives and further investigations to increase the capacity of the Natref refinery back to its previous capacity. It is foreseen that new processing units will have to be built to meet the further evolution of South African fuel specifications (required for the control of exhaust emissions from road-going vehicles in South Africa) by the earliest in 2014, and increase the resultant reduced capacity of the refinery, which will require a substantial investment of approximately R4 500 million.
During 2009, the overall refinery availability amounted to 93,5%, mainly due to planned and unplanned shutdowns. Of the unplanned shutdowns, the most significant were outages of the crude distillation unit, diesel unifiner unit, sulphur unit and residual crude desulphuriser unit. A major
turnaround of the distillate hydrocracker, residual crude desulpheriser, hydrogen and sulphur units was successfully executed in 2009.
International Energy Cluster
Sasol Synfuels International
Nature of operations and principal activities
Based in Johannesburg and formed in 1997, SSI, our technology marketing and support subsidiary, is responsible for developing and implementing international business ventures based on our Fischer-Tropsch synthesis technology. We initiate and develop new ventures from project conception through to venture implementation and participate fully in supporting those ventures, holding equity in and marketing the products.
The Sasol SPD process
Based on our long and extensive experience in the commercial application of Fischer-Tropsch technology, we have successfully developed the Fischer-Tropsch-based Sasol SPD process for converting natural gas into high-quality, environment-friendly diesel and other liquid hydrocarbons. The SPD process consists of three main steps, each of which is commercially proven. These include:
Currently we believe, based on our knowledge of the industry and publicly available information, that on a worldwide basis we have the most extensive experience in the application of Fischer-Tropsch technology on a commercial scale. Given the increasing discovery of extensive natural gas reserves, especially in remote regions, our Sasol SPD process can be applied with significant commercial advantages in various parts of the world. As a consequence, our technology has evoked interest from countries and companies with extensive natural gas reserves as an appealing alternative for commercialising these reserves. In recent years, we have been actively promoting our Sasol SPD technology and are examining opportunities with a view to commencing commercial application for new GTL and CTL plants.
The Sasol SPD process converts natural gas into diesel and other liquid hydrocarbons which are generally more environmentally friendly and of higher quality and performance compared to the equivalent crude oil-derived products. In view of product specifications gradually becoming more stringent, especially with respect to emissions, we believe that the option of environmentally friendly GTL and CTL fuels will become increasingly appealing. GTL and CTL diesel can be used with optimised engines for best performance, although it can also be utilised with current compression ignition engines. GTL diesel is currently used as a cost-competitive blend stock for conventional diesels, thereby enabling conventional diesel producers to improve the quality and capacity of their product without investing substantially in sophisticated new plants and infrastructure. We anticipate that the combined factors of GTL and CTL diesel's superior characteristics and the prevailing market conditions in developed economies will enable GTL and CTL diesel to command premium prices for either niche applications or as a blend stock for upgrading lower- specification products. The construction of GTL/CTL facilities and the production of GTL/CTL fuels require significant capital investment, at least during their initial stages, as is usually the case with the application of new technologies.
In support of this growth driver, our team of researchers continues to advance our GTL and CTL technology, including our proprietary low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch Slurry Phase reactor and cobalt-based catalysts.
GTL developments utilising the Sasol SPD process
In June 1999, Sasol and Chevron Corporation, agreed to create a global alliance, Sasol Chevron (SC), a 50:50 joint venture between Sasol and Chevron, in order to identify and implement ventures based on the Sasol SPD process as part of our strategy to exploit our Fischer-Tropsch technology and to develop and commercialise the GTL process. During the first half of 2009, Sasol and Chevron reviewed and optimised their business model for cooperation regarding their GTL ambitions and have agreed, in future, to work together directly and only on a case-by-case basis, rather than through the SC joint venture.
In July 2001, we signed a joint venture agreement with Qatar Petroleum to establish Oryx GTL (Qatar Petroleum 51% and Sasol 49%). The joint venture has constructed a GTL plant located at Ras Laffan Industrial City to produce high quality synfuels from Qatar's natural gas resources. The plant started producing on specification product during the first quarter of calendar year 2007 and first product was sold in April 2007. The performance and production ramp up of Oryx GTL are meeting expectations. The average daily production for 2009 more than doubled that of the previous year.
In December 2008, following negotiations with Chevron Nigeria Limited, Sasol reduced its economic interest in the Escravos GTL project from 37,5% to 10%, for which a consideration of R3 486 million (US$360 million) was received. Due to uncertainties that have recently arisen from the fiscal arrangements for the project, management reassessed this impact on its commitments relating to the project. This resulted in a provision of R1 280 million being recognised. A loss of R771 million was realised on the disposal. The 10% economic interest retained by Sasol has been recognised as an investment in an associate at its fair value from the effective date of the transaction. Sasol continues to provide full technical and manpower support to the project.
In April 2009, Sasol, Uzbekneftegaz, the natural oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, and Petronas, of Malaysia, signed agreements to evaluate the feasibility of GTL and upstream co-operation in Uzbekistan. On 15 July 2009, we signed a joint venture agreement with Uzbekneftegaz and Petronas, which launched a feasibility study for the development and implementation of a GTL project in Uzbekistan.
CTL developments utilising Sasol's proprietary Fisher Tropsch technology
In June 2006, Sasol announced the signing of co-operation agreements with the Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Company Limited of the People's Republic of China to proceed with the second stage of feasibility studies to determine the viability of two 80 000 barrels per day (bpd) CTL plants, respectively, in the Shaanxi Province and in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
In August 2008, Sasol and the Shenhua Ningxia Group agreed to proceed with only one plant with a nominal capacity of 80 000 bpd in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China, which is situated about 1 000 km west of Beijing. The proposed site in the Ningdong Chemical and Energy base has excellent infrastructure and there are abundant coal reserves in proximity which provide a platform for possible future expansion. A feasibility study for the project is currently being conducted, the results of which are expected in 2010.
We have initiated an engagement with key stakeholders to ensure the establishment of an enabling environment to evaluate the potential for a CTL project in India. This has resulted in the decision to open a representative office in Mumbai. Sasol and the Tata group of India have signed agreements to
form a 50:50 joint venture company and have been allocated a portion of the North of Arkhapal and Srirampur coal blocks in the Talchar coalfield in the State of Orissa for the development of a potential CTL project in India.
We have completed our evaluation of the viability of a CTL facility in a number of coal-rich states in the USA and are currently considering our options. We continue to be involved in exploratory discussion with some of the world's coal-rich countries, such as Indonesia, with a view to developing CTL plants in the future.
The bulk of the ultra-low-sulphur GTL diesel produced at Oryx GTL will initially be sold as a blend stock to produce on-specification automotive diesel from middle distillate product streams derived from conventional oil refining. The GTL naphtha produced at Oryx GTL is sold to naphtha crackers that produce olefins such as ethylene.
GTL product prices reflect the seasonal behaviour of global petroleum product markets.
Oryx GTL, a 51% Qatar Petroleum and 49% Sasol Joint Venture, purchases natural gas feedstock from ExxonMobil Middle East Gas Marketing Limited and Qatar Petroleum under a gas purchase agreement with a contractual minimum off-take volume. The agreement commenced in January 2006 and is valid for a term of 25 years with an option to extend for a further 7 years.
The products produced by Oryx GTL are marketed by Sasol Synfuels International Marketing under a marketing and agency agreement.
Factors on which the business is dependent
SSI is dependant on the successful integration of various technologies also referred to in the description of the Sasol SPD process.
The growth of the SSI business depends i.e. on the availability of competitively priced natural gas and coal reserves.
Remaining cost competitive
Working closely with Sasol Technology's Fischer-Tropsch process innovation teams at Sasolburg and Johannesburg, we are involved in an ongoing programme aimed at further improving competitiveness by lowering the capital and operating costs of future GTL and CTL plants.
Property, plants and equipment
We, together with our joint venture partner, Qatar petroleum, decided to repay the outstanding balance of the limited recourse project financing of the Oryx GTL venture. In April 2009, an amount of US$301,2 million, being our share of the financing was repaid prior to its maturity date.
Sasol Petroleum International
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Our natural gas extraction and processing activities on the Temane reservoir have been fully operational since the first quarter of the 2004 calendar year. Production from the Pande field commenced following an extensive drilling campaign during 2007/8 and completion of the flowline and trunkline tie-in in 2009. Current gas production levels are in line with original expectations at the time of project approval.
The ownership structure of the current onshore licences in Mozambique is 70% Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (SPT), 25% Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos S.A.R.L (CMH) and 5% International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In offshore Blocks 16 and 19 in Mozambique, two exploration wells were successfully drilled in the period October 2008 to January 2009. Both wells found the primary target to be gas-bearing. A significant amount of follow-up study work and appraisal drilling will be required to assess the commerciality of the discoveries. The concessionaires have entered into the second exploration phase of the licence agreement. These exploration activities are aimed at further expansion of gas resources in support of market opportunities that have been identified, both in South Africa and in Mozambique.
As part of our strategy to expand our resource base in Mozambique, we have bid for and been awarded Block A as part of the recent Mozambique licensing 3rd round. Exploration and production concessionaires contract (EPCC) negotiations are ongoing.
In Gabon, we hold a 27,75% working interest in the Etame Marin Permit, operated by VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. This permit contains the Etame, Avouma and Ebouri fields as well as other discoveries and prospects. During the first half of 2009, the combined gross oil production from all three producing fields averaged 24 000 bpd.
The Etame field is currently producing from one vertical and three horizontal wells. The field produces through a Floating Production Storage and Off-loading (FPSO) vessel moored above the Etame field. The Avouma field was brought on stream in January 2007. The field produces from two wells via a minimum facilities fixed platform tied back by pipeline to the Etame FPSO with production commingled on the vessel. The Ebouri Field was brought into production early in 2009. Development is via a minimum-facilities platform and two horizontal wells tied back to the Etame FPSO.
The North Etame exploration well was drilled in February 2009. The well encountered the Gamba reservoir but this was water-bearing, and the well was plugged and abandoned.
We currently hold a 5% interest in the OPL-249 permit, for which Chevron is the operator. The licence includes part of the Bonga SW/Aparo field for which a development plan is being considered. Sasol has a 0,375% interest in this very large field. The licence area also includes the potential development of the Nsiko field. Chevron is in discussions with the Nigerian government with a view to awarding the Front End Engineering Design work.
We also hold a 5% interest in the OPL 214 permit, where ExxonMobil is the operator. Three oil discoveries have been drilled in the licence to date, two of which discovered and delineated the Uge Field. A feasibility study for the Uge development has been completed, and a field development plan is being considered.
We have accepted a 6% paying interest (2,4% working interest) in the OPL 247 licence. Extensive 3D seismic data/studies have been acquired and interpreted. The first exploration well is expected in 2010.
We also have a 5,1% interest in Block 1 of the Nigeria/Sao Tome e Principe joint development zone. The OBO-1 discovery is a non-commercial discovery on a stand alone basis. Exploration efforts will focus on joint development with possible additional exploration successes.
Following the change in legislation in South Africa, the conversion process from the "sub-lease" agreements to the "exploration rights/production rights" agreement (ER/PR) is still ongoing. We had a 10% partially carried interest in the prospecting sub-lease agreement in Block 3A/4A, offshore of South Africa's west coast. It is expected that the partially carried interest will be converted to a partially carried ER/PR contract during the 2009 calendar year.
Recently acquired exploration licenses
In June 2008, Sasol Petroleum International negotiated a 51% working interest and operatorship of four hydrocarbon prospecting licences covering a land area of 37 000 square kilometres, close to established gas fields in the "foreland" area of Papua New Guinea. Sasol Petroleum International has been managing the four onshore licences to ensure that all necessary contractual obligations will be met. 375 kilometres of 2D seismic data has been acquired, and is currently being processed, with a view to defining prospects that can be drilled in 2010.
In July 2008, Sasol Petroleum International farmed into WA-388 licence in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore NW Shelf Australia, agreeing to part-fund a 1 064 square kilometres 3D seismic acquisition programme, thereby earning a 30% participating interest. The 3D seismic acquisition was completed in the second half of the 2008 calendar year. The seismic data is currently being processed, with final results available during the 2009 calendar year.
Other than royalty gas provided to the Mozambican government, all gas produced is exported to South Africa. The Mozambican government is dedicating royalty gas for use in the vicinity of the processing plant in Temane as well as developing the gas market in the capital city, Maputo. The natural gas condensate produced in the gas processing plant is currently sold at the plant, trucked to Maputo by the buyer, and exported via the port of Maputo to offshore markets.
Oil production from operations is sold internationally on the open market.
In the ongoing business, all natural gas is sold on a long-term sales contract to Sasol Gas, for marketing in the South African market. Opportunities are being assessed and finalised for gas supply to Mozambican markets. The additional gas volumes will become available from the proposed expansion of the current operations.
Sasol Petroleum Temane sells its condensate sales on a long-term sales agreement with an international trading organisation.
An annual sales contract is typically entered into based on a competitive bidding process and prices are linked to international prices at the time of sale.
Property, plants and equipment
Our gas processing facilities in Mozambique are located some 700 km north of the capital, Maputo. Ownership is shared with the Mozambican government through CMH (25%) and the IFC (5%).
The production occurs through a dedicated FPSO vessel. This is moored offshore at the field site.
Our polymer-related activities are managed in two separate entities, Sasol Polymers, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited, and Sasol Polymers International Investments (Pty) Limited (SPII), a subsidiary of Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Limited. SPII manages our international operations.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
In Sasol Polymers, we produce ethylene by separating and purifying an ethylene-rich mixture and by cracking of ethane and propane supplied by Sasol Synfuels. Propylene is separated and purified from a Fischer-Tropsch stream produced in the Sasol process. The ethylene is polymerised into low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and the propylene into polypropylene (PP). We operate a fully integrated chlor-alkali/polyvinylchloride chain. Ethylene and chlorine, from on-site chlor-alkali plants, are reacted to produce vinyl chloride monomer and then polymerised to polyvinylchloride (PVC). Caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite and calcium chloride are other chlor-alkali products which are produced. Sodium cyanide is produced from methane, ammonia and caustic soda.
We are a major South African plastics and chemicals operation and our vision is to be a world-class producer and supplier of quality monomers, polymers, chlor-alkali chemicals and mining reagents.
In South Africa Sasol Polymers has four operating businesses:
In Sasol Polymers International Investments we manage the following international investments:
Over the past three years between 54% and 78% of Sasol Polymers' revenue has been earned from sales into the South African market.
We are the sole polymer producer of PVC, LDPE and LLDPE in South Africa and have the leading share of sales of these products in South Africa, where the competition is in the form of polymer imports primarily from Asian and Middle Eastern producers. We supply 160 ktpa ethylene and 100 ktpa propylene under contract to Safripol (Pty) Limited (Safripol) in Sasolburg, South Africa, by pipeline for the production of HDPE and polypropylene, respectively. We compete directly with Safripol in the polypropylene market, where we have a significant share of the South African market. Caustic soda is sold primarily in South Africa into the pulp and paper, minerals beneficiation and soap and detergent industries. We are the sole local producer of sodium cyanide solution which is sold to local gold producers. Sales are expected to be in line with investment in dump retreatment in association with gold and uranium prices.
Currently, we export polymers from our South African operations to the African continent, South East Asia, Europe and South America. Product from the Petlin plant in Malaysia is sold into Malaysia, India, China, Australia and New Zealand. The focus for polymer marketing activity from our Iran operations is mainly South East Asia, China and the Indian subcontinent, while ethylene is being exported into South East Asia.
Global polymer demand does not show any marked annual seasonality although higher demand tends to arise in the third quarter of each calendar year as converters stock up for increased sales over the South African festive season.
The global polymer industry is, however, cyclical in terms of margins earned, given lumpy investment patterns caused by large capital requirements and size of plants. The duration of a typical cycle has been seven years and margins can vary from low trough conditions to extreme peak conditions. During tight supply/demand periods, which usually coincide with increases in economic activity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), margins may increase disproportionately with high peaks. Over time margins reduce as investment is stimulated or as demand slows down in line with GDP. It may happen that too much capacity is installed which results in collapsed margins.
Feedstock for ethylene and propylene in South Africa is purchased from Sasol Synfuels at market-priced fuel-alternative values. The mechanism for determining the fuel-alternative value is based on the South African Basic Fuel Price (BFP) mechanism administered by the Department of Mineral Resources. Feedstock prices have increased in line with the oil price. Salt used in our chlor-alkali production process is imported from Namibia and Botswana at US-dollar denominated prices. Electricity is purchased from Eskom, South Africa's state-owned electricity provider.
