Sasol 20-F 2011
Documents found in this filing:
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 7 October 2011
Commission file number: 001-31615
Republic of South Africa
1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank 2196
Christine Ramon, Chief Financial Officer, Tel. No. +27 11 441 3435, Email email@example.com
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:
599 087 062 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 has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232 405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes o 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
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17 o Item 18 o
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
We are incorporated in the Republic of South Africa as a public company under South African Company law. Our consolidated financial statements for the financial years ended 30 June 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 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 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 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 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 R8,10 per US dollar, which was the closing rate for customs purposes of the rand as reported by Thomson Reuters on 30 September 2011.
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 or bbl) and standard cubic feet (scf) 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, joint ventures and special purpose entities. 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) Ltd" 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 such forward-looking statements. 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 making investment decisions, you should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and events, and you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. 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 most 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 2011, 2010 and 2009 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2011 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 2009, 2008 and 2007 has been derived from the group's previously published audited consolidated financial statements not included in this document.
The financial data at 30 June 2011, 2010 and 2009 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2011 should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its 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 2011, the rand/US dollar exchange rate averaged R7,01 and fluctuated between the high of R7,75 and the low of R6,57. This compares to an average exchange rate of R7,59 during 2010 which
fluctuated between the high of R8,36 and the low of R7,20. The rand exchange rate is impacted by various international and South African economic and political factors. Subsequent to 30 June 2011, 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, North Africa, 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 2011, the dated Brent crude oil price averaged US$96,48/b and fluctuated between the high of US$126,64/b and the low of US$70,61/b. This compares to an average dated Brent crude oil price of US$74,37/b during 2010, which fluctuated between the high of US$88,09/b and the low of US$58,25/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) Ltd (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. We are experiencing an increase in demand for products following the recent global economic downturn. The expected capacity additions in the next few years, 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, CTL and shale gas 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 addition, we are considering opportunities for further GTL, coal-to-liquids (CTL) and shale gas investments in other areas of the world. CTL projects are being investigated in China (feasibility phase) and India (pre-feasibility phase). GTL opportunities are being investigated in Uzbekistan (front end engineering and design phase) and the US (feasibility phase). In Canada, we are investigating a GTL opportunity, together with our shale gas partner, Talisman Energy Inc. (feasibility stage). A feasibility study for the China CTL project was completed in the first half of the 2010 calendar year. Given the delay in the approval from the Chinese government for our CTL project in China, we are developing other investments strategies and growth opportunities, both in South Africa and abroad. We have reallocated planned project funding for the China CTL project and redeployed staff to other projects. We remain committed to growing our other businesses in China. 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 and Sasol Petroleum International".
The processes 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 that 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 of capital expenditure 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 upstream 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, their behaviour, as well as the increasing complexity of country specific legislation and regulations, may impact negatively on our reputation and/or result in disputes and/or litigation, all of which 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 energy businesses in Africa and chemical businesses in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, a joint venture in a GTL facility in Qatar, a joint venture in Canada, a joint venture in Iran and 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
The strengthening of the South African rand during the 2010 and 2009 calendar years and the recessionary conditions in the South African economy during that time helped to drive consumer inflation down to 3,5% at December 2010 (the South African Reserve Bank has an inflation target of 3% to 6% per annum). The South African Reserve Bank responded to this moderation in inflation by cutting its policy interest rate by 600 basis points during the 2009 and 2010 calendar years. The downward trend in inflation appears to be coming to an end and inflationary pressures are building. The increase in commodity prices is likely to put upward pressures on South African food prices. In the 2010 calendar year, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced increases in electricity tariffs of approximately 25% for each of the following three calendar years (the first of which came into effect in July 2010). Since then the South African government's Integrated Resource Plan has made provision for additional increases in electricity prices, although those have not yet been endorsed by NERSA. These increases in electricity prices will put upward pressure on inflation. The direct impact of these tariff increases on consumer inflation is expected to be relatively modest at approximately 0,5 percentage points per year, but the indirect effects are uncertain and could potentially be significantly larger. Wage settlements above the consumer inflation rate would also place further upward pressure on inflation. High interest rates or inflation could adversely impact our ability to contain costs and to ensure cost-effective debt financing in South Africa.
(c) Transportation, water 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 and other infrastructural challenges, 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. In July 2011, disputes over wage increases in South Africa have led to general industrial action, which resulted in disruptions to production and supply of products to the markets. 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 apply to transactions involving South African residents, including both natural persons and legal entities. These regulations may restrict the export of capital from South Africa, including foreign investments. The regulations may also affect our ability to borrow funds from non-South African sources for use in South Africa, including the repayment of these borrowings from South Africa and, in some cases, our ability to guarantee the obligations of our subsidiaries with regard to these funds. These restrictions may affect the manner in which we finance 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) Localisation 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 and localisation 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.
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 2014, 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, other than the mining industry.
We have complied with the current requirements of 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 future implications of compliance with these requirements or with any newly imposed conditions will not have a material adverse effect on our shareholders or business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BEmpowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans".
(g) Engineering and construction contract costs
During the period preceding the global economic recession, the worldwide increase in the demand for large engineering and construction projects resulted in a shortage of engineering and construction resources and put strain on these industries. These strains impacted some of our projects and have adversely affected project construction timing schedules and costs. Furthermore, engineering, procurement and construction costs for capital projects appear to have bottomed out globally. Even though the global economic recession led to a marginally downward trend in the costs 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. Cost increases will depend on the region and market dynamics, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
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.
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, North America 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.
Electricity supply interruptions and increases in electricity costs in South Africa could adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth
Sasol generates nearly half of its total South African power supply needs internally and has begun commissioning additional power generation equipment to increase internal electricity generation to up to 60% of our requirements. However, our South African operations remain dependent on power generated by the state-owned utility, Eskom. During 2008, South Africa experienced significant electricity supply interruptions, and although the situation has improved since then, it is possible that the electricity supply will again become constrained. 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, South Africa is experiencing higher than normal electricity price increases. In June 2009, the NERSA granted Eskom an average annual tariff increase of 31,3%, which was recovered by March 2010. During February 2010, NERSA granted Eskom further price increases of 24,8%, 25,8% and 25,9% per year for the next three years in terms of the multi-year pricing dispensation (the first of which came into effect in July 2010). We have entered into a power purchase agreement with Eskom which mitigates these price increases to some extent. However, 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 be in compliance 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, in our South African and global operations. Non-compliance can impact business performance dramatically. Although systems and processes are in place, monitored and continuously improved upon, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that we will be in compliance with all laws and regulations at all times. Any failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations 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
Since the enactment of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in May 2004, all mineral rights have been placed under the custodianship of the state, which grants permits and authorisations for prospecting and mining of minerals. Our subsidiary, Sasol Mining (Pty) Ltd, has been successful in converting its prospecting permits and mining authorisations (old order rights) to new order rights in terms of the MPRDA. The new order mining rights, known as converted mining rights, became effective on 29 March 2011. The converted new order mining rights in respect of the Secunda area have been granted for a period of ten years, while those in respect of the Mooikraal operations have been granted for a period of thirty years. Our converted mining rights may, on application, be renewed for further periods not exceeding thirty years each. Prospecting rights are granted for five years, with one further renewal of three years.
If a holder of a prospecting right or mining right conducts prospecting or mining operations in contravention of the MPRDA, 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 the prevention of environmental pollution, degradation or damage from mining and/or prospecting activities.
The Mining Charter, which is intended to facilitate the transformation of the South African mining industry, was reviewed during the 2009 and 2010 calendar years, and the Revised Mining Charter became effective as from 20 September 2010. Although the Revised Mining Charter was intended to only be an amendment of the previous Mining Charter, it is expected that it will replace the original Mining Charter.