Feedstock namely, ethane and propane, for SPII's joint venture cracker in Malaysia (Optimal Olefins) is purchased from Petronas at set prices, unrelated to oil, that escalates annually in line with US inflation rates. Petlin (Malaysia) buys its ethylene feedstock from Optimal Olefins at prices related to the South East Asian ethylene market. Arya Sasol Polymer Company (SPII's joint venture in Iran) buys its feedstock, ethane, from the Pars Petrochemical Company at a set price, unrelated to the oil price. In times of high oil prices this provides a competitive advantage to the operations in Malaysia and Iran, compared to crude oil based producers.
Our sales in South Africa are made directly to customers using our own marketing and sales staff. Sales offices are located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Account managers are responsible for management of our relationship with customers. Sales administration staff manages order processing, logistics and payment collections.
For exports from South African operations, an international trading business was established to sell directly into Southern Africa and through distributors and agents into East and West Africa, the Far East, Europe and South America. All sales, administration and logistics are arranged from the Johannesburg office. Half of the exports from Arya Sasol will be handled by Sasol Polymers Middle East, a newly established marketing company in Dubai and wholly owned by SPII.
Property, plants and equipment
The following table summarises the production capacities of each of our main product areas.
Production capacity at 30 June 2009
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
We are one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of a diverse range of solvents, co-monomers and associated products. Solvent products are supplied to customers in approximately 110 countries and are used primarily in the coatings, printing, packaging, plastics, pharmaceutical, fragrance, aerosol paint and adhesive industries, as well as in the polish, cosmetics, agriculture and mining chemicals sectors. Pentene, hexene and octene are used as co-monomers in polyethylene production. We have production facilities in South Africa at Secunda and Sasolburg and in Germany at Moers and Herne. Our product range includes ketones, glycol ethers, acetates, alcohols, acrylates, pentene, hexene and octene, fine chemicals and mining chemicals. Our joint venture with Huntsman Corporation (Sasol Huntsman) produces maleic anhydride in Europe. We believe that the breadth of our product portfolio provides a competitive advantage relative to the more limited portfolios of some of our competitors in the global market.
During the year, following a fire at the loading facilities at our Germiston site, we ceased operations and have decided to shut the site down. This did not have a significant impact on our business.
In 2009, approximately 1,72 Mt of products were sold worldwide. Our global business is managed from offices in Johannesburg in South Africa. We have sales offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the USA.
We market our products throughout the world, with a large proportion of our alcohols being distributed in Europe. We are the leading producer of solvents in South Africa and we are the global market leader in co-monomers based on production capacity.
Our competition varies depending on the products sold and includes a number of major international oil and chemical companies. Our competitors include ExxonMobil, Shell Chemicals, BP Chemicals, Chevron Phillips, Ineos, the Dow Chemical Company, Celanese and Eastman.
Production and sales volumes are generally not subject to seasonal fluctuations but tend to follow the broader global industry trends. In terms of the global cyclical nature of our products, periods of high demand and higher prices are followed by an increase in global production capacity which can depress global margins. The current global economic crisis has had a detrimental effect on our production and sales volumes.
Feedstocks for our operations in Secunda are derived mainly from Sasol Synfuels at market-priced fuel-alternative values based on the Basic Fuel Price. Fluctuations in the crude oil price and rand/US dollar exchange rate have a direct impact on the cost of our feedstocks and hence on margins. Feedstocks in Sasolburg are purchased from Sasol Polymers (based on fuel-alternative value) and Sasol Infrachem based on a long-term supply contract price with an annual inflation-linked escalation clause.
Ethylene, propylene and butane, used in our production facilities in Germany, are purchased at market prices from third party suppliers under a combination of long-term supply contracts and open market purchases.
Some products are produced by converting primary chemical commodities produced in our facilities to higher value-added derivatives. These include:
We operate thirteen regional sales offices and seven storage hubs in South Africa, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the USA. We utilise a number of distributors and agents worldwide as an extension of our sales and marketing force to enable increased market penetration.
A combination of product and account managers ensures continued, long-term relationships with our customers. Our in-house sales and administrative staff manage order processing, logistics and collection of payments as well as customer relationships. The use of bulk supply facilities situated in China, Dubai, Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe, Singapore, South Africa and the United States allows for timely delivery to our customers.
Factors on which the business is dependant
Our plants operate using a combination of proprietary technology developed by Sasol, primarily by Sasol Technology, as well as technology licensed from various suppliers. Our acrylates and n-butanol technology is licensed from the Mitsubishi Chemical Company. Our maleic anhydride technology (utilised in Sasol Huntsman) is licensed from Huntsman. We also license MiBK technology from Uhde and hydroformylation technology for use in our Safol and octene 3 plants from Davy Process Technology.
We license our technology for alcohol recovery to PetroSA. Being fully integrated into the Sasol operations in South Africa, we are dependant on Sasol Synfuels and Sasol Infrachem for the supply of both our raw materials and utilities (electricity, water and air).
We are in the process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the European Chemical Policy, Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), which became effective on 1 June 2007. The estimated costs of compliance over the next ten years amount to approximately €7 million.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity as at 30 June 2009
Approximately 70% of our production capacity is at sites in South Africa and 30% in Germany. Our third octene plant, with a nameplate capacity of 100 ktpa, started up at the end of June 2008.
Construction of an additional methyl iso-butyl ketone (MiBK) train using improved Sasol technology, which will increase capacity to almost 60 ktpa, is progressing with beneficial operation planned for the end of the 2009 calendar year.
Sasol-Huntsman is progressing with plans to increase its total production capacity from 60 ktpa to 105 ktpa through the construction of a second 45 ktpa reactor and purification section, with the new capacity being available from the first quarter of the 2011 calendar year.
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants
In 2005, we had announced our intention to consider the divestiture of the Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (O&S) business subject to fair value being received and substantial work was undertaken to prepare the business for sale and attempt to sell it. In 2007, we announced our decision to terminate the divestiture process and retain and restructure the business pursuant to a "turnaround" process.
Despite the general downturn due to the economic crisis, the turnaround process initiated in 2008 has already improved the robustness of the business. The overall turnaround process focuses on fixed and variable cost reduction, margin improvement, disposal or shutdown of underperforming assets and an organisational overhaul. Seven plants, with a total production capacity in excess of half a million tons per annum, were shut down and headcount was reduced by approximately 320.
We remain of the view that greater shareholder value can be unlocked by continuing to focus on the turnaround process of the Sasol O&S business and by exploring selected group cost optimisation and growth opportunities. While we will continue to carefully monitor and review the performance of all assets in the Sasol O&S portfolio, we have decided to retain and further optimise this business.
It is still anticipated that the full turnaround programme will only be completed in the next two to three years.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants comprises seven areas of activity, grouped into two business divisions, namely the Organics and Inorganics Divisions.
The Organics Division consists of:
The Inorganics Division consists of:
The main alkylate products are paraffins, olefins and linear alkyl benzene (LAB). LAB is the feedstock for the manufacture of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS), an essential surfactant
ingredient for the detergents industry. Paraffins (n-paraffins) and n-olefins are produced mainly as feedstock for the production of LAB and oxo-alcohols. A portion of this business unit's products are used internally for the production of downstream surfactants.
These products cover a diversified portfolio of linear and semi-linear alcohols of carbon range between C6 and C22+. The diversity of this product portfolio is supported by the wide range of raw materials (petrochemical, oleochemical and coal-based), technologies and manufacturing facilities used. A portion of the alcohols production is consumed internally to produce surfactants and specialty plasticisers.
Surfactants and intermediates
These products include nonionic and anionic surfactants, based on alcohol and alkylates and other organic chemicals. Other organic intermediate chemicals include ethylene oxide, alkyl phenols, alkanolamines, fatty acid esters, etc.
Our ethane-based cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana produces ethylene for the United States market. A portion of the ethylene production is consumed internally to manufacture Ziegler alcohols.
These products involve mainly alumina products both as co-products from the Ziegler units (together with alcohol) as well as in dedicated production units. The alumina is upgraded by means of a variety of technical processes to adapt the product characteristics, in some cases to highly specialised products. This division also produces zeolites in a manufacturing facility in Italy.
In June 2009, agreement was reached for the sale of the Crotone, Italy Inorganic facilities. This sale is expected to be concluded by 30 September 2009 and is not expected to have a significant impact on our business.
The bulk of the production from the alkylates product group ends up as surfactants, either produced internally (our surfactants product group) or by other parties having acquired the intermediates from us. The bulk of these surfactants result in the making of detergents or industrial or institutional cleaning products. The main competitors include: ExxonMobil, Shell and Petresa in n-paraffins; Huntsman, Petresa and ISU in the LAB market; and Huntsman and Cognis in the LAS market.
Although a substantial portion of the alcohols and resultant surfactants products also end up in detergents and industrial and institutional products, these products also find wide application in industries such as metalworking, flavours and fragrances, personal care, cosmetics, plastic additives, textiles and agriculture. The main competitors include Shell, BASF and Cognis. In the future, significant additional oleochemical-based alcohol capacity is expected to come on stream in the Far East.
Aluminas (specialty and ultra-high purity) from the inorganic division are used in a broad range of applications, including catalyst support, raw material for ceramics, coatings and polymer additives. Competitors in aluminas include UOP, Grace and BASF Catalyst. Zeolites are used as water softening components in detergents and adsorbents. There are numerous competitors in zeolites.
Ethylene is sold to plastic manufacturers in the US Gulf Coast region and is used internally to manufacture alcohols and ethylene oxide. There are numerous competitors in the United States ethylene market. It is expected that projected increases in ethylene production capacity in the Middle East will impact mainly naphtha-based crackers in the USA.
There is very little seasonality associated with our products or the markets in which they participate. Cyclicality of this business is more related to the general chemical investment cycle, which impacts the supply side of the market equation. Many of the markets that we serve typically follow global and regional gross domestic product growth trends and are therefore impacted more by macro-economic factors, including the current global economic downturn.
The main raw materials and feedstocks used in this business are kerosene, benzene, ethane, ethylene and aluminium (all purchased externally with the exception of some portion of our ethylene which is produced at our Lake Charles facility). The prices of most of these materials are related to crude oil and energy pricing and the prices follow the crude oil and energy pricing reasonably closely. In view of the expected increase in oleochemical-based alcohol production, the differential between crude oil and natural oils is expected to become increasingly important in determining competitiveness.
Over 90% of the products produced by Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are sold directly to end-use customers by our sales and marketing personnel. A limited number of distributors are used. Approximately 60% of the total sales by Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are conducted under annual and in some cases multi-year contracts.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
The business, especially margins, is dependent on the supply and demand of the various products that we make and the feedstock costs. Demand growth is typically GDP driven with some exceptions of higher growth products and markets. Supply is primarily influenced by the build-up of new capacity in the developing regions, especially China, India and Southeast Asia. Feedstock costs generally follow the trends of crude oil and vegetable oil.
We are in the process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the European Chemical Policy, Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), which became effective on 1 June 2007. The estimated costs of compliance over the next ten years amount to approximately €30 million.
Property, plants and equipment
The following table summarises the production capacity for each of our main product areas.
Production capacity at 30 June 2009
Other chemical activities
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
We produce and market wax and wax-related products to commodity and specialty wax markets globally. We refine and blend crude oil-derived paraffin waxes, as well as synthetic waxes produced on the basis of our Fischer-Tropsch technology. Sasol Wax has its head office in Hamburg and employs approximately 1 100 people globally.
The overall volume of products marketed by the business amounts to 550 ktpa, of which 35% are products derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process. The product portfolio includes paraffin waxes, both fully refined and semi-refined, produced and marketed in various grades, as well as Fischer-Tropsch-based synthetic waxes which include the Fischer-Tropsch-derived hard wax, the Fischer-Tropsch-derived medium wax and liquid paraffins in the carbon range C5 through C20. Various specialty blends of waxes are also produced and marketed. We continue to develop niche markets for higher-value specialty waxes, such as those used by the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, construction-board, adhesive, polymer additives, inks and coatings and bitumen additive industries. We also produce wax emulsions at our facilities in Germany, Austria, South Africa, USA and the United Kingdom. We produce and market petroleum jelly and trade in white-oils to support our personal care business.
We manufacture and sell candles from our subsidiary, Price's Candles in South Africa. We supply the Middle East market as well as our operations in Hamburg with additional paraffin waxes from our subsidiary, Alexandria Wax Products Company, located in Egypt.
The division markets its products globally, but its main markets are in Europe, the United States and Southern Africa. Approximately 30% of waxes are sold to candle manufacturing companies and the balance is sold to numerous market segments, including cosmetics, pharmaceutical, construction-board, adhesive, polymer additives, inks and coatings and bitumen additive industries. N-paraffins are sold predominantly into the drilling-fluids market (west coast of Africa) and for use in the plastics industry (mainly South Africa, India and the Far East).
The overall world market for waxes is estimated at about 4 100 ktpa and our main competitors in the commodity market are Exxon Mobil, Shell, China Oil and Sinopec. In specialty wax markets our main competitors are H & R Wax Company and Paramelt. Shell Malaysia is the only other hard wax producer.
The candle market in Europe is seasonal in nature, with demand peaking prior to the Christmas season. In South Africa, demand is relatively stable although higher demand is evident in the winter season. The other market segments that Sasol Wax services are more driven by economic growth than seasonality.
Marketing is mostly done by own resources in all geographical areas where we operate. Primary marketing areas are Europe, the United States and South Africa but we also market our products in the rest of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australasia. Agents are also used, where appropriate.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
As a result of the move from production of group I to group II & III base-oils, it is expected that there will be a long-term decline in the availability of slack wax.
It is expected that GTL and CTL production capacity will increase in future. GTL and CTL facilities typically also produce medium wax as an intermediate which is cracked to produce liquid fuels. It is possible to extract this product stream for use in the wax industry.
We are in the process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the European Chemical Policy, Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), which became effective on 1 June 2007. The estimated costs of compliance over the next ten years amount to approximately €6 million.
Property, plants and equipment
The main production assets are located in Hamburg, Germany; Sasolburg, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa; and Richmond, California, United States. We also have wax emulsion production facilities located in Birkenhead, United Kingdom and Linz, Austria.
Our plant in Hamburg has a production and blending capacity for paraffin wax of 300 ktpa. It purchases slack wax feedstock from numerous lube-oil-producing refineries predominantly in Western Europe and from Eastern Europe and Africa. We initially de-oil slack waxes to fully or semi-refined quality and fully hydrogenate all final products. Subsequently, various product blends are produced. Products are sold either in liquid bulk or in solidified form. This operation also has a trading activity of about 420 ktpa.
Our plant in Sasolburg operates Fischer-Tropsch-based technology for the production of synthetic waxes. It uses natural gas as feedstock, supplied by Sasol Gas from Mozambique. We own and operate a wax plant integrated into the Engen refinery in Durban, South Africa. This plant produces wax blends predominantly for the South African and other African candle industries. The production capacity of the South African wax plants amounts to 240 ktpa of Fischer-Tropsch-derived products.
We also operate a major candle factory located in Johannesburg with a capacity of up to 26 ktpa, which represents approximately 50% of the South African candle industry market.
In the United States, we have a plant based in Richmond, California. The facility receives refined and other waxy products from the Far East and from within the USA and markets them in the USA. We also distribute Fischer-Tropsch-derived and paraffin waxes. The total product manufactured and traded by Sasol Wax North America amounts to approximately 100 ktpa.
Production capacity at 30 June 2009
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited, our nitrogenous products division, manufactures and markets ammonia, fertilisers, commercial explosives and related products. The division also markets ammonia, sulphur and specialty gases produced by other Sasol divisions. All production activities are located in South Africa. The business' products are sold within South Africa with limited exports, mainly into Southern Africa.
The division's product portfolio includes:
In September 2007, we disposed of 50% of our investment in Sasol Dyno Nobel (Pty) Limited, realising a profit of R114 million. Our remaining 50% shareholding is accounted for as a joint venture.
On 29 June 2009, we considered the possible closure of our Phalaborwa operations due to adverse market conditions. The plant, which manufactures phosphoric acid from mainly phosphate rock and sulphur, has had varying financial success during its history in the Sasol portfolio. The plant's profitability is mainly determined by a combination of the feedstock prices of phosphate rock and sulphur, phosphoric acid sale volumes and international phosphoric acid prices. Despite having explored a number of different options to avoid the closure of the plant, current feedstock prices are at a level that have rendered the plant's ongoing operation unsustainable, particularly in a declining phosphoric acid market. On the back of this continued decline of global and local phosphoric acid prices, as well as increased feedstock prices, Sasol Nitro is projecting significant losses for 2010 from the Phalaborwa operations. As a result, an impairment of R174 million was recognised in respect of the Phalaborwa plant. Further, provisions for restructuring costs of R39 million and rehabilitation of R24 million have also been recognised.