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. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
New legislation in South Africa 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 (the Act) requires persons involved in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of petroleum products to obtain relevant licences for such activities. Sasol Oil, Natref and Sasol Synfuels submitted applications for their respective operations, and the Sasol Oil and Sasol Synfuels wholesale licence applications have been approved and issued. The Natref manufacturing licence application is still under review by the Department of Energy. Nevertheless, these facilities continue to operate, as being persons who, as of the effective date of the Act, manufactured petroleum products, they are deemed to be holders of a licence until their applications have been finalised. Until these applications have been finalised, we cannot assure you that the conditions of the licences may not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating
results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa".
NERSA has published a draft pipelines tariff determination encompassing a tariff structure that could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition. Sasol Oil has made representations to NERSA in this regard in an effort to ensure that Sasol Oil operations will not be unduly prejudiced by the new tariff structure. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Oil" and "Regulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa".
The Department of Energy will by 2017 implement new fuel specifications and standards to reduce the environmental impact caused by, amongst others, the sulphur content of fuel emissions. The introduction of the new specifications and standards by 2017 may require capital investment in our manufacturing facilities. We cannot assure you that these new specifications will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
The Department of Energy has embarked on a process of reviewing the methodology for the determination of margins relating to the regulated fuel price mechanism known as the Regulatory Accounting System. The ultimate goal of the Regulatory Accounting System is to achieve a uniform and transparent set of regulatory accounts, whereby costs are allocated on predetermined methods, thereby providing certainty to investors with regard to the return on assets throughout the petroleum industry value chain (wholesale, coastal storage, handling, secondary storage, distribution and return on assets for the benchmark service station). We cannot assure you that the final cost allocation model will not have a material adverse effect 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. NERSA is in the process of finalising the transmission and storage tariffs for piped-gas in South Africa. The implementation and enforcement of these tariffs may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
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".
Changes in safety, health and environmental regulations and legislation and public opinion may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
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, decommissioning or other remedial actions, any of which could entail significant expenditures.
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, exploration, mining and production activities, land use, air emissions, use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, use of water, wastewater discharge, waste management, decommissioning 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. These laws and regulations and their enforcement are likely to become more stringent over time. We may be required in some cases to incur additional expenditure in order to comply with such legislation. Similarly, public opinion is growing more sensitive to consumer health and safety, environmental and climate change protection matters, and, as a result, markets may apply
pressure on us concerning certain of our products, manufacturing processes, transport and distribution arrangements. 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.
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 continue 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 legislation imposing obligations in respect of decommissioning and 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.
In addition, our manufacturing processes may utilise and result in the emission of substances with potential health risks. We also manufacture products which may pose health risks. Although we apply a duty of care principle and implement health and safety, product stewardship, the Responsible Care programme and other measures to eliminate or mitigate associated potential risks, we may be subject to liabilities as a result of the use or exposure to these materials or emissions.
Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions could increase our operational cost and reduce demand for our products
Continued political attention to issues concerning climate change, the role of human activity in it, and potential mitigation through regulation could have a material impact on our operations and financial results. International agreements and national or regional legislation and regulatory measures to limit greenhouse emissions are currently in various stages of discussion or implementation.
For instance, the Kyoto Protocol envisions a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through market-based regulatory programmes, technology-based or performance-based standards or a combination of them. South Africa has entered into a voluntary non-binding agreement to take, subject to certain conditions, nationally appropriate mitigation action to enable a 34% deviation below "business as usual" emissions growth trajectory by 2020, and 42% by 2025. Current measures in South Africa have already resulted in increased compliance costs for power suppliers that are passed to us in the form of levies for electricity generated from fossil fuels. These levies may increase substantially over time. In addition, the South African government has published a climate change response green paper in November 2010 and issued a carbon tax discussion paper in December 2010. This policy process, culminating in the publication of a climate change response white paper, is expected later in 2011, and an emissions trading discussion paper is expected during 2012.
These and other greenhouse gas emissions-related laws, policies and regulations may result in substantial capital, compliance, operating and maintenance costs. The level of expenditure required to comply with any laws and regulations is uncertain and will depend on a number of factors including, among others, the sectors covered, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by law, the extent to which we would be entitled to receive any emission allowance allocations or would need to purchase compliance instruments on the open market or through auctions, the price and availability of emission
allowances and credits, and the impact of legislation or other regulation on our ability to recover the costs incurred through the pricing of our products. Material price increases or incentives to conserve or use alternative energy sources could reduce demand for products we currently sell and adversely affect our sales volumes, revenues and margins.
We are subject to competition and anti trust laws
Globally among themselves, competition authorities are increasingly enforcing legislation and networking and exchanging information relating to potential violation of antitrust laws.
Violations of competition/antitrust legislation could expose the group to administrative penalties and civil claims and damages, including punitive damages, by entities which can prove they were harmed by such conduct. Such penalties and damages could be significant and have an adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. 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.
The South African Competition Authority is conducting investigations into the pipeline gas, coal mining, petroleum, fertilisers and polymer industries. The group has cooperated with competition authorities to deal pro-actively with non-compliance matters. We continue to interact and cooperate with the South African Competition Commission in respect of leniency applications as well as in the areas that are subject to the South African Competition Commission investigations. Refer to "Item 4.B Business overviewLegal proceedings and other contingencies". Although it is our policy to comply with all laws, and notwithstanding training and compliance programmes, we could nonetheless contravene competition or antitrust laws and be subject to the imposition of fines, criminal sanctions and/or civil claims and damages. 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.
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. We have recently observed a downward trend in natural attrition rates as a result of the current global economic downturn. Some areas of the global economy are showing signs of recovery and there is a risk that our scientific, engineering, artisans, operators 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. The quality and availability of skills in certain labour markets is impacted by the challenges within the education and training systems in certain countries in which we operate, such as South Africa and Mozambique. The retention of staff is particularly challenging in South Africa, where in addition to global industry shortages of skilled employees, we and our competitors are also required to achieve employment equity targets. Localisation and other similar legislation in countries in which we operate are equally challenging to the attraction and retention of sufficiently skilled employees.
The shortage of skilled employees will be further exacerbated as global economic recovery progresses and we compete with a global industry for skilled and experienced employees. 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 chemical 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, may result in an increased patent infringement risk and may 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 chemical 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 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. Exploitation of our proprietary technology may result in the disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets to a wider group of people. In addition, the patenting by our competitors of technology built on our know-how obtained through former employees 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 property 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.
The above risks 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 fires, 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, North America 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 appropriate property damage and business interruption insurance cover for its production facilities above acceptable deductible levels at acceptable commercial premiums. However, full cover for all loss scenarios 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 all claims that may arise.
In some cases we have indemnity agreements with the previous owners of acquired businesses which limit certain of our exposures to environmental contamination.
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 initiated safety improvement plans at both corporate and business unit levels to improve safety performance. 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, synthetic oil, natural oil and gas reserve estimates may be materially different from quantities that we may eventually recover
Our reported coal, synthetic oil (CTL products), natural oil and gas reserves are estimated quantities based on applicable reporting regulations that under present and anticipated conditions have the potential to be economically mined and processed.
There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and in projecting future rates of production, including factors which are beyond our control. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data, engineering and geological interpretation and judgement.
Reserve estimates will require revision based on actual production experience and other factors, including extensions and discoveries. In addition, market prices, reduced recovery rates or increased production costs and other factors may result in a revision to estimated reserves. Significantly revised estimates 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, the European Union and the United Nations as a result of our existing chemicals investments in Iran should current legislation be changed
There are possible risks posed by the potential imposition of US economic sanctions in connection with activities we are undertaking in the polymers field 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 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 mitigate the risk 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.
However, we cannot predict OFAC's enforcement policy in this regard, and it is possible that OFAC may take a different view of the measures we have implemented. 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 the 2011 calendar year. 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 that make 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 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, 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.
Additionally, recent developments in US, European Union and United Nations sanctions have increased the risks of doing business related to Iran. The President of the United States signed into law on 1 July 2010 the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010, the European Union expanded sanctions on 26 July 2010 and the United Nation's Security Council's Resolution 1929 was adopted on 9 June 2010. We continue to evaluate the risks and implications of these sanctions on our investments in Iran, however, we cannot assure you that as a result of these sanctions our activities in Iran would not be adversely impacted and that there would not be a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
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 1950, the South African government formed our predecessor company, the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation Limited, to manufacture fuels and chemicals from indigenous raw materials. 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 our synthetic fuels plant at Sasolburg (Sasol One), in the Free State province, about 80 kilometres (km) south of Johannesburg and 50% shareholding in Sasol Two in Secunda, 145 km southeast of Johannesburg in the Mpumalanga province and our third synfuels and chemicals plant also in Secunda, Sasol Three, from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (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 7,9%.
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).
Over the past years, we have been exploring opportunities through Sasol Synfuels International (Pty) Ltd (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 and coal. 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. In 2009, Sasol and Chevron 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, which 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. This project is estimated to commence operation in 2013.
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 the 2007 calendar year and the first product was sold in April 2007.
In February 2003, we signed a joint venture agreement with the Pars Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of 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 2009. We have initiated a review of our activities in and with Iran. We do not currently intend to expand such activities.
We announced on 16 March 2006, the first phase implementation of Sasol Mining's black economic empowerment (BEE) strategy through the formation of Igoda Coal (Pty) Ltd (Igoda Coal), an empowerment venture with Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (formerly Eyesizwe Coal (Pty) Ltd) (Exxaro), a black-owned mining company. During August 2009, we received a notice of intention to withdraw from the Igoda transaction from our partner, Exxaro.
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 barrels per day (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$140 million for its share of the final stage of the feasibility study for the two China CTL opportunities. In 2008, the Chinese government decided to pursue a more focussed approach to CTL project implementation and selected a more limited number of key projects to pursue. As a result, 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 kilometres (km) west of Beijing. The proposed site in the Ningdong Chemical and Energy base has excellent infrastructure and the partners considered this decision would result in the shortening of the project schedule and in lower feasibility and project costs. There are abundant coal reserves in the proximity of the large, well laid out site, providing the platform for future expansion. A feasibility study for the project was completed in the first half of the 2010 calendar year. Sasol and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Group jointly submitted a Project Application Report to the Chinese Government in December 2009, to seek approval for the CTL plant. Given the delay in the approval from the Chinese government for our CTL project in China, we are developing other investment strategies and growth opportunities, both in South Africa and abroad. We have reallocated planned project funding for the China CTL project and redeployed staff to other projects. We remain committed to growing our other businesses in China.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the implementation of the second phase of its black economic empowerment (BEE) strategy. In a transaction valued at approximately R1,8 billion, a black-women controlled coal mining company, Ixia Coal (Pty) Ltd (Ixia Coal), acquired 20% of Sasol Mining's shareholding through the issue of new shares. The transaction increased Sasol Mining's BEE ownership component by 20%, and when considered together with the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, to an estimated 34% (calculated on a direct equity basis). The transaction is financed through equity (R47 million) and a combination of third party funding and appropriate Sasol facilitation. Ixia Coal contributed its share of the financing for the transaction. The implementation of this transaction was conditional upon, inter alia, the conversion ofold order mining rights to new order rights and the South African Competition Commission approval. The conversion of the rights was approved by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The converted mining rights were signed and notarially executed on 29 March 2010. The converted mining rights for the Secunda Complex have been granted for a period of 10 years. Sasol Mining has the exclusive right to apply and be granted renewal of the converted mining rights for an additional period not exceeding 30 years. The Mooikraal Complex converted mining right has been granted for the maximum allowable period of 30 years. The Competition Tribunal of South Africa approved the Ixia Coal transaction on 1 September 2010. The effective date of the Ixia Coal transaction was 29 September 2010, when the remaining conditions
precedent were met. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
On 16 May 2008, our shareholders approved our broad-based BEE transaction valued at approximately R24 billion (at R380 per share) at that time, 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 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. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
In January 2010, the Sasol and Tata 50:50 joint venture initiated a pre-feasibility study for a CTL facility in India, following the award by the Government of India in February 2009 of a coal block in the eastern state of Orissa. The study is progressing well and a drilling programme is being carried out to confirm the coal quality. This study is expected to be completed during the first half of the 2012 calendar year, after which the parties will decide whether to proceed with a full feasibility study.
In April 2009, Sasol, Uzbekneftegaz, the national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, and PETRONAS of Malaysia, signed a heads of agreement to evaluate the feasibility of GTL and upstream co-operation in Uzbekistan. On 15 July 2009, Sasol signed a joint venture agreement with Uzbekneftegaz and PETRONAS, to form a joint venture called Uzbekistan GTL LLC, a limited liability company, with each partner having a one third participating interest. A joint feasibility study for the development and implementation of this GTL project in Uzbekistan, with an estimated capacity of 1,4 million tpa, commenced. The feasibility study was completed in the middle of the 2011 calendar year and, based on the results, each partner will decide whether or not to proceed with front end engineering and design of the Uzbekistan GTL project. The Uzbekistan GTL project was presented for approval to the government of Uzbekistan in September 2011. An investment agreement was concluded between the partners. This results in Sasol and Uzbekneftegaz's equity interests in Uzbekistan GTL LLC being 44,5% each, and PETRONAS having an 11% interest. The front end engineering and design phase of the GTL project in Uzbekistan will commence before the end of the 2011 calendar year.
In December 2010, Sasol acquired a 50% stake in the Farrell Creek shale gas assets of Talisman Energy Inc. (Talisman), a Canadian-based company, located in the Montney Basin, of British Columbia,
Canada, for an amount of R7,1 billion. In March 2011, Sasol further acquired a 50% stake in Talisman's Cypress A shale gas assets for an amount of R7,1 billion on similar terms. The acquired assets also include associated gas gathering systems and processing facilities.
In the first quarter of 2011, Sasol, together with Talisman, initiated a feasibility study of a GTL plant in Western Canada. This study is expected to be completed in the 2012 calendar year.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sasol completed a pre-feasibility study into a possible integrated GTL and chemicals facility in the United States of America (US). After the successful completion of the pre-feasibility study, the Sasol board approved that the project proceed to feasibility study phase. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in the latter half of the 2012 calendar year.
At our annual general meeting of 23 November 2006, shareholders approved that the directors 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 30 November 2007.
Through our subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd, we had purchased 40 309 886 Sasol 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 of the repurchased Sasol ordinary shares were cancelled on 4 December 2009 for a total value of R7,9 billion. 8 809 886 Sasol ordinary shares are still held by Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd. At the annual general meetings held on 28 November 2008 and 27 November 2009, respectively, the shareholders renewed the authority to repurchase up to 4% of the issued ordinary shares of the company. No purchases have been made under this authority. At the annual general meeting held on 26 November 2010, the shareholders approved that the directors be granted the authority to repurchase up to 10% of the issued ordinary shares of the company. This latest 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 2011, we were one of the largest JSE listed companies by market capitalisation (R238 863 million in respect of the Sasol ordinary shares), with total consolidated turnover of R142 436 million in 2011. We employ approximately 33 700 people worldwide in our operations.
In 2011, we invested approximately R21 billion, compared with R16 billion in both 2010 and 2009, in capital expenditure (on a cash flow basis excluding capitalised borrowing costs and including projects entered into by our joint ventures) to sustain and enhance our existing facilities and to expand operations. Capital expenditure incurred on key projects to expand our operations includes:
Key projects to meet legal and environmental obligations as well as to sustain existing operations during 2011 include:
Included in the above capital expenditure, we invested approximately R130 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, refer to "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity".
As at 30 June 2011, we had authorised approximately R74 billion of group capital expenditure in respect of projects in progress, of which we had spent R26 billion by 30 June 2011. Of the unspent capital commitments of R48 billion, R15 billion has been contracted for. Of this amount, we expect to spend R26 billion in 2012, R15 billion in 2013 and the remainder thereafter. For more information regarding our capital commitments refer to "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity" and "Item 5.FCapital and contractual commitments".