About half of Sasol's total ammonia production is used to produce Sasol Nitro's ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers and explosives. The balance of ammonia is sold mainly to other South African explosives and fertiliser manufacturers with relatively small quantities sold for use in other industrial applications, which include chemical manufacture and mineral beneficiation.
Sasol is the only ammonia producer in South Africa, with Sasol Nitro producing 330 ktpa at its plant in Sasolburg. Sasol Nitro also markets 330 ktpa ammonia produced at the Secunda Complex.
South Africa is a net importer of ammonia, with about 10% of total requirement imported during the current financial year. Omnia Fertilisers (Pty) Limited and African Explosives Limited (AEL) are Sasol Nitro's two major external customers for ammonia and they also compete with Sasol Nitro in the downstream fertiliser and explosives markets. Sasol Nitro has entered into market-related contractual arrangements with these and other ammonia customers.
The fertiliser sales are closely linked to the relevant crop planting seasons. The majority of fertilisers are consumed for maize production, for which planting starts in October and runs through to January. Explosives products are used in both opencast and underground mining, with sales spread evenly throughout the year.
Natural gas is used as feedstock in the manufacture of ammonia at its Sasolburg plant. Ammonia is the main feedstock used in the manufacture of nitric acid and ammonium nitrate.
Most raw materials for non-electronic initiation systems are imported from the USA. Sasol Nitro is in the process of backward integration in an effort to reduce its exposure to the rand/US dollar exchange rate fluctuations on these imports.
Fertilisers are a combination of nitrogen, potassium and phosphates in a so-called N:P:K formulation. The nitrogen compound consists mainly of either produced ammonium nitrate or imported urea. The phosphates that have been produced at the Phalaborwa operations may now need to be sourced externally in future. All of South Africa's potassium needs for its fertiliser industry are imported in the form of potash.
Fertiliser is supplied to the farming community via agents, distributors and co-operatives. Sasol Nitro exports limited quantities of fertiliser to Southern African countries.
Explosives and explosive accessories are only supplied to the Southern African mining industry and explosives grade ammonium nitrate is exported to South America, Australia and Asia.
Factors on which the business is dependent
The profitability of the business is dependent on the international ammonia price, fertiliser commodity prices, mining and agriculture activity, and the exchange rate. International mining commodity prices influence the demand for explosives, while the variability of maize and other crop production influence the market demand for fertiliser.
Property, plant and equipment
All production facilities of Sasol Nitro are located in South Africa. The Sasolburg operations also produce hydrogen that is sold to the oil and metal refining industries in South Africa.
Sasol Nitro operates two nitric acid plants. The smaller 315 ktpa unit in Sasolburg is linked to a downstream ammonium nitrate plant. The ammonium nitrate produced at the Sasolburg operations is used mainly for the production of explosive grade low-density ammonium nitrate. The 470 ktpa nitric acid plant in Secunda supplies a downstream ammonium nitrate plant linked to a 500 ktpa granulation facility. The granulation plant produces limestone ammonium nitrate and various other grades containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Ammonium nitrate for industrial use is sourced from both the Sasolburg and Secunda sites.
A 100 ktpa ammonium sulphate plant was successfully commissioned at the Secunda operations in June 2009.
In Phalaborwa, adjacent to the phosphate rock mine of Foskor, Sasol Nitro operates a 325 ktpa phosphoric acid plant. In June 2009, we considered the possible closure of this plant due to adverse market conditions, subject to a consultation process with labour representatives. In December 2008, Sasol Nitro closed down the downstream phosphoric detergent business in Sasolburg and Meyerton (capacity of 50 ktpa) due to the fact that the largest customer chose to import product directly from China.
Sasol Nitro also manufactures bulk explosives at various mining sites and cartridge explosives in Secunda and Ekandustria. Sasol Dyno Nobel manufactures non-electronic initiation systems in Ekandustria.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Infrachem is the supplier of utilities and services to various Sasol business units (Sasol Polymers, Sasol Solvents, Sasol Wax, Merisol and Sasol Nitro) as well as external businesses in Sasolburg. Sasol Infrachem operates and maintains the auto thermal reformer (ATR) which reforms natural gas into synthesis gas on behalf of Sasol Gas. Sasol Infrachem is the custodian of the Sasolburg gas pipeline and the primary responsibility of this function is to ensure that the gas demand/supply is balanced and that reformed gas is supplied to the users of gas on its site on behalf of Sasol Gas.
Coal required for steam and power generation is sourced internally from Sasol Mining. Raw water is sourced from the Vaal River and potable/drinking water is sourced from the local municipality. Electricity is purchased from Eskom, the state-owned electricity provider.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity at 30 June 2009
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Merisol is a joint venture company formed in 1997 by the merger of Sasol Phenolics in Sasolburg, South Africa, with the phenolics activities of Merichem Company, based in Houston, Texas, USA. The joint venture partners each own 50% of Merisol. Merisol has a strong presence in the global market for natural phenolics and cresylics with manufacturing facilities in Sasolburg, Houston, Texas, and Oil City, Pennsylvania, USA. Merisol has an interest in the production of synthetic meta, para-cresol through a 50:50 manufacturing joint venture with Sumitomo Chemicals. Merisol also has a 20:80 venture (Merisol holding 20%) with Chang Chun of Taiwan for the production in Sasolburg of ortho-cresol novolac, a precursor to high-performance epoxy resins used for encapsulating memory and processor chips. Merisol is the supplier of ortho-cresol feedstock and manages this plant.
Merisol manufactures the pure products, phenol, ortho-cresol, meta-cresol and para-cresol, and a diverse range of blended products, consisting of mixtures of phenol, cresols, xylenols and other phenol derivatives. These blends are known collectively as cresylic acids. Both the Sasolburg and Houston plants produce phenol- and ortho-cresol and cresylic acids. The Houston plant uses proprietary separation technologies to produce high-purity meta, para-cresol and pure meta-cresol and para-cresol, making Merisol one of the few producers of these products in the world.
The pure products, phenol, ortho-cresol, meta-cresol and para-cresol, are sold in competition with synthetically produced equivalents. Merisol is relatively small in the global phenol market, but strong in the South African market and in selected niche markets elsewhere.
Merisol supplies major shares of the cresol and cresylic acids global markets for:
Merisol derives about 80% of its turnover from the North and South America, Europe and Far East markets and the balance from South Africa and other regions.
There is little seasonality associated with our products or the markets in which they participate. Our business is driven by market demands which are slightly higher in the second half of the financial year.
Merisol derives its raw material as a by-product of coal gasification that is recovered for purification and separation, mostly from Sasol. Merisol also sources synthetic meta, para-cresol from its manufacturing joint venture with Sumitomo Chemicals. About 80% of raw materials are subject to fluctuations in the oil price.
Merisol markets its products worldwide through sales offices in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States and South Africa. Markets are served from product inventories held in Antwerp, Belgium, for the European market, in Houston, for the US market and exports and Sasolburg for most other markets, including Asia.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
Our plants operate using a combination of distillation and proprietary technologies developed and licensed by Sasol Technology, as well as proprietary technologies developed and licensed by Merichem, a subsidiary within the Merisol group. Being fully integrated into the Sasol operations in South Africa, we are dependent on Sasol Synfuels and Sasol Infrachem for the supply of both our raw materials and utilities (electricity, water and air).
We are in the process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the European Chemical Policy, REACH. The estimated costs of compliance over the next five years amount to approximately US$2,6 million.
Property, plants and equipment
Merisol's Sasolburg plant, including the tar naphtha extraction plant, uses feedstock from our coal gasification activities at Secunda. During 2007, the Houston operations completed rationalisation and streamlining of its Green Bayou plant to reduce costs.
Merisol owns a butylation plant at Oil City, Pennsylvania, producing di-butyl para-cresol and meta-cresol from meta, para-cresol and pure para-cresol feedstock made by Merisol at its Houston plant. The Oil City plant has completed an expansion project to increase meta-cresol capacity.
Production capacity at 30 June 2009
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Technology, as the technology partner in the group, is fully committed to the growth objectives by working together with the business units and taking responsibility for the long-term research and development of technology improvements as well as developing new technologies. Through engineering and project execution activities Sasol Technology demonstrates its commitment to the delivery of functional plants to our business partners for their operation.
We are responsible for directing Sasol's technology future, by delivering strategies for long-term research and development, technological improvements and new, innovative and cleaner technologies.
Acquiring technologyresearch and development
The central research and development division in Sasolburg, South Africa employs approximately 600 people who focus on fundamental research, while the decentralised divisions focus on product applications. The Sasolburg research facility was expanded and modernised with the aim to:
The enhanced facilities allow the opportunity to commercialise new and improved petrochemical processes more effectively. The central research function has a full suite of state-of-the-art pilot plants to support both current and the development of future technologies.
The Sasolburg research activities, supplemented by a presence at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and in Enschede in The Netherlands, are also conducted through external alliances and research collaborations with over 100 research institutions, consortia and universities worldwide. In addition, strong emphasis is placed on training. As a result of this, at least 20 of the employees from South Africa are at any given time studying abroad in a continuing effort to ensure top level in-house research competency.
Noteworthy Sasol Technology Research and Development successes over the past decade include the development of the Slurry Phase and Advanced Synthol reactors, the development of the proprietary cobalt catalyst, the low temperature Fischer-Tropsch process, ethylene tetramerisation and the 1-heptene to 1-octene conversion process.
A significant part of the research focuses on supporting the CTL and GTL technologies and associated productsthe production of chemicals from the primary Fischer-Tropsch products is of particular interest.
Research is also focused on the reduction of the Sasol operations' environmental footprint which includes greenhouse gas reduction, water treatment and purification. In this regard, special attention is given to water utilisation, given the location of some of the current and future plants in semi-arid areas. Reduction in greenhouse gases focuses on improving plant efficiencies, carbon dioxide capturing and understanding potential storage alternatives. The introduction of non-carbon based energy as process energy is also under review as part of our new energy focus.
Commercialising technologyfront end engineering and technology management
All front end engineering and technology integration and management are performed by specialist Sasol Technology teams, taking the ideas from our research and development teams and engineering them into a commercial proposition for exploitation by the group. The conceptual studies, basic design and engineering management of projects are undertaken on an integrated basis with the business unit, leveraging with external technology suppliers and contractors.
Installing technologyproject execution and engineering
Sasol Technology is responsible for the project engineering and project management of the major capital programmes in the group. The involvement is not only focused in South Africa but also elsewhere in the world where Sasol is undertaking studies and the execution of projects. Delivery of smaller projects and shutdowns are also undertaken. These initiatives are highly leveraged with external engineering and construction contractors.
Optimising technologyoperations support
Technical support groups work on an integrated basis with the operations personnel of the business units to improve the profitability and optimise plant performance throughout the group.
Sasol Technology partners with all business units in the Sasol group. However, in line with the group's strategic priorities Sasol Technology is focused on:
South African Energy Cluster
International Energy Cluster
Property, plant and equipment
The Sasolburg research facility was expanded affording the opportunity to commercialise new and improved petrochemical processes more effectively. The central research function has a full suite of state-of-the-art pilot plants to support both current and the development of future technologies. A new fuel testing laboratory is being commissioned in Cape Town, to more effectively research the application of our unique GTL and CTL fuels at sea level.
Legal proceedings and other contingencies
Fly Ash Plant Sasol Synfuels is in legal proceedings with regard to the operation of a plant in Secunda. Ashcor has claimed damages of R313 million relating to their inability to develop their business and a projected loss of future cash flows. The prospect of future loss is deemed to be possible and the loss, if it occurs, is unlikely to exceed R10 million.
Nutri-Flo In November 2003, Nutri-Flo brought an urgent application before the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) to interdict Sasol from implementing a new price list. By way of this application, Nutri-Flo filed a complaint in which it alleged that Sasol was engaging in price discrimination, excessive pricing and exclusionary pricing and that Sasol, Kynoch and Omnia were colluding to fix prices in the fertiliser industry. Nutri-Flo subsequently withdrew the application. However, the South African Competition Commission (the Commission) investigated the complaint and in May 2005 referred the complaint to the Tribunal, alleging findings of prohibited horizontal practices (namely, price fixing and the prevention or lessening of competition) and abuses of dominance (namely, charging excessive prices and engaging in exclusionary conduct), and requesting the Tribunal to impose the maximum administrative penalty in terms of the South African Competition Act 89 of 1998 (the Competition Act).
In July 2008, Sasol initiated a group-wide independent review into anti-trust/competition law compliance within its various business units. This review is ongoing and is being conducted by external legal counsel and economists. Certain findings made during this review necessitated Sasol Nitro to
engage with the Commission in order to negotiate a settlement with regard to the complaints by Nutri-Flo relating to price fixing and market sharing.
In the settlement agreement concluded with the Commission, Sasol Nitro acknowledged that, in the period from 1996 to 2005, it had contravened the Competition Act by fixing prices of certain fertilisers with its competitors, by agreeing with its competitors on the allocation of customers and suppliers and to collusively tendering for supply contracts. In terms of the settlement agreement, Sasol Nitro agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R250,7 million. The settlement agreement was confirmed by the Tribunal on 20 May 2009.
Sasol Nitro did not, as part of the settlement agreement, admit to engaging in price discrimination, excessive pricing or exclusionary pricing. The Competition Tribunal has consolidated the hearing of the Nutri-Flo and Profert (see below) complaints on abuses of dominance and discriminatory pricing. The hearing of these complaints is due to take place in July 2010. For these reasons, it is currently not possible to make an estimate of the contingent liability (whether arising out of penalties that may be imposed by the Competition Tribunal or civil lawsuits that may arise in the event of a finding of unlawful conduct). Sasol Nitro will, however, continue its engagement with the Commission in respect of these complaints.
Nutri-Flo has indicated that should Sasol be found by the Tribunal to have committed the prohibited practices as alleged, then it intends to sue Sasol for damages in the aggregate of about R57,5 million.
Sasol Wax On 28 and 29 April 2005, the European Commission conducted an investigation at the offices of Sasol Wax International AG and its subsidiary Sasol Wax GmbH, both located in Hamburg, Germany. On 1 October 2008, the European Union found that members of the European paraffin wax industry, including Sasol Wax GmbH, formed a cartel and violated antitrust laws.
A fine of €318,2 million was imposed by the European Commission on Sasol Wax GmbH (of which Sasol Wax International AG, Sasol Holding Germany GmbH and Sasol Limited would be jointly and severally liable for €250 million). According to the decision of the European Commission, an infringement of antitrust laws commenced in 1992 or even earlier. In 1995, Sasol became a co-shareholder in an existing wax business located in Hamburg, Germany owned by the Schümann group. In July 2002, Sasol acquired the remaining shares in the joint venture and became the sole shareholder of the business. Sasol was unaware of these infringements before the European Commission commenced their investigation at the wax business in Hamburg in April 2005.
On 15 December 2008, all Sasol companies to which the decision had been addressed, lodged an appeal with the European Court of First Instance against the decision of the European Commission on the basis that the fine is excessive and should be reduced. The fine has been paid in accordance with the legal requirements on 7 January 2009. As a result of the fine imposed on Sasol Wax Europe, it is possible that customers may file claims against Sasol Wax for compensation of damages. The extent of such risk or amount of such claims cannot be determined at present.
Profert Profert filed a complaint against Sasol in August 2004, alleging that Sasol Nitro refused to supply Profert, charged Profert discriminatory pricing in sales of limestone ammonium nitrate and engaged in exclusionary conduct to exclude Profert from the fertiliser market. In May 2006, the Commission referred the complaint to the Tribunal, alleging findings of prohibited horizontal practices (namely, entering into agreements which constructed and divided the relevant market and which substantially lessened or prevented competition in that market) and abuses of dominance (namely, refusing to supply scarce goods to competitors, discriminating on sale prices and engaging in other exclusionary acts), and requesting that the Tribunal impose the maximum administrative penalty in terms of the Competition Act.
On 4 August 2006, Sasol filed a reply to the complaint referral. The matter was set down for hearing from 3 March to 14 March 2008. However, due to Profert failing to comply in time with an order by the Competition Tribunal to disclose certain documents to Sasol's attorneys prior to the hearing, the hearing was postponed indefinitely. Preparations for the hearing are proceeding. The Commission has previously indicated that it may seek to have these proceedings heard together with those regarding Nutri-Flo. On the basis of the complaint referral in its current form, we believe that the likelihood of a finding of unlawful conduct in terms of the Competition Act is remote.
However, if these proceedings are joined with those pertaining to Nutri-Flo, then our current assessment may require review. For these reasons, it is currently not possible to make an estimate of the contingent liability (whether arising out of penalties that may be imposed by the Competition Tribunal or civil lawsuits that may arise in the event of a finding of unlawful conduct).