We expect to spend approximately R39 billion of our capital commitments on projects in South Africa, R1 billion in other African countries, R6 billion in North America, 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 2011:
The amounts include business development costs and our group's share of capital expenditure of joint ventures.
In 2011, an amount of R148 million (2010: R1 266 million and 2009: 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, natural oil and gas reserves, using these feedstocks to produce liquid fuels, fuel components and chemicals through our proprietary processes. We mine coal in South Africa and produce natural gas and condensate in Mozambique, oil in Gabon and shale gas in Canada. We continue to advance our upstream oil and gas activities in West and Southern Africa, the Asia Pacific region and Canada. In South Africa, we refine imported crude oil and retail liquid fuels through our network of 406 Sasol and Exel service stations, which include five Sasol branded integrated energy centres, and supply gas to industrial customers. We also supply fuels to other licensed wholesalers in the region. We have chemical manufacturing and marketing operations in South Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
Through Sasol Synfuels International (SSI), we are focused on commercialising our CTL and GTL technology internationally. Our first international GTL plant, Oryx GTL, was brought into operation in 2007 in response to the growing international interest in our GTL offering, and we expect the second GTL plant, EGTL, currently under construction in Nigeria, to come into operation in 2013. We are promoting our CTL technology in India and GTL technology in Uzbekistan and North America.
We employ approximately 33 700 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. The group's structure is organised 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
Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Pty) Ltd (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 2011.
International Energy Cluster
intermediates, n-paraffins, n-olefins, C6-C22 alcohols, ethylene, oleochemicals and other organic intermediates to customers worldwide as well as specialty aluminas, silica aluminas and hydrotalcites. Sasol Olefins & Surfactants accounted for 22% of our total external segmental turnover in 2011.
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 proprietary processes. 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 technology growth prospects We 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, naphtha and higher value chemicals 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 India. Given the delay in the approval from the Chinese government for our CTL project in China, we are developing other investment strategies and growth opportunities, both in South Africa and abroad. We have reallocated planned project funding for the China CTL project and redeployed staff to other projects. We remain committed to growing our other businesses in China. The possible expansion of the GTL footprint in Qatar also remains a target, in addition to prospects for other GTL facilities, for example Uzbekistan and North America, which are 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.
Sasol Mining has concluded a pre-feasibility study for establishing a mine to supply a CTL plant in the Limpopo province, South Africa, with coal being supplied from the prospecting right area held by Sasol Mining. A bulk sample, of approximately 170 000 tons run of mine, has been mined in the Limpopo West prospecting right area in order to confirm the gasifiability of the coal. This sample was beneficiated into 80 000 tons of the various gasifier products, which were successfully tested in Sasol's Secunda Synfuels plant between August 2010 and February 2011. The decision to proceed with this project to the feasibility stage is on hold pending the provision of a commercially viable carbon capture and storage solution as well as clarity relating to the South African government's prioritisation of the country's mega energy projects. 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. 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 deliver results. In Iran, Sasol has a 50% investment in an ethane cracker/polyethylene polymer complex which is designed to produce one million tpa of ethylene and 600 000 tpa polyethylene (high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) for sale in Iran and internationally). This investment is a 50:50 joint venture (called Arya Sasol Polymer Company) between Sasol and the Pars Petrochemical Company of Iran. The complex comprises one ethane cracker for producing polymer-grade ethylene and two polyethylene plants. The ethane cracker is still being ramped up to design capacity, while both polyethylene plants are producing at design rates. We have initiated a review of our activities in and with Iran. We do not currently intend to expand such activities.
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 plant has the capacity to produce 100 000 tpa of 1-octene. Sasol Solvents has installed capacity to produce and market 356 000 tons of 1-octene and 1-hexene per annum. Sasol Solvents had begun construction of a commercial ethylene tetramerisation unit at the Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S), Lake Charles production site in the US. The planned capacity for this facility is 100 000 tons per annum of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene which are co-monomers used in the plastics industry.
Sasol O&S, completed their business turnaround initiative at the end of 2010, with the successful delivery of improved earnings in all facets of its business and operations. Sasol O&S' strategy going forward is to sustainably deliver the turnaround results, while embarking on selected growth.
Mature and develop upstream hydrocarbon opportunitiesSPI produces, as operator, natural gas and condensate from the onshore Pande and Temane gas fields in Mozambique, oil in Gabon from the Vaalco operated offshore Etame, Avouma and Ebouri oil field cluster and shale gas from the Talisman operated Farrell Creek and Cypress A assets in Canada. We continue in our efforts to grow the upstream asset base in order to supply feedstock gas for existing and possible new downstream businesses. For that purpose, SPI has embarked on a growth plan to a) maximise production from existing assets; b) expand our exploration portfolio; c) consider asset acquisition options; and d) investigate unconventional gas opportunities. The acquisition of 50% of Talisman's unconventional gas area in the Farrell Creek and Cypress A assets has been part of the growth strategy to acquire upstream gas positions to support Sasol's integrated GTL ambitions.
Sasol Gas continues to focus on growing the South African gas market following the successful introduction of natural gas from Mozambique in 2004.
Develop and grow new energy opportunitiesWe are developing and commercialising new technologies, and exploring renewable and lower carbon energy as well as carbon capture and storage solutions. Sasol New Energy is working to ensure that the group develops low carbon electricity as our third major value chain, alongside liquid fuels and chemicals. In 2006, we decided to increase our internal electricity generation capacity in South Africa using natural gas from Mozambique as a feedstock. This decision was made in anticipation of a significant increase in electricity prices and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In South Africa, we are also evaluating options to develop
concentrated solar power technologies, as well as investigating the use of clean-coal technologies to lower the group's carbon footprint.
South African Energy Cluster
Nature of the operations and principal activities
In South Africa, we have three coal mining operations:
During 2011, total production was 38,6 Mt of coal, compared to 42,6 Mt in the previous year. The decrease in production is mainly as a result of lower offtake from Sasol Synfuels due to the Sasol Synfuels planned maintenance outage as well as adverse geological conditions, due to some collieries reaching the end of their life of mine. Production in the export market was affected by inconsistent performance by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), which resulted in the closure and rescheduling of sections at the Twistdraai mine.
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 7,7% of Sasol Mining's production. In 2011, external sales, primarily exports, totalled 2,9 Mt, compared to 3,1 Mt in 2010. The reduction in external sales tons during the current year resulted mainly from rail transportation capacity constraints and the implementation of Phase V at Richards Bay Coal Terminal. In a volatile currency market, average US dollar export prices achieved increased by 42,3%, while the rand strengthened by 7,3% compared with the prior year. This resulted in a net increase in the rand export coal price of 31,9%.
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 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 Mining has concluded a pre-feasibility study for establishing a mine to supply a CTL plant in the Limpopo province, South Africa, with coal being supplied from the prospecting rights area held by Sasol Mining. A bulk sample, of approximately 170 000 tons run of mine, has been mined in the Limpopo West prospecting right area in order to confirm the gasifiability of the coal. This sample was successfully gasified in Sasol's Secunda Synfuels plant between August 2010 and February 2011. The decision to proceed with this project to the feasibility stage is dependent upon the provision of a commercially viable carbon capture and storage solution as well as clarity relating to the South African government's prioritisation of the country's mega energy projects.
The demand for coal by our Synfuels and chemical plants is consistent throughout the year. The export coal is sold mainly in 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 makes use of both a direct and an agency sales model as the chosen channels to market its products to third parties. There are a limited number of agents representing Sasol Mining in their 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 by 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 continually engage with Sasol Synfuels to ensure optimal delivery and utilisation of our coal resources. We also have dedicated strategic and long-term planning departments to 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:
Some of our mines are approaching the end of their useful lives and we are developing new mines and shafts to sustain consistent supply. During April 2010, we started with shaft sinking operations of Twistdraai colliery's new Thubelisha Shaft and construction and equipping is on schedule. We also obtained board approval for the construction of the Impumelelo mine, which will replace the ageing Brandspruit colliery. Shaft sinking at the new Impumelelo colliery started in August 2011.
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 required.
A coal beneficiation plant is operated at Secunda to enable Sasol Mining to supply export quality coal for 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 20,2 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 and maintains an approximately 2 500 km pipeline network in South Africa and Mozambique. Sasol Gas is a shareholder in Rompco and Spring Lights Gas (Pty) Ltd (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) Ltd (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. The shareholding by government nominated entities 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, Spring Lights Gas, in 2002 to which it sold a portion of 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 Lilly pipeline owned by Transnet Pipelines for the transportation of gas to the KwaZulu-Natal market. During 2005, we renewed the gas transportation agreement with Transnet Pipelines 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.
In 2011, Sasol Gas started construction on the R1,6 billion Gauteng Network Pipeline (GNP) project. This project extends the transmission pipeline network through the construction of a 156 km, 26 inch gas transmission pipeline between Secunda and Sasolburg, South Africa. It is anticipated that this facility will be commissioned during 2013.
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 makes up a small part of the overall energy industry in South Africa. The market has grown as a result of the introduction of natural gas from Mozambique since 2004. The current supply of 148,2 MGJ/a of pipeline gas increased from 124 MGJ/a in 2010. 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 2011, natural gas volumes sold were 125,8 MGJ/a and methane rich gas volumes 24,4 MGJ/a.
Sasol Gas supplies 60,2 MGJ/a of gas to approximately 550 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 (UJV) consisting of Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (SPT), a subsidiary of Sasol Petroleum International, 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. The UJV has been supplying Sasol Gas with natural gas since 2004 and Sasol Synfuels has been supplying methane-rich gas to Sasol Gas since 1994.
Approximately 94% of the products produced by Sasol Gas are sold to end-use industrial customers by our own sales and marketing personnel. We also supply a small number of traders and reticulators who sell the gas to their own customers.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Licences and regulations
We have obtained, from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the necessary licences required in terms of the Gas Act to operate our gas distribution facilities and to engage in our trading activities. 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 NERSA. As and when expansion of our distribution and transmission facilities is required we apply for the required construction licences from NERSA. Refer to 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. 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 has constructed its first compressor station near Komatipoort in South Africa. This facility supplies midpoint compression and will enable the pipeline to increase gas transportation up to an annual average of 149 MGJ/a, with an instantaneous pipeline capacity in excess of 160 MGJ/a. The compressor station reached beneficial operation on 27 August 2010.
The inland transmission network of Gauteng is fed from the PPS at Nigel. The network is operated at a pressure of 3 550 kPa and lower and the capacity of the transmission network is approximately 84 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 in Sasolburg.
The Secunda, Witbank and Middelburg distribution network receives methane-rich gas from Sasol Synfuels. The maximum operating pressure for this pipeline is 3 000 kPa and the capacity of the network is 10 MGJ/a. Methane-rich gas, similar to that which is supplied to Witbank and Middelburg, is compressed and fed into the Transnet Pipelines transmission pipeline to supply our customers in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The maximum operating pressure for this transmission pipeline is 5 300 kPa and the capacity of the network is approximately 21 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 16 units. The 16th unit was commissioned during June 2011 and was in full operation as at 30 June 2011.
The Sasol Natural Gas Growth Project (SNGGP) phase 1(a) was approved by the Sasol Limited board during March 2010. The total approved amount of R13,2 billion, consists of both capital and feasibility funds. This investment will result in an increase in production of approximately 3,2% on a sustainable basis as well as additional electricity from gas turbines. Since 2008, Sasol Synfuels has incurred costs of R637 million in respect of the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies related to the SNGGP phase 1(a). On the fuel specification programme phase 1(b), an amount of R147 million has been approved, with a total expected capital investment of R5 billion. The scope of phase 1(b) is to address expected future fuel specification changes. 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 and heavy fuel oils 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 determined by the international price of Brent crude oil, the rand /US dollar exchange rate as well as the South African Producer Price Index.
The bulk of our products are sold to other Sasol business units. A very small volume of carbon products are directly marketed to clients locally and abroad, via commercial distribution channels. Sasol Nitro also acts as a marketing agent for the selling of ammonia and sulphur, mainly to the South African fertiliser industry.
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 completed the construction of a 200-megawatt power-generation plant at Secunda. Beneficial operations for the gas turbine plants were achieved during July 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.
Sasol Synfuels successfully completed the largest planned maintenance outage in its history on its eastern factory during September 2010. Production volumes for 2011 were negatively affected by the planned maintenance outage compared to 2010. Except for the impact of this maintenance shutdown, overall production integrity and reliability remained at relatively stable levels throughout the year. The operations excellence programme is aimed at further improving long-term plant reliability and stability.
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 have commissioned the sulphuric acid plant at Sasol Synfuels and an ammonium sulphate plant at Sasol Nitro that is expected to cost R961 million. The sulphuric acid plant will use hydrogen sulphide and offtake gas from the Rectisol plant as feedstock. Sasol Nitro converts a large percentage of the sulphuric acid into ammonium sulphate, an important fertiliser ingredient. The sulphuric acid plant achieved beneficial operation during October 2010.
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 R5,3 billion for environmental projects. This amount includes spending on black product remediation, rehabilitation of the waste ash site, dolomite pits, the reduction of VOC emissions and the sulphuric acid plant. To date, the expenditure on these projects amounts to R1,7 billion, with the remaining R3,6 billion to be spent in the future.
Nature of the operations and principal activities
Sasol Oil encompasses the established liquid fuels, bitumen, heating fuels and lubricants marketing activities of Sasol through our wholesale, 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. Sasol Oil is also responsible for crude oil procurement, shipping and the subsequent refining of crude oil through our majority shareholder interest in the Natref refinery in Sasolburg. Final product is supplied to and traded with, other licensed wholesalers operating in Southern Africa. Products include petrol, diesel, jet fuel, illuminating paraffin, LPG, fuel oils, bitumen, motor and industrial lubricants and sulphur.
Liquid fuels marketed
Sasol Oil's fuel production is primarily located in South Africa's industrial heartland, where an estimated 58% of the country's petrol and diesel is consumed. Our full production of approximately 8,3 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 road and rail tankers and Transnet's pipelines. Limited volumes of white products are exported overland to neighbouring countries.
The total South African demand for road transportation fuels is fairly consistent throughout the year. Slightly higher demand for petrol is evident during the December summer holiday period and diesel demand tends to peak during October, the summer grain planting season. Diesel demand weakens during the December holiday period in line with reduced construction activities. The demand for fuel oil and gasses tends to increase in the winter season and weaken in summer. Demand during the first quarter of the calendar year is generally weaker than the annual average.
South African fuel prices are derived from international reference prices as a result of the longstanding regulatory dispensation, which is based on import alternatives. Local price seasonality is mainly as a result of northern hemisphere demand peaks for petrol during the US driving season in the summer and distillate demand during the European winter. This normally results in petrol and diesel prices being higher during our winter and summer months, respectively.
During 2011, international diesel crack spreads have shown signs of recovery after the global economic recession. Petrol crack spreads, on the other hand, have remained subdued due to weak demand and the increase in ethanol blending requirements in the US. Normal seasonality has not returned to markets as a result of high product inventory levels and the absolute level of prices, which remain quite high. Increased refining capacity in emerging economies has increased supply, further negatively impacting margins.
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 fuel 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. The purchase price of fuel components is referenced to international petroleum product prices, crude oil and refinery operating costs.
Natref obtains approximately 50% of its crude oil requirements from the Middle East (of the purchases from the Middle East approximately 15 700 bpd of crude oil is purchased from Naftiran Intertrade Company Limited of Iran and approximately 19 300 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 have increased since the second half of the 2009 calendar year and are extremely volatile due to increased trading and speculation in the crude oil market.