Sale of Phosphoric Acid production assets In 2004, pending consideration of a merger application to the South African Competition Authorities relating to the intended sale by Sasol Nitro of its phosphoric acid production facilities to Foskor, Sasol Nitro and Foskor entered into a toll manufacturing arrangement in terms of which Sasol would toll manufacture phosphoric acid for Foskor. Following a recommendation by the Commission that the proposed merger be prohibited, the parties abandoned the merger in June 2006. The Commission, however, informed the parties that it is investigating whether or not there were any other unlawful agreements amounting to contraventions of the Competition Act's prohibitions on restrictive horizontal practices between Foskor and Sasol relating to the toll manufacturing arrangements.
Certain clauses in a related agreement, the Phosphoric Acid Supply Agreement, in terms of which Sasol purchased phosphoric acid from Foskor during the toll manufacturing period, were identified as possibly amounting to market division in contravention of the Competition Act. Sasol Nitro applied to the Commission for corporate leniency but the application was turned down and Sasol Nitro was subsequently informed that Foskor had already applied for, and been granted, leniency in respect of the toll manufacturing agreement and related conduct. Sasol Nitro then, as part of the settlement agreement referred to in the Nutri-Flo matter above, acknowledged that the toll manufacturing agreement and related interactions and communications between Sasol and Foskor on various levels amounted to a division of markets by allocating customers and territories with regard to phosphoric acid and its derivatives. The Commission, in its submission to the Tribunal, indicated that it regarded the toll manufacturing agreement and Sasol's interaction with Foskor in various fertiliser industry committees identified in the Nutri-Flo matter as the conduct, with respect to phosphoric acid, that served to undermine competition.
Civil law suits may be instituted against Sasol arising from the admission made in the settlement agreement in relation to phosphoric acid. It is currently not possible to make an estimate of such contingent liability. With the increase in the price of phosphoric acid, Sasol elected to manufacture phosphoric acid for its own account and no longer in accordance with the aforementioned toll manufacturing arrangement. Accordingly, Sasol commenced manufacturing phosphoric acid from phosphate rock it purchases from Foskor as from 1 April 2008, when the toll manufacturing arrangement expired.
Veolia Water Systems On 15 July 2008, Veolia Water Systems issued summons against Sasol Synfuels arising from a contract concluded between Sasol Synfuels and Veolia in June 2004. The contract entailed the detailed engineering, construction and commissioning of a water desalination plant at Unit 544 of Sasol Synfuels' facilities at Secunda, South Africa. Veolia is claiming an amount of R414,6 million, excluding interest, for breach of contract, from Sasol Synfuels. The claim is currently being investigated and has been defended. A counterclaim of R127,3 million is also being pursued. Despite the size of Veolia's claim, they are not expected to recover more than the company's counterclaim. Unless these proceedings are curtailed by agreement through either arbitration or
mediation, it is expected that this action will not be finalised within the next two years. The prospect of future loss is deemed to be possible and the loss, if it occurs, is unlikely to exceed R287,3 million.
Dorothy Molefi and others Certain plaintiffs sued Sasol Limited and National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Limited (Natref) and various other defendants in two claims in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. These claims are similar to many instituted against a large number of multi-national corporations worldwide under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act, referred to as the related cases. The plaintiffs allege a conspiracy between the defendants and both the former "Apartheid Era Government" as well as the post 1994 democratic government in South Africa of former President Nelson Mandela and President Mbeki, resulting in the genocide of South Africa's indigenous people and other wrongful acts. Defendants in the related cases moved to dismiss the actions against them. The Molefi action against Sasol Limited and Natref was stayed in November 2004 pending a decision on the motions to dismiss in the related cases. The motion to dismiss in the related cases was granted, and plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. During October 2007, the appeal was decided. Plaintiffs in those related cases were successful on one of the three grounds of appeal, thus enabling the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to assert additional factual allegations to meet the requirements of the Alien Tort Claims Act. The case was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In May 2008, the Supreme Court issued an order stating that because four justices recused themselves, the United States Supreme Court lacked the necessary quorum and therefore affirmed the judgement of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals with the same effect as an affirmance by an equally divided court, namely, it does not have precedential effect. Although the claim against Sasol Limited and Natref remain stayed, the possibility exists that the plaintiffs in that case may, in light of the partially successful appeal in the related case, apply for the stay to be lifted and for the possible amendment of their lawsuit. Sasol remains of the view that the claims are without merit and the case should be dismissed on the basis that the appropriate forum, both in respect of jurisdiction and convenience, ought to be South Africa and not the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York.
Other From time to time Sasol companies are involved in other litigation and administrative proceedings in the normal course of business. Although the outcome of these proceedings and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, the company does not believe that the outcome of any of these cases would have a material effect on the group's financial results.
As announced previously, we initiated a comprehensive group-wide competition law compliance review in July 2008, which is still ongoing. We will, in the course of conducting these reviews, adopt appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps and make disclosures on material findings as and when appropriate. The competition law compliance review has revealed and may still reveal competition law contraventions or potential contraventions in respect of which we have taken or will take appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps including lodging leniency applications. Additionally, we have reached a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission in respect of previously disclosed matters pertaining to Sasol Nitro.
The South African Competition Commission is conducting investigations into the South African piped gas, petroleum, fertilisers, wax and polymer industries. We continue to interact and co-operate with the Competition Commission in respect of the subject matter of the leniency applications as well as in the areas that are subject to Competition Commission investigations. The company is continuing to evaluate and enhance its competition law compliance controls mainly by way of the competition law compliance review. To the extent appropriate, further announcements will be made in future.
We are subject to loss contingencies pursuant to numerous national and local environmental laws and regulations that regulate the discharge of materials into the environment or that otherwise relate to the protection of human health and the environment in all locations in which it operates. These laws and regulations may, in future, require us to remediate or rehabilitate the effects of its operations on the environment. The contingencies may exist at a number of sites, including, but not limited to, sites where action has been taken to remediate soil and groundwater contamination. These future costs are not fully determinable due to factors such as the unknown extent of possible contamination, uncertainty regarding the timing and extent of remediation actions that may be required, the allocation of the environmental obligation among multiple parties, the discretion of regulators and changing legal requirements.
Our environmental obligation accrued at 30 June 2009 was R4 819 million compared to R3 460 million in 2008. Included in this balance is an amount accrued of approximately R2 117 million in respect of the costs of remediation of soil and groundwater contamination and similar environmental costs. These costs relate to the following activities: site assessments, soil and groundwater clean-up and remediation, and ongoing monitoring. Due to uncertainties regarding future costs the potential loss in excess of the amount accrued cannot be reasonably determined.
Under the agreement for the acquisition of Sasol Chemie, we received an indemnification from RWE-DEA AG for most of the costs of remediation and rehabilitation of environmental contamination existing at Condea Vista Company located in the United States on or before 1 March 2001.
Although we have provided for known environmental obligations that are probable and reasonably estimable, the amount of additional future costs relating to remediation and rehabilitation may be material to results of operations in the period in which they are recognised. It is not expected that these environmental obligations will have a material effect on the financial position of the group.
As with the oil and gas and chemical industries generally, compliance with existing and anticipated environmental, health, safety and process safety laws and regulations increases the overall cost of business, including capital costs to construct, maintain, and upgrade equipment and facilities. These laws and regulations have required, and are expected to continue to require, the group to make significant expenditures of both a capital and expense nature.
Augusta Bay Pollution Investigation June 2008
The local prosecutor's office in Augusta, Italy is investigating a pollution incident at Augusta Bay, allegedly caused by the infiltration of pollutants into the sea. The investigation involves all the companies located within the Melilli-Priolo-Augusta industrial area, which includes Sasol Italy. The Prosecutor's office and the involved companies have each appointed experts to evaluate the environmental situation which includes a broad range of ecological impacts. It is currently not clear what product is the cause of the pollution and Sasol Italy's potential involvement will only be able to be determined after collection and analysis of samples, sea sediments and sea water. The judge has requested the experts to file their opinions within 3 months from the date thereof. Depending upon the final determination of environmental impacts resulting from the investigation, administrative fines or criminal penalties may be imposed on the guilty party or parties.
The judge requested the court for an extension of the preliminary investigation. According to our expert, there is not a clear connection between the pollution and Sasol Italy's operations. Consequently, no provisions have been raised.
September 2004 Accident Trust
On 1 September 2004, the lives of ten employees and contractors were lost and a number of employees and contractors were injured during an explosion that occurred at our Secunda West ethylene production facilities.
The company, Solidarity, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union and an attorney representing the unions negotiated a mechanism to pay compensation to the dependants of people that died or to people who were physically injured in the accident to the extent that they had not been previously compensated in terms of existing policies and practices. It was agreed to establish an independent trust, the September 2004 Accident Trust, to expeditiously make ex gratia grants to such persons. The September 2004 Accident Trust was registered on 29 June 2006. Qualifying victims of the accident were invited to submit applications for compensation. These grants were calculated in accordance with the applicable South African legal principles for the harm and loss suffered by them as a result of the accident to the extent that they had not already been compensated.
We funded the September 2004 Accident Trust to pay the grants. Whilst accepting social responsibility, we did not acknowledge legal liability in creating the trust. As at 30 June 2009, a total of 172 claims had been received, of which 172 have been finalised, resulting in payments totalling R18 million. The trust has concluded its business and will be wound up in accordance with the trust deed.
The majority of our operations are based in South Africa, but we also operate in numerous other countries throughout the world. In South Africa, we operate coal mines and a number of production plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of raw materials, products and wastes related to coal, oil, chemicals and gas. These facilities and the respective operations are subject to various laws and regulations that may become more stringent and may, in some cases, affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans
Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act
The South African Department of Trade and Industry introduced the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act (the Act). The Act's stated objectives are to:
The Act establishes a Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council (the Council) to advise the President on BEE. In terms of the Act, the Minister of Trade and Industry may issue codes of practice on BEE, which may include:
The Act provides that every organ of the State must take into account any relevant code of practice issued pursuant to the Act in determining qualification criteria for the issuing of licenses and other authorisations pursuant to any law and in developing and implementing a preferential procurement policy.
The Minister of Trade and Industry may propose regulations under this Act.
Sasol Inzalo share transaction
During May 2008, the shareholders approved the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, a broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction which resulted in the transfer of beneficial ownership of 10% (63,1 million shares) of Sasol Limited's issued share capital before the implementation of this transaction to its employees and a wide spread of black South Africans (BEE participants). The transaction was undertaken to assist Sasol, as a major participant in the South African economy, in meeting its empowerment objectives. This transaction will provide long-term sustainable benefits to all participants and will have a tenure of 10 years. The following BEE participants acquired indirect or direct ownership in Sasol's issued share capital as follows:
( ) The funded invitation2,6%; and
( ) The cash invitation0,4%.
The Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation were funded entirely through Sasol facilitation whilst the selected participants and the black public participating, through the funded invitation, were funded by way of equity contributions and preference share funding (including preference shares subscribed for by Sasol). The black public participating, through the cash invitation, were financed entirely by the participants from their own resources.
The effective date of the transaction for the Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation was 3 June 2008. The effective date of the transaction for the selected participants was 27 June 2008. The effective date for the black public invitations was 8 September 2008. Refer "Item 5AOperating resultsSasol Inzalo share transaction".
Codes of good practice for broad-based black economic empowerment (the Codes)
On 6 December 2006, the South African government approved the gazetting of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Codes published in November 2005 and December 2005, respectively, pursuant to the Act mentioned above. The Codes were gazetted on 9 February 2007 in Government Gazette 29617 (Main Codes) and the Minister of Trade and Industry determined that the Codes came into operation on the same date.
Progress to date includes the publishing of guidelines on the Department of Trade and Industry website, which includes the following:
Pursuant to the gazetting of the Codes (Main Codes) and published guidelines, private sector enterprises are urged to apply the principles contained in the Codes when implementing broad-based BEE initiatives. In interactions with public entities and organs of state, it is considered essential that the private sector applies these principles to ensure full recognition for their efforts. Furthermore, it is considered desirable that the private sector also apply these principles in their interactions with one another.
Stakeholders are encouraged to align any legislation properly enacted prior to the Act, which imposes BEE objectives, with the Act and the Codes. This will apply specifically to the Liquid Fuels Charter as contained in the Petroleum Products Amendment Act and the Mining Charter as contained in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which shall remain in force unless amended, substituted or repealed. Alignment of all such legislation, over time, will reduce any residual uncertainty.
The Mining Charter
In October 2002, the government and representatives of South African mining companies and mineworkers' unions reached broad agreement on the Mining Charter, which is designed to facilitate the participation of historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) in the country's mining industry. The Mining Charter's stated objectives include the:
The Mining Charter, together with a scorecard which was published on 18 February 2003 to facilitate the interpretation of and compliance with the Mining Charter (the scorecard), requires mining companies to ensure that HDSAs hold at least 15% ownership of mining assets or equity in South Africa within five calendar years and 26% ownership within ten calendar years from the enactment of the new Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) which came into force on 1 May 2004. The Mining Charter further specifies that the mining industry is required to assist HDSAs in securing finance to fund their equity participation up to an amount of R100 billion within the first 5 calendar years after the coming into force of the aforementioned Act. Beyond this R100 billion commitment, the Mining Charter requires that participation of HDSAs should be increased towards the 26% target on a willing-seller-willing-buyer basis at fair market value.
The scorecard provides a method of indicating the extent to which applicants for the conversion of their mineral rights under the MPRDA complied with the provisions of the Mining Charter. It is intended that the entire scorecard would be taken into account in decision making. Notes attached to the scorecard provide guidance in interpreting the objectives of the Mining Charter.
On 16 March 2006, we announced the implementation of the first phase of Sasol Mining's broad-based BEE strategy through the formation of Igoda Coal, an empowerment venture with Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (formerly known as Eyesizwe Coal), a black-owned mining company. We recently received a notice of intention to withdraw from the Igoda transaction from our partner, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga. Sasol Mining is actively pursuing alternatives to ensure that its BEE strategy remains intact.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the second phase of its broad-based BEE strategy by the formation of a black-woman controlled mining company called Ixia Coal (Pty) Limited (Ixia). Ixia is a venture with Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited and Mining Women Investments (Pty) Limited. The transaction is valued at R1,9 billion. This transaction brings Sasol Mining's broad-based BEE ownership component to an estimated 20% (calculated on attributable units of production). The transaction will be financed through equity (R47 million) and a combination of third party funding and appropriate Sasol facilitation. Ixia has procured its share of the financing for the transaction. The implementation of the transaction is still conditional on the conversion of the existing prospecting and mining permits (old order rights) to new order rights. The transaction was not yet effective at 30 June 2009.
The Liquid Fuels Charter
In November 2000, following a process of consultation, the Minister of Mineral Resources and representatives of the companies in the liquid fuels industry, including Sasol Oil, signed the Liquid Fuels Charter setting out the principles for the empowerment of HDSAs in the South African petroleum and liquid fuels industry.
The Liquid Fuels Charter requires liquid fuels companies, including Sasol Oil, to ensure that HDSAs hold at least 25% equity ownership in the South African company holding their liquid fuels assets by the 2010 calendar year. It also envisages methods of measuring progress by requiring participants in the industry to meet targets set in connection with transformation of ownership. In addition, the Liquid Fuels Charter requires that historically disadvantaged persons be given preferred supplier status, where possible, in the procurement of supplies, products, goods and services, as well as access to use and ownership of facilities.
Sasol and Exel's BEE transaction
One of our major broad-based BEE transactions was the establishment of Exel in November 1997 as a 22,5% minority shareholder. At the time of the merger with Sasol Oil, Exel was a model empowerment enterprise 77,5% owned and controlled by HDSAs. With the help of Sasol, through the secondment of specialised personnel, the provision of technical support and training, and other support services, Exel evolved rapidly from a zero base to establishing 195 retail fuel stations by December 2003. By that time, Exel had won 4% and 7% of the competitive South African liquid fuels retail and commercial markets, respectively. Exel recorded an operating profit (before interest and tax) of almost R8 million in 1998. Five years later, the company posted an annual operating profit of more than R100 million. Subsequently, Sasol Oil acquired the entire shareholding of Exel with the empowerment partners obtaining a 2% interest directly in Sasol Oil.
Sasol and Tshwarisano BEE transaction
It is our fundamental objective to comply with the terms of the Liquid Fuels Charter. We have therefore facilitated a transaction with our BEE partner in the form of Tshwarisano which acquired a 25% shareholding in Sasol Oil effective 1 July 2006. See "Item 5AOperating results".
BEE policies and legislation
The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act No.53, underpinned by the scorecard setting out clear targets for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), was promulgated into law on 9 February 2003. The scorecard measures the following areas:
As from 1 July 2006, Sasol Oil has met the 25% BEE ownership target with Tshwarisano holding 25% of the shares in Sasol Oil in line with the BEE Charter.