Crude oil is landed at Durban and transferred to the refinery by a 654 km pipeline owned and operated by Transnet Pipelines Limited, 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, direct marketing (retail and commercial markets) in South Africa, direct marketing 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, BP plc, Engen Petroleum (Engen), Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), Chevron and Total South Africa (Total), rely on Sasol to supply a part of their local marketing requirements. Another new type of licensed wholesaler, referred to as a Non-Refining Wholesaler, has emerged over the past few years. Non-Refining Wholesalers tend to compete mainly in the commercial market with oil companies.
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 406 service stations, including five Sasol branded integrated energy centres, across South Africa. Sasol's current national market share is estimated at 9,7%. We have commenced with a process to phase out the Exel brand and to convert existing retail convenience centres to the Sasol brand. 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. The current estimated market share is 6%.
Lubricants are marketed within our group of companies and retail networks as well as targeted industrial market segments. Efficient supply logistics are essential to operate a competitive business model. Extensive effort has been put into designing and implementing a supply chain that is comparable with international benchmarks.
In 2009, we acquired the remaining 50,1% of Exelem Aviation (Pty) Ltd. The business is now trading as Sasol Aviation (Pty) Ltd (Sasol Aviation). Sasol Aviation focuses on jet fuel marketing at South Africa's premier airport, OR Tambo International, but also services other inland airports. Sasol Aviation is part of an operating consortium at OR Tambo International and its market share at the airport is approximately 7%.
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 sale of heavy fuels to assist in smooth refining operations at Natref.
Base bitumen is wholesaled by Sasol Oil, while Tosas Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, markets value-added bitumen and applies it through construction teams.
Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana are in the natural supply area of Sasol Oil's production facilities. Exel Lesotho and Exel Swaziland, wholly owned subsidiaries of Sasol Oil, acquired the marketing assets of BP plc in Lesotho and Swaziland in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Exel Lesotho is the marketing leader in Lesotho, with a 36,2% market share, and Exel Swaziland currently has 7,5% market share in Swaziland.
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 44 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 a licensing regime. Retail pump prices of petrol, the maximum refining gate price of LPG, the maximum cylinder retail price for LPG, and a maximum single national retail price of unpacked illuminating kerosene are controlled by the Petroleum Controller under the Petroleum Products Act, 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. Onerous application requirements and a lengthy licensing process may hamper the development of retail convenience centres in future. Refer to Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa" for additional information.
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 affect some competitors, because of different market and production locations. NERSA approved new pipeline tariffs that became effective on 1 April 2011. NERSA has applied a new methodology to determine pipeline tariffs. Pipeline tariffs from the injection points in Durban, South Africa, up to the final destination in the inland have been set equal even though routes and costs differ. Refer to 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 petrol and 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, diesel, commercial propane, jet fuel, different grades of bitumen, fuel oils, sulphur and various gasses.
While Sasol Oil operates the refinery, Total participates in its management with veto rights over a number of corporate actions, including, increasing or reducing Natref's share capital, amending Natref's Memorandum of Incorporation 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 the 2005 upgrade to meet new fuel specifications, Natref's nameplate capacity was reduced by 11%. A decision has been made that capacity will not be increased in the foreseeable future. South African fuel specifications continue to evolve with international trends and it is expected that substantial additional investment of approximately R5 billion will be required between 2014 and 2017 to meet these more stringent specifications. Construction of a pipeline to integrate Sasol Synfuels and Natref will be completed by November 2011 and it is planned to have the pipeline fully operational by February 2012. This will facilitate and optimise the production of new specification fuels through both plants.
During 2011, the overall refinery availability amounted to 91%, mainly due to planned and unplanned shutdowns. Planned shutdowns on the crude distillation unit, diesel unifier unit and residual crude desulphurisation unit have resulted in improved output from these units.
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. SSI initiates and develops new ventures from project conception through to venture implementation and participates fully in supporting and operating 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, 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.
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. Oryx GTL is in stable operation and has met and at times even exceeded its design capacity. As the business has now demonstrated its viability, Oryx GTL, supported by its shareholders Sasol and Qatar Petroleum, is progressively expanding the facility by a further approximate 10% with an expected completion date in the 2014 calendar 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 arose in 2009 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 274 million (US$166 million) being recognised. A loss of R771 million was realised on the disposal in 2009. 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 national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, and PETRONAS, of Malaysia, signed a heads of agreement to evaluate the feasibility of GTL and upstream co-operation in Uzbekistan. On 15 July 2009, Sasol signed a joint venture agreement with Uzbekneftegaz and PETRONAS, to form a joint venture called Uzbekistan GTL LLC, a limited liability company with each partner having a one third participating interest. A joint feasibility study for the development and implementation of a GTL project in Uzbekistan, with an estimated capacity of 1,4 million tpa, commenced. The feasibility study was completed in the middle of the 2011 calendar year and, based on the results, each partner will decide whether or not to proceed with front end engineering and design of the Uzbekistan GTL project. The Uzbekistan GTL project was presented for approval to the government of Uzbekistan in September 2011. An investment agreement was concluded between the partners. This results in Sasol and Uzbekneftegaz's equity interests in Uzbekistan GTL LLC being 44,5% each, and PETRONAS having an 11% interest. The front end engineering and design phase of the GTL project in Uzbekistan will commence before the end of the 2011 calendar year.
In the first quarter of 2011, Sasol, together with Talisman, initiated a feasibility study for a GTL plant in Western Canada. This study is expected to be completed in the 2012 calendar year.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sasol completed a pre-feasibility study into a possible integrated GTL and chemicals facility in the US. After the successful completion of the pre-feasibility study, the Sasol board approved that the project proceed to feasibility study phase. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in the latter half of the 2012 calendar year.
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 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 approximately 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 was completed in the first half of the 2010 calendar year. Sasol and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Group jointly submitted a Project Application Report (PAR) to the Chinese Government in December 2009, to seek approval for the CTL plant. Given the delay in the approval from the Chinese government for our CTL project in China, we are developing other investment strategies and growth opportunities, both in South Africa
and abroad. We have reallocated planned project funding for the China CTL project and redeployed staff to other projects. We remain committed to growing our other businesses in China.
In February 2006, Sasol initiated engagements with key stakeholders in India to ensure the establishment of an enabling environment within which to evaluate the potential for a CTL project in India. This resulted in the decision to open a representative office in Mumbai in February 2007. Sasol and the Tata group of India signed agreements in July 2008 to form a 50:50 joint venture company, which has 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. The project is in a pre-feasibility phase, which is expected to be completed in the first half of the 2012 calendar year.
The bulk of the ultra low sulphur GTL diesel produced at Oryx GTL is 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 Al Khaleej Gas, a joint venture between 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 diesel produced by Oryx GTL is marketed by Sasol Synfuels International Marketing Limited, under a marketing agency agreement, whereas the GTL naphtha and LPG are sold by Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (Tasweeq).
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 continuous improvement of our cobalt catalyst performance is also key.
The growth of the SSI business depends on the availability of competitively priced natural gas or 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. There is also a continued
focus to reduce the total cost of the cobalt catalyst used in the process through improvement of the performance and total value chain of the catalyst supplied.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity at 30 June 2011
Sasol Petroleum International
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
In 1995, we founded Sasol Petroleum International (Pty) Ltd (SPI) to undertake oil and gas exploration and production in selected high potential areas in West and Southern Africa. SPI currently holds exploration equity in West and Southern Africa, the Asia Pacific region and in Canada, and holds equity in producing assets with proved natural oil and gas reserves in Mozambique, Gabon and Canada. In Mozambique, we produce gas and condensate from the onshore Pande and Temane natural gas fields. Gas production from the Temane field commenced in 2004 and from the Pande field in 2009. Since 2004, gas has been sold to Sasol Gas for marketing in South Africa and for use as part of the feedstock for our synfuels and chemical operations in Secunda and Sasolburg. The condensate is sold locally in Mozambique for international export. In Gabon, oil production from the offshore Etame field commenced in 2002, followed by production in 2007 and 2009 from the associated Avouma and Ebouri fields. The oil is sold internationally on the open market. In 2011, SPI acquired equity in the Farrell Creek and Cypress A shale gas assets in Canada.