In keeping with the spirit of the Liquid Fuels Charter, as well as the Employment Equity Act, we have set employment equity targets. This requires that advantageous treatment be given to HDSAs in aspects of employment such as hiring and promotion. Employment Equity targets are set out and reviewed periodically to ensure that they are met. Special training and mentorship programmes are in place to create a work environment that is suited to the successful nurturing of HDSA staff.
Procurement is a crucial element of BEE as set out in the Liquid Fuels Charter, as well as in other industry charters and government policy. BEE procurement affords smaller industry players the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the sector. As prescribed in the Charter, HDSA companies are accorded preferred supplier status as far as possible.
Sasol Oil has established a BEE procurement policy; an enhanced procurement governance model and unique strategies to stimulate growth in its BEE spend.
Corporate social investment
We focus on facilitating the socioeconomic development of the communities in which we operate, through partnerships with key stakeholders in these communities.
Social investments are presently channelled into five main areas:
The Restitution of Land Rights Act
Our privately held land could be subject to land restitution claims under the Restitution of Land Rights Act 22 of 1994. Under this Act, any person who was dispossessed of rights in land in South Africa as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is granted certain remedies, including, but not limited to:
If land is restored without fair compensation, it is possible that a constitutional challenge to the restoration could be successful. Once a land claim has been lodged with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, the rights of any person in respect of such land are restricted in that he may not perform certain actions relating to the land, including, but not limited to, selling, leasing exchanging, donating, subdividing, rezoning or developing such land, without the consent of the Commission. The Commission is obligated to notify the land owner of such a claim lodged or any other party which might have an interest in a claim. All claims had to have been lodged with the Commission by 31 December 1998. Although this was the final date for filing claims, many claims lodged before the deadline are still being reviewed and not all parties who are subject to claims have yet been notified. We have not been notified of any land claim that could have a material adverse effect on our rights to any of our significant properties. Sasol has however been notified of a potential land claim over a property that we believe belongs to Sasol Synfuels, namely the farm Goedehoop 301 IS. As this property consists of a number of portions and the Land Claims Commission is still investigating against which portion the claim has been instituted, we are unsure about possible impacts that the claim will have on our operations, but no material adverse effect is anticipated. Sasol is currently assisting the Land Claims Commission to establish the exact nature of the claim to ensure that any risks can be mitigated.
The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act became law in February 2004. Under the original Act, in the absence of a court order, the power of the Minister to acquire or expropriate land for restitution purposes is limited to circumstances where an agreement has been reached between the interested parties. The Act would entitle the Minister to expropriate land in the absence of agreement. Such an expropriation could be for restitution or other land reform purposes. Compensation payable to the owner of the land would be subject to the provisions of the Expropriation Act 63 of 1975 and section 25(3) of the Constitution which provides, in general, that compensation must be just and equitable.
Regulation of mining activities in South Africa
The Minerals Act
For the period up to 30 April 2004, all mineral rights, encompassing the right to prospect and mine, were held, either privately or by the government of South Africa. Ownership of private mineral rights was held through title deeds and constituted real rights in land, which were enforceable against any third party. Prospecting and mining were regulated by the Minerals Act and South African common law. The Minerals Act regulated the prospecting for and the optimal exploitation, processing and utilisation of minerals. The Minerals Act required that anyone undertaking prospecting or mining operations had to compile an environmental management programme and to provide for the
environmental impact of the proposed prospecting or mining activities. This programme had to be approved by the relevant Director of Mineral Development. The Minerals Act has subsequently been repealed by the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002), which came into effect on 1 May 2004.
Under the Minerals Act, we owned all the coal rights to the properties over which we had mining authorisations, except for small tracts of land at Secunda, which were owned by the government of South Africa and for which we have obtained the government's consent to mine in consideration for the payment of a royalty per ton of coal mined from those properties.
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA)
The fundamental principle of the MPRDA is the recognition that the mineral resources of the country are the common heritage of all South Africans and therefore belong to all the people of South Africa. The MPRDA vests the right to prospect and mine, including the right to grant prospecting and mining rights on behalf of the nation, in the state, to be administered by the government of South Africa. Thus, the state is the guardian of all mineral rights and has the right to exercise full and permanent custodianship over mineral resources.
The MPRDA imposes significantly more stringent environmental obligations on mining activities than the repealed Minerals Act and also introduces extensive social and labour plan, mining work programme and prospecting work programme requirements. However, it contains transitional arrangements for existing operations. Under these transitional provisions, the environmental management programmes will continue in force, while the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) introduces the more stringent requirements of the MPRDA.
The MPRDA adopts the environmental management principles and environmental impact assessment provisions of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). The MPRDA addresses the allocation of responsibilities for environmental damage, pollution and degradation and imposes rehabilitation obligations. It significantly extends the scope of liability of directors who may be jointly and severally liable for any unacceptable negative impact on the environment, advertently or inadvertently caused by the company. It also allows the state to take remedial action and claim costs. It maintains the requirement for an environmental management programme/plan for all prospecting and mining operations, but with more detailed specifications than under the Minerals Act, and prohibits the carrying out of mining activities before the approval of the programme/plan. When rehabilitation is required, it is not limited to the land surface. We are in compliance with the repealed Minerals Act, and we expect to continue to be in compliance with the new legislation. The South African government has also adopted the MPRDA Amendment Act, 49 of 2008 and the NEMA Amendment Act, 62 of 2008, in an effort to streamline environmental approvals. Even though the MPRDA Amendment Act and the NEMA Amendment Act has been promulgated, they will only been implemented on a date still to be published in the Government Gazette. Once implemented, they will introduce the concept of environmental authorisation which must be obtained in terms of the provisions of NEMA. It also provides an interim period of 18 months, during which the Minister of Mineral Resources will be the approval entity, where after it will revert to the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs. In terms of the MPRDA Amendment Act, the Minister of Mineral Resources will have the power to refuse the conversion of an old order mining right. However, before such a conversion may be refused the Minister of Mineral Resources must request the applicant to comply with the requirements within 60 days.
Transitional provisions are included in the MPRDA, which phases out privately held mineral rights held under the repealed legislation. The transitional provisions contemplate three types of rights:
The rights described in these three categories are defined as Old Order rights. Under category (a), the holders of mineral rights had to apply for a prospecting or mining right in their own names to replace their existing mineral rights by 30 April 2005. Under categories (b) and (c), any prospecting permit or mining authorisation granted under the previous legislation would continue to be valid for a maximum period of two years ending on 30 April 2006 or five years ending on 30 April 2009 from enactment, respectively or for the duration of the prospecting permit or mining authorisation, whichever is the shorter. After the lapse of the one-year period referred to in category (a) and the respective periods in categories (b) and (c), the mineral rights will cease to exist. Within these periods, the holders of mineral rights and prospecting permits or mining authorisations, in order to continue with their mining or prospecting operations, must apply for a new prospecting right or mining right in respect of category (a) and for conversion to new prospecting or mining rights in respect of categories (b) and (c).
Under the MRPDA, prospecting rights can be granted for an initial period of up to five years, and could be renewed once, upon application, for a period not exceeding three years. Mining rights will be valid for a maximum period of thirty calendar years, and could be renewed, upon application, for further periods, each not exceeding thirty years. Provision is made for the grant of retention permits, which would have a maximum term of three calendar years and could be renewed once, upon application for a further two calendar years.
A wide range of factors and principles will be taken into account by the Minister of Mineral Resources when considering these applications. These factors include the applicant's access to financial resources and appropriate technical ability to conduct the proposed prospecting or mining operation, the environmental impact of the operation and, in the case of prospecting rights, considerations relating to fair competition. Other factors include considerations relevant to promoting employment and the social and economic welfare of all South Africans and showing compliance with the provisions of the Mining Charter for the empowerment of HDSAs in the mining industry. A major aspect through which this will be ensured is the Social and Labour Plan required for mining operations, which encapsulates most of the requirements of the Mining Charter.
The Mining Titles Registration Amendment Act (Act 24 of 2003) and Regulations have been implemented simultaneously with the implementation of the MPRDA and new amendments to this legislation are under consideration. Further revisions to the Act are expected during the 2009 calendar year. It provides the mechanism to give effect to the provisions of the MPRDA, in particular with regard to the registration of rights under the MPRDA.
Sasol Mining held various prospecting permits or mining authorisations with respect to our existing mining operations, which were classified as old order rights. We have applied for the conversion of all our existing old order mining rights in the Secunda area as well as our Mooikraal Operations near Sasolburg, well within the 30 April 2009 deadline imposed by the MPRDA. All old order prospecting rights have been converted to neworder prospecting rights. In addition, Sasol Mining held the rights
to coal over large reserves not covered by prospecting permits or mining authorisations. In terms of the MPRDA, these were classified as unused old order rights. We have acquired prospecting rights in terms of the MPRDA over all these areas, except for one application which is still under consideration by the DMR and expected to be finalised during the 2009 calendar year. It is the declared intent of the South African government not to disrupt operations as a result of the introduction of the new legislation. When considering applications for the conversion of old order mineral rights under the MPRDA, the Minister of Mineral Resources must take into account, among other factors, the applicant company's compliance with the Mining Charter. We have undertaken and will continue to undertake any appropriate action required to ensure conversion of our existing old order mining rights under the MPRDA.
The MPRDA provides that a mining right granted under the MPRDA may be cancelled if the mineral to which such mining right relates is not mined at an optimal rate. The MPRDA also provides that any rights granted under the MPRDA may be cancelled or suspended if activities are being conducted in contravention of the MPRDA, if any material terms or conditions of such rights are breached or if the approved environmental management programme/plan is contravened. However, such cancellation or suspension is subject to the Minister of Mineral Resources giving written notice of the intention to suspend or cancel the relevant right and affording the holder the opportunity to show why the right should not be cancelled or suspended.
Furthermore, royalties from mining activities will become payable to the state, as from 1 March 2010, under provisions contained in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, 28 of 2008 and the Mineral and Petroleum Royalty Administration Act, 29 of 2008 (the Acts). The most significant feature of the Acts is that the royalty is to be determined in accordance with a formula-based system and no longer to be a predetermined specific rate for the different types of minerals. It is anticipated that the Acts will have an effect on Sasol Mining with an estimated cost of R11,1 million for the year ending 30 June 2010, R32,8 million for the year ending 30 June 2011 and R35,3 million for the year ending 30 June 2012. The royalty will be deductible for normal income tax purposes.
Regulation of pipeline gas activities in South Africa
The Gas Act
The Gas Act came into effect on 1 November 2005 as proclaimed by the President of South Africa. The Gas Act regulates matters relating to gas transmission, storage, distribution, liquefaction and re-gasification activities. Among its stated objectives are:
The Gas Act provides for the powers of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regarding pipeline gas, whose powers include the issuance of licenses for a range of activities including:
NERSA has the authority to determine maximum prices for distributors, reticulators and all classes of consumers where there is inadequate competition as contemplated in the South African Competition Act. NERSA may impose fines not exceeding R2 million a day, if a licensee fails to comply with its
license conditions or with any provisions of the Gas Act. The Piped Gas Regulations issued in terms of section 34(1) of the Gas Act was promulgated on 20 April 2007.
The Regulatory Reporting Manual (RRM) developed in accordance with NERSA's authority to determine the format for regulatory reporting by licensed entities was gazetted on 9 September 2008 and is effective from 1 September 2008.
In terms of the RRM, licencees are required to submit six monthly financial reports to NERSA in compliance with the RRM requirements. This obligation commences on 1 July 2009. The first regulatory financial reports to be submitted by Sasol Gas and Rompco to NERSA pursuant to the RRM are due by the end of February 2010 for the six month period ending on 31 December 2009. Separate financial reports are required for the different regulated activities of a licencee. Compliance with the RRM requirements necessitates regulatory reporting and accounting activities in addition to the existing statutory accounting and reporting requirements of Sasol Gas and Rompco. Sasol Gas implemented substantial upgrades to its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in order to enable compliance with the RRM requirements.
The National Energy Regulator Act
The National Energy Regulator Act came into operation on 15 September 2005 as proclaimed by the President. The National Energy Regulator Act provides for the establishment of a single regulator to regulate the piped gas, petroleum pipeline and electricity industries and for the functions and composition of the energy regulator.
On 1 November 2005, NERSA, pursuant to the National Energy Regulator Act, came into existence by the appointment of the four full-time regulators, of which one is the designated chief executive officer of NERSA. The Regulator consists of nine members, including four full-time members and five part-time members. Although the full-time members of NERSA are appointed for specific portfolios (gas, electricity and petroleum pipelines), NERSA operates as a collective and decisions are made on a collective basis.
According to Section 35 of the Gas Act license applications for existing business activities had to be submitted to NERSA within six months from the effective date of the Gas Act (2 May 2006) by any person owning or operating gas facilities or trading in gas. Accordingly, Rompco submitted an application for the operation of a gas transmission facility in respect of the Mozambique to Secunda pipeline. This license to operate a transmission facility was issued to Rompco on 21 February 2007. Sasol Gas submitted license applications for the operation of distribution and transmission facilities as well as for trading in gas.
All the license applications have been compiled in accordance with the Gas Act and the rules published by NERSA. In accordance with the rules, the applications were advertised, inviting objections within a 30- day period. Thereafter, NERSA has 60 days to consider the objections and responses thereon in order to decide on the granting of the licenses. Public hearings regarding the applications for operating and trading licenses by Sasol Gas took place on 17 and 26 July 2007 as well as on 31 March 2008. On 27 October 2008, Sasol Gas was granted 27 distribution and trading licences in respect of its operations in the Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State and North West provinces.
On 30 January 2009, a public hearing took place in respect of the licence applications relating to distribution and trading activities in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Following this public hearing, NERSA granted Sasol Gas seven distribution and trading licences in this area on 23 March 2009.
The licence applications in respect of the Sasol Gas' transmission operations have still to be concluded.
The Mozambique Gas Pipeline Agreement (Regulatory Agreement)
This agreement entered into between the Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Mozambique and our company in connection with the introduction of natural gas by pipeline from Mozambique into South Africa is incorporated into the Gas Act through the reference thereto in Section 36 of the Act. The Gas Act provides that the terms of the agreement bind the Gas Regulator for a period until 10 years after natural gas is first received from Mozambique (26 March 2004). From the date of the conclusion of the agreement, the terms of the agreement relating to the following matters constitute conditions of the licenses to be issued to Sasol Gas and Rompco under the Gas Act:
As part of the Gas Act, the Mozambique Gas Pipeline Agreement forms part of the legislation and as such it may be susceptible to the same legislative processes generally applicable to changes in legislation.
Although we negotiated a ten year regulatory dispensation (6 years remaining until 2014) with the South African government covering the supply of Mozambican natural gas to the South African market, we cannot assure you that the enactment of the Gas Act and the appointment of the NERSA will not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The Gas Regulator Levies Act
The Gas Regulator Levies Act was signed into law on 15 January 2003 and came into effect on 1 November 2005. It provides for the imposition of levies by the Gas Regulator on the amount of gas delivered by importers and producers to inlet flanges of transmission or distribution pipelines. These levies will be used to meet the general administrative and other costs of the gas regulation activities of NERSA and the functions performed by NERSA in this regard. In terms of the Act, NERSA has to submit a budget to the Minister of Mineral Resources, which after approval by the Minister in conjunction with the Minister of Finance, will be relayed into a levy charged as a per gigajoule levy on the volumes of gas transported. The collection of levies commenced in September 2006. During the NERSA financial year which ended on 31 March 2009, Sasol Gas paid a total amount of R21,9 million in levies under this Act. For the NERSA financial year ending on 31 March 2010, the levies have been determined to be R0.189916/GJ (2008R0,1456/GJ). The levies have yet to receive required ministerial approval. It is anticipated that approximately R25,3 million will be paid in levies during this period.
Regulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa
The Petroleum Products Amendment Act
This Amendment Act, which became effective on 17 March 2006, amends the existing Petroleum Products Act by enacting provisions regulating a range of matters including the licensing of persons involved in the manufacturing, wholesale, holding or development of sites, and retail sale of petroleum products. The Amendment Act prohibits licensed wholesalers from holding retail licenses, except for training purposes. As the Amendment Act and regulations to be promulgated there under regulate business activities conducted by Sasol Oil, Natref and Sasol Synfuels, they have applied for manufacturing licenses in respect of our plants, wholesale licenses in respect to our wholesale activities
and site licenses for our retail sites. We cannot assure you that these licenses will be granted. It should be noted that, as a person conducting the aforesaid activities at the commencement of the Amendment Act, Sasol Oil and Sasol Synfuels are entitled to the issue of such licenses if they are found to be in compliance with all legal requirements in force for the operation of their respective activities. However, new site developments could be delayed given the requirements under the new regulations.
The Petroleum Pipelines Act
This Act, which was signed by the President of South Africa on 31 May 2004 and became effective on 1 November 2005, among other things, establishes a petroleum pipelines authority as custodian and enforcer of the regulatory framework applicable to petroleum pipelines.
Among the stated objectives of the Petroleum Pipelines Act are:
The Act provides that no person may construct, or operate, a petroleum pipeline, loading facility or storage facility without a license issued by the authority. It enables the authority to impose conditions to such licenses relating to, amongst other things:
The Act enables the authority to expropriate land in accordance with Section 25 of the South African Constitution if a licensee is unable to acquire such land by agreement with the owner and the land is reasonably required for facilities which will enhance the Republic's petroleum pipelines infrastructure. The Act authorises the South African Minister of Mineral Resources to promulgate regulations and we cannot assure you that the application of the provisions of the Act, or the promulgation of regulations in terms thereof, will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We have submitted applications for the issue of licenses for our depots and related infrastructure and currently await their issue.
The Petroleum Pipelines Levies Act
The Petroleum Pipelines Levies Act No. 28 of 2004 empowers the National Energy Regulator to impose levies on petroleum transported by petroleum pipelines. The levy will be based on the amount of petroleum, measured in litres, delivered by importers, refiners and producers to inlet flanges of petroleum pipelines and must be paid by the person holding the title to the petroleum immediately after it has entered the inlet flange.
In terms of the Incremental Inland Transport Recovery Mechanism (IITRM), licensed wholesalers are refunded for incremental transport cost on petrol, diesel and jet fuel incurred as a result of logistical constraints to the Inland that is not recoverable through the current zone mechanism. Licensed wholesalers, wishing to participate in the mechanism, have to register with the DMR and provide the respective "shortfall" of petrol, diesel and jet fuel for twelve months from a designated date. A levy, determined by the DMR, based on the shortfall volume projected by wholesalers, will be collected at source for the benefit of Central Energy Fund (CEF). Wholesalers in turn will be able to claim the incremental transport cost, calculated by subtracting the zone recovery from a calculated transport tariff that is allowed for delivery to specific depots from CEF. A levy of 1,5 c/l has been included in the pricing structures for collection at source, from 7 May 2008 to start building funds.
This mechanism reduces Sasol's inland advantage as it ensures recovery on logistics cost. Although it would be against the spirit of the mechanism, the danger exists that licensed wholesalers could replace Sasol volumes with own production or imports. Regular interaction with the DMR to make them aware of such occurrences will be required to discourage such practices.
Safety, health and environment
We are committed to zero exposure to harm to people, facilities and the environment. Our safety, health and environment (SH&E) performance is driven by the quest for continuous improvement that will help us achieve our vision of being a world class company.
Our combined mining, fuels and chemical operations are subject to numerous local, national and regional safety, health and environmental laws and regulations in Southern Africa, Europe, the United States, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Our global operations, including marketing and logistics, are also affected by international environmental conventions.
We focus on our safety, health and environmental responsibilities through our SH&E policy, strategy and minimum requirements and are committed to ensure that we operate under safe working practices, safeguard against accidents and avoid harm to people and the environment in all our businesses. Our SH&E minimum requirements also extend to new joint ventures in which we participate.
Safety, health and environmental laws and regulations affect a wide spectrum of our group activities. These statutory requirements often require permits or licenses to be obtained for the use of natural resources such as water, and for the operation of our facilities and the disposal of our waste products. They also prescribe minimum standards for the safety and health of our employees. They impose restrictions on the types and quantities of emissions that can be released into the environment, and also regulate issues of product safety, waste generation, management and ultimate disposal. It is our expectation that these laws and regulations will become more stringent in the future.
Safety, health and environment policy and management systems
We have developed a systems-oriented approach towards the management of these issues. We have moved from a division-based safety, health and environment management policy to a structure directed on a group basis. We are committed to sustainable development and legal compliance being the minimum requirement for all our operations. Matters of safety, health and environment are treated as
critical business issues. Planning of safety, health and environmental issues includes the setting of targets, performance measurement, reporting and review.
In order to ensure that our safety, health and environmental performance is aligned with our group targets and objectives, SH&E governance and other audits are carried out regularly. All of our businesses are required to track their performance and furnish quarterly reports to their respective operating boards to the Group Executive Safety, Health and Environment Committee (acting as a sub committee of the GEC) and to the Group Risk and Safety, Health and Environment Committee. At the highest level, the Risk and Safety, Health and Environment Committee of the Sasol Limited Board considers the major risks and liabilities, progress on our internal indicators of performance and any major incidents and events of non-compliance. For information regarding our Group Executive Safety, Health and Environment Committee and the Risk and Safety, Health and Environment Committee of the Sasol Limited Board, see also "Item 6.CBoard Practices". Similar reports are also required to address significant division-specific issues. We use the findings emanating from SH&E governance and other audits to implement improvement measures. Specific governance structures were developed to address greenhouse gas challenges facing the group. The Greenhouse Gas Management Committee meets every two months to discuss strategic greenhouse gas issues. The members are also mandated to take decisions on behalf of the group.
Our businesses are required to manage their safety, health and environmental risks in line with internationally accredited management systems. On safety, health and environmental management systems, with most of our businesses having achieved International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certification and Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service (OSHAS) 18000 certification, we are well on the way towards our group target of achieving ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18000 certifications for all our businesses.
The ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18000 standards are internationally accepted standards for the development and implementation of safety, health and environmental management systems. Certification to the standard entails regular audits by an independent, accredited third party auditor. We have also set OSHAS 18001 and Process Safety Management (based on the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other Sasol requirements) as additional minimum corporate requirements, including a behavioural safety programme for all Sasol businesses. These systems and programmes are currently implemented and progressed.
Health and safety
Safety. In 2009, there were regrettably four fatalities, compared to three in 2008. These occurred at Sasol Mining, Sasol Oil, Sasol Synfuels and Infrachem.
Sasol appointed DuPont Safety Resources (DuPont) in November 2004 to undertake a comparative safety review of selected South African operations against international best practices in the areas of leadership, organisation, and operational and process safety. DuPont performed a second review during March 2006 to determine progress with the implementation of recommendations arising from the first review. While commendable progress was reported, the improvement programme was updated and continued. The focus during 2009 continued to be the implementation of the Process Safety Management system in South African operations, aiming towards full implementation by June 2010. Success has been achieved with the full implementation of some standards in South Africa, including the permit to work system and the service provider safety management standard.
The performances of our US and European operations have been excellent.
Emissions. Because of the nature of some of our processes, including coal gasification for the production of petrochemical products, our operations generate relatively high carbon dioxide emissions. Our coal gasification operations are situated in South Africa, which is classified as a developing country
in terms of the Kyoto Protocol and though we are largely exempt from the emissions reduction targets required under the Protocol, we have implemented a successful project to replace coal as a feedstock with natural gas at our Sasolburg chemical operations. Sasol is also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in terms of our Greenhouse Gas Policy Statement. We have established an internal carbon credit management committee to facilitate the governance of carbon credits obtained through, amongst other things, the clean development mechanism. We support the voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord championed by the South African Department of Mineral Resources.
We monitor and measure ambient air quality around our South African plants. In addition, our operations in the United States have reduced reported emissions under the Toxic Release Inventory by over 80% since reporting began in 1987.
As expected, our hydrogen sulphide odours from coal gasification, which were within statutory limits, were eliminated when natural gas replaced coal as a feedstock at our Sasolburg operations. Significant efforts are also being made to reduce hydrogen sulphide emissions emanating from the Secunda operation. The sulphur recovery plants are being upgraded to reduce levels of hydrogen sulphide emissions and improved monitoring and control equipment will also be addressed as part of this long-term project. Sasol also conducted an international audit focusing on air pollution management at our South African operations. Findings and recommendations made during the audit are being incorporated into current improvement and business plans.
Water. Water use is increasingly becoming a source of concern, not only in mining, but in all our operations, in particular in South Africa, Qatar and other arid countries. A series of water treatment and saving programmes and projects were introduced or are currently under way to address challenges in all of our operations. We have progressed significantly in the research and development of managing the water-related impacts of our mining activities. Sasol recently endorsed the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate which presents a comprehensive approach to water management. It is a voluntary initiative developed to inspire business to positively contribute to sustainable water resource management. Further initiatives on water management in South Africa, specifically, will be informed by the Water for Growth and Development Framework that is currently being developed by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.
Our project team of internal and external experts in mining, geohydrology, geochemistry, water and waste treatment is committed to researching innovative and cost-effective solutions to further reduce our impact on the environment.
The long-term supply of water to the Secunda complex (up to 2030) has been augmented by the Vaal River Eastern Sub-System Augmentation Project (VRESAP). The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority was mandated by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry of South Africa to fund and implement the VRESAP project to meet the growing demands of Eskom and Sasol in the Mpumalanga region. Construction of the VRESAP pipeline is complete. Since 1 June 2009, the project has been declared operational by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. Temporary infrastructure will be used until the completion of the permanent abstraction works, which are scheduled for the end of the 2010 calendar year.
Fires, explosions and releases. The manufacture of petrochemicals involves using high volumes of flammable substances, often under high pressure and at high temperatures. Hence, managing the risk of fires, explosions and releases of hazardous substances is essential for us. In the course of our operations, we experienced a number of fires, explosions and releases of hazardous chemical substances. We have taken steps to reduce the frequency and severity of these events through the implementation of the Process Safety Management System.
Our operations in the United States are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Process Safety Management and US Environmental
Protection Agency (US EPA) Risk Management Program regulations. Through the application of these regulations, we implement a thorough safety management process designed to minimise the risks of accidents and releases of hazardous substances.
In addition, since 11 September 2001, assessing and improving the security of chemical operations in the United States has become an important focus. Our Lake Charles plant has since evaluated plant security programs and made changes in procedures and physical security measures. Sasol NA has also adopted a Security Code of Management Practice, which requires that we conduct a security vulnerability analysis to identify areas in which additional security measures are necessary, and have a management system in place for other aspects of plant, distribution and cyber security. We have also submitted all of the required security information to the Department of Homeland Security for compliance with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).
All Sasol sites have identified and quantified their major risks with regards to major fire, explosion or releases. Risk mitigation plans are in place. We maintain a comprehensive insurance programme to address identified risks. It is our policy to procure property damage and business interruption insurance cover for our production facilities above acceptable deductible levels at acceptable commercial premiums. However, full cover for all scenarios of maximum losses may in some years not be available at acceptable commercial rates and we cannot give any assurance that the insurance procured for any particular year would cover all potential risks sufficiently or that the insurers will have the financial ability to pay claims.
Land remediation and rehabilitation. Because of our chemicals and fuels processes, we have particular legacy and current risks that we have addressed or are currently addressing. We are consolidating our regional strategies to form a group-wide strategy to address potential liabilities associated with land remediation and rehabilitation.
Our gas pipelines are buried underground in order to reduce long-term impacts. We implemented this approach for the Mozambique natural gas project, for which we used World Bank Group guidelines for environmental impact assessment studies.
Waste. Potential risks associated with waste are a priority for us. Historical legacies are addressed in accordance with relevant legal requirements, and cleaner production techniques are implemented to address future risks. Where we acquire new plants, the attendant risks are identified and the necessary indemnities sought from the sellers. Where we have not secured such indemnities, we are confident that such risks and attendant liabilities will not have a material effect. New waste management legislation came into effect on 1 July 2009 in South Africa (excluding the provisions on the management of contaminated land) and is likely to have long-term implications on waste management practices and associated costs. It is, however, too early to estimate these as the implementation of the act is dependant upon the establishment of a National Waste Management Strategy that is currently being developed.
The Natural Gas Conversion Project has had a significant impact on the reduction of waste produced, specifically with regards to tar and oil waste and ash at our operations in Sasolburg. The ash dump presently has a negative growth rate due to ash sales for brick making.
The South African Waste Discharge Charge System for the controlled discharge of effluent to a water body will be implemented by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs over the next three to five years. The financial impact to Sasol has yet to be quantified, but could be substantial. Waste and waste water effluent minimisation projects are receiving specific attention.
Asbestos. We have a strategy for the risk-based phase-out of asbestos, which is being implemented by our operations. We have implemented a policy to ensure that new sources of asbestos are not procured in the construction of new facilities worldwide. Remaining asbestos on some of our older
facilities is managed according to a set of Sasol requirements in the absence of statutory phase out requirements. Asbestos is removed and disposed of under strict regulatory requirements as plant modifications are made or as necessary for maintenance.
Product Registration. The new European Union Regulatory Framework for the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) that came into effect on 1 June 2007, aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment while maintaining competitive trade. We acknowledge the requirements of REACH and will ensure that these substances that constitute our products and that are subject to REACH will meet these requirements. We therefore embrace the opportunity to interact with our suppliers, customers and end users to fulfill these requirements. In order to ensure continued production and sale of our products in the EU we completed the first REACH milestone, namely the pre-registration of the Sasol produced or imported substances by November 2008. We are now preparing for registration by categorising our substances according to the specified volume ranges and chemicals regarded as of high concern. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Solvents, Sasol Olefins & Surfactants, Sasol Wax and Merisol".
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides the framework for the environmental legislation in South Africa. Section 24 of the Constitution enshrines the right of all citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being and provides individuals with a right to the protection of the environment. It further provides that these rights can be enforced through reasonable legislative and other measures to prevent pollution and degradation, to promote conservation and to secure an ecologically sustainable development. Further constitutional provisions provide relevant rights of enforcement, including class actions. A number of laws and regulations address specific issues relating to the protection of the environment. Recent changes in government resulted in the alignment of departments governing environmental matters. A single department, the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, now governs most of the environmental acts referred to below. Below is an analysis of some of these laws, which may be relevant to our operations.
National Environmental Management Act. The National Environmental Management Act (the Act) provides for co-operative environmental governance and coordination of the environmental functions of the government. The Act regulates environmental authorisation requirements, compliance and provides for enforcement measures including provision for fines of up to R5 million. These enforcement measures also extend to special environmental management acts, such as the Biodiversity Act and the Protected Areas Act. Recent amendments to the Act, though not in effect yet, include the Waste Act, the Water Act and the Air Quality Act, as special environmental management acts. The Act principally imposes a duty of care on persons who have or may pollute or degrade the environment and other responsible parties to take reasonable measures to prevent and remediate environmental damage, protects workers refusing to undertake environmentally hazardous work and provides for control over emergency incidents. It promotes access to environmental information, protects whistleblowers and allows for private prosecution and class actions. The Act was recently amended to include provisions and requirements for environmental authorisations and impact assessments. Provisions in this regard under the Environment Conservation Act were repealed. Additional amendments have recently taken effect to facilitate the implementation of the proposed new environmental impact assessment regulations aiming to streamline the impact assessment requirements in support of economic growth objectives. However, the amendments impose stricter requirements in respect of environmental management programmes and permit the authorities to require financial security for compliance with the conditions of an authorisation, an environmental management programme and for closure. The latest amendments also provide for environmental authorisations related to mining and other activities (such as prospecting, production and exploration), presently regulated under the Mineral and
Petroleum Resources Development Act, to be governed in terms of the National Environmental Management Act. The MPRDA has also been amended to give effect to this, but is not in effect yet. These specific provisions on environmental governance with respect to mining will only take effect within 18 months from the amendments to the MPRDA.
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act. This Act deals with various issues relating to biological diversity including its management and conservation.
National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act. This Act provides for the declaration of conservation areas. Of particular significance is that it provides for the expropriation of private land, including servitudes, in the interests of conservation. We have not been notified of any action that could have a material adverse effect on our rights to any of our significant properties.
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Until the amendments to the MPRDA take effect, environmental governance with respect to mining, prospecting, production and exploration is still regulated under the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act. This Act makes provision for the effective management of impacts associated with mining activities. An environmental management programme or plan (EMP) must be compiled and approved by the Department of Mineral Resources, and regularly reviewed. The EMP is required to cover potential environmental as well as socio-economic impacts. The Act further requires the making of financial provision for the rehabilitation or management of negative environmental impacts.
The National Water Act provides for the equitable allocation of water for beneficial use, sustainable water resource management and the protection of the quality of water resources. The Act establishes water management procedures and protects water resources through the licensing of various uses of water. It also includes provisions for pollution prevention, remediation requirements and emergency incidents. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is currently implementing a Waste Discharge Charge System, which may have a significant impact on operational costs in the next three to five years.