All natural gas produced under the Pande-Temane Petroleum Production Agreement (PPA), other than royalty gas that is provided to the Mozambican government, is exported to South Africa and sold to Sasol Gas for marketing in South Africa and for use as part of the feedstock for our chemical and synthetic fuel operations in Secunda and Sasolburg. 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 Beira, Mozambique, by the buyer, for export via the port of Beira to offshore markets.
Oil production from the Etame Marin Permit operations is sold internationally on the open market.
Unconventional gas production from the Farrell Creek and Cypress A operations is sold into the North American gas market.
In the ongoing business, all Pande-Temane PPA natural gas is sold under long-term sales contracts to Sasol Gas, for marketing in the South African market and for use as part of the feedstock for our synfuels and chemical operations in Secunda and Sasolburg. Opportunities are being assessed for gas supply to Mozambican markets. The additional gas volumes will become available from the proposed expansion of the current operations.
Pande-Temane PPA condensate is sold under a long-term sales agreement with an international trading organisation.
An annual sales contract is typically entered into for the sale of the Etame Marin Permit oil based on a competitive bidding process and sales prices are linked to international oil prices.
Talisman markets 100% of the shale gas and liquids production. Pricing is based on the daily realised spot market prices less a marketing fee.
Property, plants and equipment
Our gas processing facilities (CPF) in Mozambique are located some 700 km north of the capital, Maputo. Ownership is shared with the Mozambican government through Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos, S.A.R.L (CMH) (25%) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) (5%).
The Etame field production occurs via subsea wells through a dedicated floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel. This FPSO vessel is moored offshore at the field site. Avouma and Ebouri field production is via minimum facilities fixed platforms, which are tied back by pipelines to the Etame FPSO.
Farrell Creek and Cypress A assets consist of a number of field production wells, gathering lines and a processing facility in the Montney Basin in British Columbia, Canada.
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) Ltd (SPII), a subsidiary of Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd. 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 an exceptional producer of polymers and preferred supplier in our market. We supply quality monomers, polymers, chlor-alkali chemicals and mining reagents.
In South Africa, Sasol Polymers has two operating businesses:
In SPII we manage the following international investments:
Over the past three years between 66% and 75% 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) Ltd (Safripol) in Sasolburg by pipeline for the production of HDPE and polypropylene, respectively. We compete directly with Safripol in the polypropylene market, where we have a large 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 Energy. 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. ASPC, SPII's joint venture in Iran, buys its feedstock, ethane, from the Pars Petrochemical Company at a fixed 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.
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 ASPC are handled by Sasol Polymers Middle East, a marketing company established 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 2011
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 102 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.
The successful start up of Octene train III during 2009 added an additional 100 ktpa of Octene to the co-monomers product portfolio. A second 30 ktpa methyl isobutyl ketone (MiBK) in Sasolburg was commissioned in April 2010 and production has been ramped up according to plan.
In 2011, approximately 1,67 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 US.
We market our products throughout the world, with a large proportion of our alcohols being distributed in Europe. We are a leading producer of solvents in South Africa and we are a market leader in co-monomers based on production capacity. We expect to strengthen our position in the co-monomer high growth market through the commercialisation of our proprietary tetramerisation technology which involves the manufacture of octene from ethylene. The basic engineering on a 100 ktpa octene plant has been completed with beneficial operation planned for the middle of the 2013 calendar year. The location of the unit is at the Sasol cracker complex at Lake Charles in Louisiana, US, where we will benefit from plant integration economics and close location to our key customers.
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 global economic crisis has had a detrimental effect on our sales volumes. However, moderate demand has returned to most of our markets and sales levels have improved to approximately the same levels attained prior to the global economic crisis. The increased demand and increasing feedstock costs have driven product prices up and margins have improved.
Feedstocks for our operations in Secunda are derived mainly from Sasol Synfuels at market-priced fuel-alternative values based on the BFP. 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 nine storage hubs in South Africa, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the US. 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 US 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 Corporation. 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 Union Regulatory Framework for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of June 2013. The estimated costs of compliance over the next 10 years amount to approximately €7 million.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity as at 30 June 2011
Approximately 70% of our production capacity is at sites in South Africa and 30% in Germany. Our second MiBK plant at Sasolburg, with a nameplate capacity of 30 ktpa, started up in April 2010.
Sasol Huntsman has increased 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 last quarter of the 2011 calendar year.
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol O&S 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 feedstocks (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.
These products include nonionic and anionic surfactants, based on alcohol and LAB and other organic intermediates.
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 US market. A portion of the ethylene production is consumed internally to manufacture Ziegler alcohols and ethylene oxide.
These products involve mainly specialty aluminas and related products. The inorganics specialities are further processed by means of a variety of technical processes to adapt the product characteristics to highly specialised products. The inorganics division also manufactures shaped catalyst carriers from
their products. The latest development is a new process to produce ultra-high purity alumina for sapphire applications as it is required for LED lighting.
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 and industrial or institutional cleaning products. The main competitors include: ExxonMobil, Shell and Petresa in n-paraffins; Huntsman Corporation, Petresa and ISU in the LAB market; and Huntsman and BASF/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 cleaning 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/Cognis and KLK. Significant additional oleochemical-based alcohol capacity has come on stream in Asia.
Specialty aluminas and related products from the inorganic division are used in a broad range of applications, including catalyst support, raw material for ceramics, coatings, polymer additives and synthetic sapphires. Competitors in aluminas include UOP and BASF Catalyst.
Ethylene, based on Ethane as feedstock, 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 US ethylene market. It is expected that projected increases in ethylene production capacity in the Middle East will impact mainly Europe and Northeast Asia and to a lesser extent naphtha-based crackers in the US.
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.
The main 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 and the Fischer Tropsch based feedstock used for our South African alcohol production). The prices of most of these materials are related to crude oil and energy pricing and the prices follow the movement of crude oil and energy pricing reasonably closely and, to a lesser extent, lauric oils. In view of the expected increase in oleochemical-based alcohol production, the differential between crude oil and lauric oils is expected to become increasingly important in determining competitiveness. Sasol O&S, unlike other producers, manufactures products from feedstocks and thus has a built-in natural hedge, which becomes especially important in times of high price volatility.
Over 90% of the products produced by Sasol O&S 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 O&S 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 REACH, which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of June 2013. The estimated total costs of compliance over the next 10 years amount to approximately €22 million. To date, €5,6 million has been incurred to comply with the REACH policy.
Property, plants and equipment
The following table summarises the production capacity for each of our main product areas.
Production capacity at 30 June 2011
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.
The overall volume of products marketed by the business amounts to approximately 635 ktpa, of which approximately 30% 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, US 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 US and Southern Africa. Approximately 25% 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 4 500 ktpa and our main competitors in the commodity market are ExxonMobil, Shell, China Oil and Sinopec. In specialty wax markets our main competitors are H & R Wax Company, International Group Inc 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 US 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 production capacity will increase in future. GTL facilities typically also produce medium wax as an intermediate product 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 REACH, which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of June 2013.
Property, plants and equipment
The main production assets are located in Hamburg, Germany; Sasolburg, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa; and Richmond, California, US. 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 approximately 300 ktpa. It purchases slack wax feedstock from numerous lube-oil-producing refineries predominantly
in 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.
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 220 ktpa of Fischer-Tropsch-derived products.
We also operate a candle factory located in Johannesburg with a capacity of up to 26 ktpa.
In the US, we have a plant based in Richmond, California. The facility receives refined and other waxy products from the Far East and from within the US and markets them in the US. We also distribute Fischer-Tropsch-derived and paraffin waxes via this operation.
Production capacity at 30 June 2011
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:
As part of a settlement agreement with the South African Competition Commission (the Commission) signed on 5 July 2010, and confirmed by the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) on 20 July 2010, Sasol Nitro has undertaken that within a period of 12 months from the confirmation date, its Sasolburg ammonia plant and its ammonia business operations will be housed as a business unit separate from Sasol Nitro. The ammonia business (including hydrogen and specialty gasses) is housed in Sasol Infrachem from 1 July 2011. Sasol has also agreed that, except for internal use within the Sasol group, it will cease within 25 months all importation of ammonia into South Africa except for imports on behalf of third parties due to supply and logistic disruptions and plant maintenance shutdowns.