A significant part of our operations, including mining, chemical processing and others, require use of large volumes of water. South Africa is generally an arid country and prolonged periods of drought or significant changes to current water laws could increase the cost of our water supplies or otherwise impact our operations. In this regard, the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is implementing a Pricing Strategy aimed at allocating the appropriate price for the use of water, which may have a significant impact on operational costs. Further initiatives in this regard include the Water Resource for Growth and Development Framework (intended to inform the revision of the National Water Resources Strategy, which is due to be updated in 2009 and which will capture the overall approach to water management in South Africa, and the National Water Resource Allocation Strategy, aiming to ensure the equitable distribution of water. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is also progressing towards establishing a state owned water resources infrastructure agency that will finance and implement all future national water infrastructure schemes.
The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act has recently been promulgated, enabling the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (the Department) to set ambient air quality and emission standards, declare Priority Areas for the implementation of Air Quality Management Plans, and prepare for the review of atmospheric emission licenses. It is expected that this Act will impose stricter standards on air quality management in South Africa, through the adoption of internationally accepted ambient and emission standards and that this will result in significant capital and operational
costs. The Department recently declared the Vaal Triangle (where the Sasolburg plant is situated) and the Highveld area (where our Secunda operations are situated) as Priority Areas. The Vaal Triangle Priority Area Air Quality Improvement Plan has been finalised and is being implemented. Compliance with the provisions of this plan will have significant cost implications. The Highveld Priority Area Air Quality Improvement Plan is being developed and we are providing input by participating in stakeholder meetings. The National Air Quality Management Framework was published in September 2007 and a second revision of this framework is still awaited. The full implementation of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act is expected by the end of the 2009 calendar year. The Department has finalised ambient air quality and point source emission standards and publication thereof is imminent. We are cooperating closely with the Department in the implementation of these requirements, however, we are presently unable to quantify the amount of additional capital expenditure required for full compliance. Compliance with the point source emission standards will be phased in over a period of time for existing operations and there are separate compliance time frames for new activities.
We further monitor air emissions at our plants to measure ambient air quality.
Some of our processes in South Africa, especially coal gasification, result in relatively high carbon dioxide emissions. South Africa is considered a developing country in terms of the Kyoto Protocol and, accordingly, it is largely exempt from the emissions reductions required. However, the Department developed a long-term mitigation scenario for South Africa which will result in a greenhouse gas policy which may include reduction targets. Progress on the development of this policy is under way and we have commented on a first draft. We are taking measures to reduce our emissions, inter alia, through the use of natural gas from Mozambique since 2004 as a partial replacement for coal. This change reduced sulphur dioxide emissions and hydrogen sulphide odours from gasification operations in the Sasolburg region. This effort also resulted in the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we have successfully registered a nitrous oxide emission reduction project using the Clean Development Mechanism, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to about a million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. We are also advancing the development of six additional Clean Development Mechanism Projects in various areas of our business. In advancing our overall sustainable development performance, we have also developed new greenhouse gas targets for the group, including emissions intensity and absolute emission reduction targets. We have invested significant capital for energy efficiency improvements at various plants that have resulted in greenhouse gas reductions and improvements in ambient air quality. During the course of the last year, we have also invested in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage in our processes. Implementation of these initiatives and investments are ongoing.
Waste and hazardous substances
The National Environmental Management: Waste Act. The National Waste Management Act, 59 of 2008, took effect on 1 July 2009. The act repeals certain sections of the Environment Conservation Act and introduces new legislative requirements on all aspects of waste management in a comprehensive manner. The act also regulates on contaminated land management, but this section of the act is not in effect yet. The act imposes various duties on holders of waste (being any person who stores, accumulates, transports, processes, treats and disposes of waste). These duties are potentially far reaching as waste is broadly defined. The act also requires licences to be obtained for the commencement, undertaking or conducting of waste management activities. The process for the application for these licences is similar to the process for obtaining environmental authorisations under the National Environmental Management Act. The act further regulates on waste information systems and provides for specific regulation of priority wastes. The first step towards the full implementation of the act is the development of the National Waste Management Strategy. The expected finalisation thereof is June 2010. The framework will provide for, amongst other things, the development of norms
and standards for the classification of hazardous waste, targets for waste reductions and waste management measures such as re-use, recycling and reduction and integrated waste management.
Hazardous Substances Act. The Hazardous Substances Act provides for the control and licensing of substances that may cause injury, ill-health or death to human beings by reason of their toxic, corrosive, irritant, strongly sensitising or flammable nature. Regulations have also been proposed by the Department of Labour providing for the adoption of the Globally Harmonised System for the classification and labelling of chemical substances. This will facilitate alignment with existing international practices.
Other environmental legislation
The National Road Traffic Act and its regulations regulate the transportation of dangerous goods and substances. The Act provides specifications for road tankers, labelling, duties of responsible persons, compatibility of multi-loads, driver training and hazardous substance documentation. The National Railway Safety Regulator Act provides for similar regulation in respect of rail transport.
The Explosives Act consolidates the laws relating to the manufacture, storage, sale, transport, importation, exportation and the use of explosives and imposes an authorisation requirement for the manufacture and storage, as well as for the import, export and sale of explosives.
The Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act regulates the registration, importation, sale, acquisition, disposal or use of fertilisers, among other products.
Health and safety regulation
Occupational Health and Safety Act. The Occupational Health and Safety Act covers a number of areas of employment activity and use of machinery in South Africa, excluding mining activities. The Act imposes various obligations on employers and others to maintain a safe workplace and minimise the exposure of employees and the public to workplace hazards and establishes penalties and a system of administrative fines for non-compliance.
Mine Health and Safety Act. The principal objective of the Mine Health and Safety Act is to protect the health and safety of persons at mines by requiring that employers and others ensure that their operating and non-operating mines provide a safe and healthy working environment, determining penalties and a system of administrative fines for non-compliance and giving the Minister of Mineral Resources the right to restrict or stop work at any mine and require an employer to take steps to minimise health and safety risks at any mine. The act has recently been amended with the primary objective to strengthen the enforcement provisions, in order to simplify the administrative process for the issuing of fines and to reinforce certain fines and penalties. The amendment act imposes more stringent duties on the employer regarding the notification of and investigation of incidents as well as training. Although a provision has been included that extends liability to mining management and directors, this provision has not taken effect yet and is under reconsideration.
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. The purpose of this Act is to provide for compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases. The Act is administered by the Minister of Labour, through a Director-General who manages a compensation fund to which employers contribute, directly or indirectly. Where indirect contributions are made, these contributions are made to a mutual association, which acts as the insurer in respect of claims against the employers. All employers, with the exception of those in national, provincial and local government, are required either to register under the Act or to be fully insured against related liabilities.
Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act. This Act relates to the payment of compensation in respect of certain diseases contracted by persons employed in mines or at locations where activities ancillary to mining are conducted. Any mine (including the Sasol Mining operations) at which risk work takes place is deemed to be a controlled mine in respect of the employees for whom the employer is required to make payments to the fund for occupational diseases, in order to meet relevant claims. Persons who are employed in controlled mines are required to have a certificate of fitness, which must be renewed from time to time.
For further information, see "Item 6.CBoard PracticesThe Risk and Safety, Health and Environment Committee".
In Germany, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the manufacture, storage, processing and transportation of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
General environmental care
The lack of a general environmental code in Germany means that no guideline legislation is available for general environmental care. In terms of the Act on the Assessment of Environmental Impacts, the environment impact assessment (EIA) is an instrument of preventative environmental care that is legally binding. This has been introduced in existing public procedures for the licensing of, or considerable amendment to, certain projects of relevance to the environment, including chemical facilities. The EIA is based on the co-operation between the environmental authorities and the parties intending to carry out the project.
The Environmental Information Act guarantees everyone's access to official environmental information.
Issues relating to general environmental care are addressed by the environmental provisions of the Regional Planning Act and other specific and planning law designed to ensure environmental soundness, as well as by the Environmental Liability Act, which provides for liability in the case of environmental risks. Where human life or health is disturbed and where emissions have entered the soil, water or the air, the owner of a facility is liable, even if he or she is not at fault and irrespective of whether the damage was caused as a result of a hazardous incident or during normal operations. Damage resulting from force majeure is excluded from liability. The right to the restoration of the previous state also extends to nature and the landscape. Installations that pose a particular risk to the environment must have provisions for sufficient cover, an obligation which may be met by arranging liability insurance.
Criminal law provisions are included in the Act to combat environmental crime, which targets a range of polluting activities, including water, soil and air pollution, environmentally damaging waste disposal and noise. It also addresses licensing of the operation of installations and the handling of hazardous substances and goods and particularly serious environmental offences.
Specific environmental protection legislation
Emission control. The guideline legislation to protect humans and the environment from air pollution and noise pollution is the Federal Emission Control Act. This Act and the ordinances promulgated under it provide the framework for environmental protection and the technical safety of installations. It provides for licensing for installations that are particularly susceptible to causing harmful environmental impacts, including chemical facilities or mineral oil refineries.
Regulation of hazardous substances. Provisions for the protection of humans and the environment against the harmful effects of hazardous substances and preparations are provided in the Chemicals Act, the related ordinances on the Prohibition of Certain Chemicals and the Hazardous Incidents Ordinance. New substances are subject, as laid down in European law, to a registration and notification obligation before they can be brought onto the market. Old substances that have been on the market since 1981 are assessed on the basis of relevant European regulation. Hazardous substances and preparations must be classified, labelled and packed in line with their hazardous properties, their manufacture, marketing and use may be prohibited or limited. The regulation of hazardous substances will in future be governed by a legal framework called REACH which came into effect 1 June 2007.
The Chemicals Act is complemented by the Plant Protection Act of 14 May 1998 and the Fertilisers Act, as well as by legislation on animal feedstuffs and human foodstuffs and by substance-related provisions in other areas of care of the environment. This also includes the provisions concerning the environmental impacts of genetic technology under the Genetic Technology Act.
Avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. The Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act regulates the avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. The aim of the Act is to promote an economy based on closed substance cycles, thus conserving resources, and to guarantee the environmentally sound disposal of waste. Wherever waste cannot be avoided, recovered or used to produce energy, it must be removed from the cycle and, as a matter of principle, be disposed of within Germany in a way that is not detrimental to the common good. Under law, waste is defined as a tangible item, which falls under one of the legally determined categories of waste, and which the owner is getting rid of, desires to get rid of or must get rid of.
The Waste Transportation Act regulates the transport of waste into, out of or through the area of application of the Act and creates the basis for the establishment of a solidarity fund to finance the return of waste exported illegally.
Water protection. The guideline legislation in the field of water protection is the Federal Water Act. This requires everyone to exercise adequate care when carrying out measures which may have an impact on a water body so that water pollution or any other negative effect on water is prevented. Surface waters and groundwater are, as public utilities, subject to a public management and utilisation code, which leaves the allocation of users' rights at official discretion.
The Waste Water Charges Act complements the Water Management Act and authorises an annually rising waste water charge linked to the toxicity of the discharged waste water. Water legislation promulgated by the Federal States goes beyond merely the enforcement of the framework of federal law to determine administrative procedures and regulate issues of private water law.
Water protection is also addressed directly or indirectly by substance-related provisions in other laws, including the Chemicals Act, the Fertilisers Act and the Waste Avoidance and Waste Management Act. They also comprise provisions through which water is indirectly protected via the soil and the air.
Soil protection. The protection and care of soil as an environmental medium and part of the ecosystem is promoted by a range of environmental provisions, primarily the Federal Soil Protection Act. Soil protection measures, preventative or remedial, aim at avoiding or reducing substance inputs into the soil, or removing already existing soil damage, and at addressing the extensive land consumption caused by soil sealing.
Health and safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act provides for protection of the health and safety of employees. It places the employer under a duty to assess hazards at the workplace, to take appropriate preventive measures, and to instruct employees about measures used. The employer must take precautions for
especially hazardous areas and situations and provide preventive occupational healthcare. This Act is complemented by the Safety at Work Act, which places employers under a duty to appoint appropriately qualified officers to support them in occupational health and safety matters, including ergonomic workplace design.
In Italy, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the storage and processing of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
General environmental care
On 28 April 2006, a new Environmental Decree (Legislative Decree 152/2006) came into force, regulating the most important environmental matters, including authorisations, emissions, water management, wastes and remediation and environmental damages. Several decrees were issued during 2007, 2008 and 2009, detailing different aspects of the law.
European Directive 96/61/CE (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) provides that companies must obtain an integrated authorisation for all environmental impact. Sasol Italy has presented the documentation required to be compliant with the Directive relevant to the sites in Terranova, Augusta and Sarroch. The documentation for Porto Torres plant has also been presented but was withdrawn as the plant is currently being idled.
Specific environmental protection legislation
Emission control. Environmental protection and the technical requirements for the licensing of all installations from which emissions emanate is now regulated by Legislative Decree 152/06, section 5.
Regulation of hazardous substances. Legislative Decree 52/1997 implemented in Italy the EU Directive relevant to classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances. Legislative Decree 65/2003 implemented the EU Directives relevant to classification, packaging and labelling or dangerous preparations. New substances are subject, as laid down in European law, to a registration and notification process before they can be brought onto the market. Old substances that have been on the market since 1981 are assessed on the basis of relevant European regulation. Hazardous substances and preparations must be classified, labelled and packed in line with their hazardous properties; their manufacture, marketing and use may be prohibited or limited. The regulation of hazardous substances will in future be governed by framework for REACH.
Avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. Legislative Decree 152/06, Part 4, incorporates the principle of 'polluters pay' and further provides for cradle to the grave liability for waste.
Water protection. Legislative Decree 152/2006, Part 3, defines the authorisation procedure and discharge limits, in order to protect surface and underground water. Surface water and groundwater are, as public utilities, subject to a public management and utilisation regulation which leaves the allocation of users' rights at official discretion.
Soil protection. The protection and care of soil as an environmental medium and part of the ecosystem is promoted by Legislative Decree 152/06, which essentially follows the Ministerial decree 471/1999 with some simplification as far as documentation is concerned. Soil protection measures, preventative or remedial; aim at avoiding or reducing substance inputs into the soil, or removing already existing soil damage. The Legislative Decree sets forth both the acceptable limits and the rules for monitoring communication and reclamation.
Health and safety
In April 2008, a new Legislative Decree (LD) 81/08, which is renewing and collecting all the legislation concerning Safety and Occupational Health with the exclusion of Major Hazards (Seveso), was published and came into effect on 14 May 2008. The new legislative decree covers the safety and health matters formerly defined by LD 626/94 and the aspect related to construction (buildings, scaffolds, etc). Some of the new rules include:
Sasol North America (Sasol NA), Sasol Wax and Merisol are subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations that regulate the discharge of materials into the environment or that otherwise relate to the protection of human health and the environment. As with the chemical industry, generally, compliance with existing and anticipated environmental, health, safety, and process safety laws and regulations increases the overall cost of business, including capital costs to construct, maintain, and upgrade equipment and facilities. These laws and regulations have required, and are expected to continue to require, Sasol NA, Sasol Wax and Merisol to make significant expenditures of both a capital and expense nature. Environmental compliance expenditures for our interest in Merisol, Sasol Wax and Sasol NA's manufacturing sites for the next five years are estimated to range from US$2 million to US$6 million per year.
Indemnities dealing with historical groundwater and soil contamination as a result of RWE-DEA vinyl business continue.
Active and former manufacturing sites. Sasol NA has been investigating the remediation of soil and groundwater contamination at the Lake Charles chemical complex (LCCC) and Baltimore plant sites resulting from historical operations under orders issued by Louisiana and Maryland Departments of the Environment (DoE), respectively. The Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) Plant which was sold to Georgia Gulf in 1999 is also subject to US Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action requirements. The Baltimore Plant is monitoring the natural attenuation of hydrocarbon contaminants in the groundwater and reporting regularly to Maryland DoE and is not being actively remediated. Baltimore has done a supplemental study of groundwater contamination and it is possible that the State of Maryland could require remediation of the contamination. The current costs of monitoring the VCM Plant site and any foreseeable remediation costs are not expected to be material. Any remedial costs at Baltimore are not defined but based on the amount of contamination are not expected to exceed US$500 000.
In addition to Sasol NA's operating sites, Sasol NA also has retained liability to Georgia Gulf Corporation for the remediation of three manufacturing operations sold in November 1999 and located in Aberdeen, Mississippi, Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and one site where the business was sold but not the property at Mansfield, Massachusetts. The Mansfield site, which is still owned by Sasol NA, has been extensively investigated and remediated since 1991, and the remediation of groundwater and an area of soil contamination is ongoing. The Aberdeen plant site has also been investigated under several orders issued by state authorities, and several areas of contamination have been remediated. Further investigations of part of the Aberdeen site are still being performed and the need for further remediation is currently being investigated.
Under the agreement for the acquisition of Sasol Chemie, most of Sasol NA's costs of remediation and contamination from historical operations at its active and sold sites are being indemnified by RWE-DEA AG, and will continue to be indemnified until at least 1 March 2023 in respect of Lake Charles, and in perpetuity in respect of the Mansfield, Aberdeen, Jeffersontown, and Oklahoma City sites. In addition to indemnities from RWE-DEA AG, Sasol NA also has indemnities from some of its predecessors, namely BP for Mansfield and Reichhold Chemical for Jeffersontown, for contamination resulting from those companies' operations at the sites. Sasol NA does not expect costs to remediate these sites to have a material effect on operations or results.
Calcasieu Estuary CERCLA Site. In June 1999, Sasol NA and other Calcasieu Parish industry members received letters from USEPA making demands under Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for past costs and future remedial investigation, remediation, and restoration costs associated with the Calcasieu Estuary. The Calcasieu Estuary, which includes the Calcasieu River and several major tributaries in the vicinity of Lake Charles, Louisiana, has received releases and discharges from industry since the 1930s. Bayou Verdine has received releases and discharges from the ConocoPhillips Lake Charles Refinery beginning in the 1940s and from the LCCC beginning in the 1960s. The "Bayou Verdine Area of Concern" is one of the areas of concern of the Calcasieu Estuary CERCLA Site.
In 1999 and 2000, ConocoPhillips and Sasol NA completed a voluntary joint remedial investigation of Bayou Verdine under the oversight of state and federal authorities. In 2001, ConocoPhillips and Sasol NA completed ecological and human health risk assessments of Bayou Verdine and in 2002 performed an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EECA) of removal actions for Bayou Verdine under an Administrative Order on Consent with the US EPA.
Beginning in October 2002, ConocoPhillips and Sasol NA performed a sediment removal action for a relatively small area of elevated ethylene dichloride (1-2 dichloroethane or EDC) concentrations located near the confluence of Sasol NA's West Ditch and Bayou Verdine. The West Ditch Project was completed in July 2003 at a cost to Sasol NA of about US$2 million. To date, no third party claims have been filed in connection with the West Ditch Project.
The EECA also recommends removal actions for the "Main Channel Area" of Bayou Verdine. ConocoPhillips and Sasol NA intend to perform the Main Channel Removal Action under a Consent Decree which is being negotiated. Under a Consent Decree, ConocoPhillips and Sasol NA hope to resolve all of the government's CERCLA claims against the companies in connection with the Calcasieu Estuary and will receive protection against CERCLA contribution claims by other "Potentially Responsible Parties" against the companies. An agreement in principle has been reached with US EPA and the resource trustees concerning the scope of the "Main Channel Area" and natural resource restoration projects, as well as the amount of past agency response costs to be reimbursed by Sasol NA and ConocoPhillips. Sasol NA will pay 10% of these costs.
Sasol NA's total estimated liability at 30 June 2009 for its share of Bayou Verdine and the Calcasieu Estuary CERCLA Site is about US$1,8 million. Under the agreement for the acquisition of
Sasol Chemie, 80% of Sasol NA's estuary related remediation costs are expected to be indemnified by RWE-DEA AG, and will continue to be indemnified until at least 1 March 2023.
In Mozambique, Sasol operates a processing plant and associated facilities for the extraction and processing of natural gas and condensate and transportation of natural gas. The Central Processing Facility has been in operation since February 2004. These operations are subject to numerous Mozambican laws and regulations as well as World Bank Group requirements and best practice standards.
Environmental, health and safety regulations. The Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) was created in 1994 to coordinate environmental affairs in Mozambique. In 1995, the Ministry drew up a National Environmental Management Programme, which is a policy document outlining the priorities for environmental management and sustainable development in Mozambique. This programme contains a National Environmental Policy, a proposal for Framework Environmental Legislation and Environmental Legislation and an Environmental Strategy.
The Framework Environmental Law (20/97) was enacted in October of 1997. The aims of the Environmental Law are to provide a legal framework for the use and correct management of the environment and its components and to assure sustainable development in Mozambique. The Law is applicable to all public or private activities that may directly or indirectly influence the environment. It requires licensing of activities that are liable to cause significant environmental impacts. The granting of an environmental license is subject to the preparation and approval of an appropriate level of environmental impact study and management plan. The body of environmental legislation is growing and comprises the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (45/2004 of 29 September) which revokes the 1998 Regulation (76/98 of 29 December), the Regulation on Environmental Quality and Effluent Emissions Standards (18/2004) of 2 June and the Regulation on Environmental Auditing (32/2003) of 20 August. During 2006, new legislation was enacted namely the Regulation on Environmental Inspections (11/2006) of 15 June, the Regulation on Waste Management (13/2006) of 15 June and General Directives for Environmental Impact Studies (129/2006) and the Public Participation Process (130/2006) of 19 July. On 4 November 2008, Decree 42/2008 was enacted to amend articles 5, 15, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25 and 28 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations approved by Decree 45/2004.
In terms of environmental protection and safety, the Petroleum Act (3/2001) and the Petroleum Operations Regulations (24/2004) require holders of exploration and production rights to conduct petroleum operations in compliance with environmental and other applicable legislation.
Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (SPT), our Mozambican subsidiary, was certified in terms of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 in November 2004 and has retained certification in subsequent annual surveillance audits. SPT also achieved OHSAS 18001 certification during January 2006.
In June 2005, we signed agreements with the Mozambican government for an offshore exploration license in the Indian Ocean. Seismic activities were conducted from January to June 2007 following a comprehensive and detailed EIA process which took in excess of 13 months to complete and approve. To ensure an open and transparent process, Sasol promoted wide and active public consultation and engagement with all identified stakeholders, in line with the published EIA Regulations. As recommended in the EIA, Sasol undertook year long baseline and monitoring studies during 2007 pertaining to the potential impacts of shallow water exploration activities on sensitive receptors and in particular the resident dugong population and the artisanal fishery. Based on the outcomes and recommendations of the shallow water baseline and monitoring studies, we agreed to postpone all exploration activities in the shallow water environment, until the conclusion of the Strategic Environmental Assessment which is currently being planned by the Government of Mozambique.
In August of 2008, Mozambique's Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs and the National Petroleum Institute were notified of our decision.
The Simplified Environmental Impact Assessments for the planned onshore expansion aimed at the de-bottlenecking of the gas processing facility and the transportation pipeline have been concluded. The Environmental License for the Central Processing Facility (CPF) Expansion Project was issued in March 2009 and site preparation work is currently underway. The Simplified Environmental Assessment for the Pipeline Expansion Project is currently being amended to accommodate scope changes. The amendment is being carried out in terms of the MICOA approved terms of reference for the Amendment of the Simplified Environmental Report and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of the 2009 calendar year.
The Inhassoro Development Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which began in the 2008 calendar year and was due to be completed in the middle of the 2009 calendar year, has been placed on hold whilst we await the completion of technical assessments. In accordance with the EIA Regulations, most of the EIA work has been concluded. However, the finalisation of the study is expected to take place in 2010.
Mineral Rights. Petroleum activities are regulated by the provisions of the Law Regulating Petroleum Activities. The National Petroleum Institute administers and regulates petroleum operations on behalf of the Mozambique Government. The Mozambique government encourages the exploration and development of the country's hydrocarbon potential within a certain project framework.
EIA Regulations for the Petroleum Sector as envisaged in the EIA Regulations (Decree 45/2004) are being compiled by the National Petroleum Institute. No information is currently available as to when these would be passed.
In accordance with the constitution of Mozambique, the land and the natural resources of the soil and the subsoil of the territorial waters and continental shelf are the property of the state, which determines the conditions for their development and use, through the Land Act (19/97, of 1 October) and Regulation of Land Act (Decree 66//98 of 8 December).
Environmental regulation. All public or private development plans, including industrial, agricultural and infrastructure projects are required to follow the Environmental Protection Law and obtain an environmental authorisation permit from the Ministry of Environment (MOE). MOE is also responsible for environmental protection and conservation in Qatar.
The Environmental Protection Law, Decree-Law No. (30) of 2002 aims to meet the following objectives: (1) protection of the environment, (2) prevention of pollution (short-and long-term) (3) sustainable development by developing natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations, (4) the protection of society, human health and other living creatures, and (5) protection of the environment from the damaging effect of activities outside of the State of Qatar.
The Executive By-Law for the Environmental Protection Law, Issued vide the Decree Law No. 30 for the Year 2002 (the By-Law) stipulates specific standards and regulations to meet the objectives of The Environmental Protection Law. This includes regulations on determining the environmental impact of projects (requirements to conduct an EIA), emergency response plans for environmental disasters, hazardous wastes and materials, air pollution, water pollution, protection of marine environment. There are also 8 Annexes to this By-Law, including:
Consent to Operate (CTO). This is Oryx GTL's operating permit and is renewable on an annual basis. This permit stipulates general monitoring requirements, wastewater quality standards, point source air emission standards, overall noise level limit, handling and storage of hazardous wastes, chemical use, records and emergency response programmes.
Other environmental legislation. Qatar is a signatory to the following: Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Non Annex 1 country), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Disposal, Amendment to the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The State of Qatar has implemented Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an initiative to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Gas flaring mitigation and the reduction of carbon emissions were among the two key areas focused on by Qatar as part of its commitment towards CDM.
The Environmental Design Basis (EDB) stipulates the environmental standards that should be followed during the project phase.
Health and safety regulation. All medical professionals (including nurses, lab technicians, physiotherapists) have to be registered to practice in Qatar with the National Health Authority (NHA). Oryx GTL comply with all Qatar National Health Guidelines which is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Oryx GTL's health centre is licensed with the NHA through Qatar Petroleum (QP).
The Labour Law No (14) of the Year 2004. This law does not apply to employees and workers of Ministries and other governmental organs, public institutions, corporations and companies which are established by Qatar Petroleum (QP) by itself or with others, armed forces, casual workers, domestic employees, working members of employer's family and workers employed in agriculture and grazing. The Labour Law covers safety, vocational health and social care as well as work injuries and compensation thereof. Some sections (i.e. heat stress sections) do not apply to Oryx GTL.
Requirements for the Establishment and Operation of First Aid Stations within Ras Laffan Industrial City (QPR-MSR-001, 25/04/2006). This procedure describes the level of first aid services which may be provided at project specific locations in accordance with established international best practice by providing minimum and general requirements. This procedure assists organisations within Ras Laffan Industrial City (i.e. Oryx GTL) in determining requirements for a first aid station on-site.
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). There is no regulatory authority for safety or health in Qatar and therefore Oryx GTL used the internationally recognised OSHA standards as guidelines where applicable.
Environmental regulation. All public or private development plants, including industrial, agricultural and infrastructure projects, are required to follow the Environmental Protection Law and obtain an environmental authorisation permit from the Department of Environment (DOE). The DOE is also responsible for environmental protection and conservation in Iran.
The Environmental Protection Law, Decree-Law No. (50) 1979, aims to meet the following objectives:
The Iranian Environment Supreme Council Decree No. 138 (1994), stipulates specific standards and regulations to meet The Environmental Protection Laws. This includes environmental impact projects to do environmental impact assessments before construction and to obtain all approvals and implement necessary proactive measures before the issuing of a certificate to operate. Important executive regulations and by-laws used in Iran include the following:
Permit to operate (PTO). As per Iranian laws, a permit is issued by the DOE and Ministry of Industries and Mines (MIM). This permit stipulates general monitoring requirements, waste water quality standards, point source air emission standards, overall noise level limits, handling and storage of hazardous waste, chemical use, records, and emergency response programmes.
Other environmental legislation. Iran is a signatory to the following:
Iran recently implemented a "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM), an initiative to work on a plan to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by reduction of flow gas flaring at the petrochemical complexes.
In a number of other countries we are engaged in various activities that are regulated by local and international laws, regulations and treaties. In Malaysia, China and other countries, we operate plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of chemical substances, including feedstock, products and waste. In the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Gabon and other countries, we are involved, or are in the process of being involved, in exploration, extraction, processing or storage and transportation activities in connection with feedstock, products and waste relating to natural gas, petroleum and chemical substances. Our operations in the respective jurisdictions are subject to numerous laws and regulations relating to exploration and mining rights and the protection of safety, health and the environment.
Sasol Limited is the ultimate parent of the Sasol group of companies. Our wholly owned subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Limited, a company incorporated in the Republic of South Africa, holds primarily our interests in companies incorporated outside South Africa. The following table presents each of Sasol's significant subsidiaries (including direct and indirect holdings), the nature of business, percentage of shares of each subsidiary owned and the country of incorporation at 30 June 2009.
Plants and facilities
We operate coal mines and a number of plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of oil, chemicals and gas related raw materials, products and wastes. For a detailed discussion regarding the use, capacity and products of these facilities provided for each business see "Item 4.BBusiness Overview".
Coal mining facilities
Our main coal mining facilities are located at the Secunda Mining Complex, consisting of underground mines (Bosjesspruit, Brandspruit, Middelbult, Syferfontein and Twistdraai export mine) and Sigma: Mooikraal near Sasolburg.
Pages M-1 to M-3 include maps showing the location of our coal properties and major manufacturing plants in South Africa.
Our Secunda facilities
Our main manufacturing facilities are located at Secunda and they are the base for our Synfuels operations and a range of our chemical industries operations, including explosives, fertilisers, monomers and polymers, solvents and tar. The approximate size of this property is 82,5 square kilometres (km2) with operating plants accounting for 8,35 km2.
Our Sasolburg facilities
Our facilities at Sasolburg are the base for a number of our chemical industries operations, including ammonia, explosives, fertilisers, mining chemicals, phenols, solvents, polymers, tars and wax operations. The approximate total size of these properties is 51,4 km2.
The size of the Natref refinery, also based in Sasolburg, is approximately 1,1 km2.
Our Mozambican facilities
Our natural gas processing operations in Mozambique are operated by Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (a subsidiary of Sasol Petroleum International). These facilities, located some 700 km north of the Mozambican capital, Maputo, on a site of approximately 400 000 m2, extract and process natural gas from the Temane and Pande gas field. The processed gas is supplied to the South African gas market, utilising an underground high pressure pipeline, some 865 km in length and owned by Rompco.
Our facilities in Germany
Sasol Solvents has manufacturing sites based at two locations in Germany, the most significant of these facilities is Moers (site size approximately 808 000 m2; plant size 400 000 m2).
Various operations of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants, are based at a number of locations in Germany, most significant of these facilities are at Brunsbüttel (site size approximately 1,5 million m2; plant size 500 000 m2) and Marl (site size approximately 160 000 m2; plant size 75 000 m2).
Sasol Wax facilities are based in Hamburg (site size approximately 160 000 m2; plant size 100 000 m2).
Our facilities in Italy
Various operations of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are based at a number of locations in Italy. The primary facilities are at Augusta (site size approximately 1,35 million m2; plant size 220 000 m2) and Terranova (site size approximately 353 000 m2; plant size 200 000 m2).
Our facilities in the United States
Various operations of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are based at a number of locations in the United States. The most significant of these facilities is located at Lake Charles, Louisiana (site size approximately 3 million m2; plant size 540 000 m2).
Merisol also has operations based at Oil City, Pennsylvania and Houston and Winnie, Texas.
Sasol Wax's production facility is located in Richmond, California. Sales and marketing activities are conducted from its office in Hayward, California
For more information regarding capital expenditure in respect of these properties and the related facilities and operations, see "Item 4.AHistory and development of the companyCapital expenditure" for a description of our material plans to construct, expand and enhance our facilities.
Our facilities in Qatar
Oryx GTL is a gas-to-liquids plant, with a nominal design capacity of 32 400 bpd located at Ras Laffan Industrial City, situated along the northeast coast of Qatar.
Our facilities in Iran
Arya Sasol Polymers Company consists of an Ethane Cracker and two Polyethylene plants located in a 72 hectare area within the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone in Bushehr Province on the Persian Gulf.
Mining properties and operations
Mine systems and their production capacity
Sasol Mining operates six mines, the annual nominated capacities and actual production values are indicated in the following table:
Nominated capacity and production
All mines employ the underground bord and pillar mining method, using continuous miners. At Sasolburg, the Sigma Mine was established in 1950 and the Mooikraal shaft started production during 2006. In the Secunda area, production at the first two mines, Brandspruit and Bosjesspruit, commenced in 1977. Twistdraai and Middelbult followed during the early 1980s, while Syferfontein started production in 1992. In 1996, the Twistdraai Export Mine was commissioned. The mine boundaries are extended based on ongoing studies and new planning. All the production equipment is either replaced or overhauled on a regular basis according to a managed maintenance system.
Export businessSecunda operations. The export business was initiated in August 1996 as part of a growth strategy. To date, a total of 42 Mt of coal has been exported, beneficiated from 112 Mt at the Twistdraai Export Plant from 1996 through 2009. Coal is fed to the beneficiation plant from the existing Twistdraai Mine. The beneficiation plant produces primary export product with an ash content of approximately 12,9% as well as a secondary product for the Sasol Synfuels market.