Furthermore, as part of the settlement agreement, Sasol Nitro will amongst other undertakings, exit the retail fertiliser business and dispose of the downstream fertiliser blending assets in Durban, Bellville, Endicott, Kimberley and Potchefstroom, all in South Africa, within a period of 12 months from the approval date or such later date as may be approved by the Commission or ordered by the Tribunal. In terms of the settlement agreement, Profert (Pty) Ltd (Profert) was granted the right of first refusal to the Potchefstroom facility. A sale agreement was concluded with Profert and a formal handover of the facility took place on 31 March 2011. The sale of the regional fertiliser blending facilities at Potchefstroom, Durban, Endicott and Belville were concluded prior to 1 September 2011. Negotiations are still in progress for the sale of the Kimberley facility.
At the end of October 2009, the phosphoric acid plant in Phalaborwa was shut down for economic reasons, following a consultation process with relevant stakeholders. A preferred bidder, Meridian International SA (a Seychelles registered company, on behalf of their subsidiary, Farmers World Limpopo (Pty) Ltd), was selected and a conditional sale agreement was signed in March 2011, subject to the issue of a bank guarantee. The bank guarantee was received on 21 September 2011, and we are in the process of concluding the remaining outstanding items on the transaction. We expect the transfer of ownership to be completed towards the end of the 2011 calendar year.
Following the mothballing and impairment of the packaged emulsion explosives plant in Secunda in November 2009, Sasol Nitro was approached with a request to manufacture packaged emulsion explosives as there was no other source of supply in the market. Based on a sound business case, the facility was re-commissioned during 2011.
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 a total nameplate production capacity of 660 ktpa.
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 have until now been imported from the US. Sasol Dyno Nobel, a 50% joint venture, 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 usually a combination of nitrogen, potassium and phosphates in a so-called N:P:K (nitrogen : phosphate : potassium) formulation. The nitrogen compound consists mainly of either Sasol produced ammonium nitrate or imported urea. The phosphate compound was prior to November 2009 sourced from phosphoric acid produced at the Sasol Nitro Phalaborwa operations, and will in future be sourced from other local suppliers or imported. All of South Africa's potassium needs for its fertiliser industry are imported in the form of potash.
Until the end of 2011, fertiliser was supplied to the farming community via agents, distributors and co-operatives. As a result of the settlement agreement with the Commission, the fertiliser business will in future focus on bulk sales ex factory gate.
Explosives and explosive accessories are primarily supplied to the Southern African mining industry and explosives grade ammonium nitrate is exported to South America, the rest of Africa and Asia.
Factors on which the business is dependent
The profitability of the business is dependent on the international ammonia and urea prices, international mining and agricultural 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, plants 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 fertiliser granulation and liquid facility. The granulation plant produces limestone ammonium nitrate fertilisers and various other fertiliser blends containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Ammonium nitrate for industrial use is sourced from both the Sasolburg and Secunda sites.
Sasol Nitro will be commissioning a new 400 ktpa fertiliser granulation plant in Secunda producing only limestone ammonium nitrate to replace the existing granulation facility. The plant is expected to achieve beneficial operation by the first half of the 2012 calendar year.
A 100 ktpa ammonium sulphate plant in Secunda was commissioned in June 2009.
At the end of October 2009, the 225 ktpa phosphoric acid plant in Phalaborwa was shut down and has subsequently been sold in the latter half of the 2011 calendar year.
Sasol Nitro also manufactures bulk explosives at various mining sites and cartridge explosives in Ekandustria, Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa, and Secunda. Sasol Dyno Nobel (Sasol Nitro has a 50% shareholding) manufactures non-electronic initiation systems in Ekandustria.
Production capacity at 30 June 2011
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. Sasol Infrachem is the custodian of the Sasolburg gas loop and the primary responsibility of this function is to ensure that the reformed gas demand/supply is balanced and that reformed gas is supplied to the users of gas on its site. The ammonia business is housed in Sasol Infrachem from 1 July 2011.
Coal required for steam and power generation is sourced internally from Sasol Mining and natural gas is sourced from Sasol Gas. 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 2011
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, with the phenolics activities of Merichem Company, based in Houston, Texas, US. 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 and Winnie, Texas, and Oil City, Pennsylvania, US. Merisol has a 20:80 venture (Merisol holding 20%) with Chang Chun Plastics 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 and Winnie plants use proprietary separation technologies to produce high-purity mixtures of meta and para-cresol as well as 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 a significant proportion of the cresol and cresylic acids global markets for:
Merisol derives about 70% of its turnover from 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 normally 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. About 95% 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 US and South Africa. Markets are served from product inventories held in Antwerp, Belgium, for the European market, in Houston, for the US market 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. Being fully integrated into the Sasol operations in South Africa, the company is dependent on Sasol Synfuels and Sasol Infrachem for the supply of both its raw materials and utilities (electricity, water and air).
REACH registrations (for imported volumes greater than 1 000 million tpa) have been completed within the deadline of 30 November 2010. Registration for smaller volume products will be submitted before the deadlines of 2013 and 2018, if those products are still being sold in the European market at that time.
Property, plants and equipment
Merisol's Sasolburg plant, including the tar naphtha extraction plant, uses feedstock from Sasol's coal gasification activities at Secunda. During 2007, the US operations completed rationalisation and streamlining of its Houston 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 produced by Merisol at its Houston plant.
Production capacity at 30 June 2011
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Technology, as the technology partner in the group, is fully committed to the Sasol group 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 viable solutions to our business partners for their operation.
Sasol Technology are responsible for leading and 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, 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. As a result of our investment in facility upgrades in recent years, we are now seeing the benefits in the improved quality and efficiency of our research efforts.
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 16 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 or electricity 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 execution of capital projects and project engineering 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 landscape
International energy landscape
New energy landscape
Sasol group landscape
Property, plants 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. Besides the extensive fuels research facilities in Sasolburg, a new fuel testing and engine emissions laboratory has been 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 was in legal proceedings with regard to the operation of a plant in Secunda. Ashcor claimed damages of R313 million relating to their inability to develop their business and a projected loss of future cash flows. In January 2010, Sasol Synfuels was granted absolution from the instance with a cost order in its favour. Ashcor filed an application for leave to appeal which was dismissed by the court with costs on 18 May 2010. Ashcor subsequently applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal, which was granted and the appeal was heard on 1 September 2011 and judgement was reserved. The prospect of future loss is deemed to be remote.
Sasol Nitro In 2004, the South African Competition Commission (the Commission) commenced with investigations against Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited (SCI), based on complaints levelled against Sasol Nitro by two of its customers, Nutri-Flo and Profert. Both complaints were subsequently referred to the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) by the Commission. In late 2008 and early 2009, Sasol Nitro became aware of certain facts which necessitated that it engage with the Commission in order to negotiate a settlement with regard to the complaints relating to price fixing and market sharing. In the settlement agreement concluded with the Commission, and which was confirmed by the Tribunal on 20 May 2009, 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. Sasol Nitro, as part of the settlement agreement, 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. Sasol Nitro subsequently paid an administrative penalty of R250,7 million.
Civil claims and law suits may be instituted against Sasol arising from the admissions made in the settlement agreement. It is currently not possible to make an estimate of such contingent liability and accordingly, no provision was made as at 30 June 2011.
Sasol Nitro did not at the time, as part of the settlement agreement, admit to engaging in price discrimination, excessive pricing or exclusionary practices as it does not believe it engaged in price discrimination, excessive pricing and exclusionary practices and these matters were to proceed to trial in due course. Subsequent to the settlement agreement, the Tribunal consolidated the hearing of the remaining Nutri-Flo and Profert complaints.
Sasol Nitro, however, continued with its engagement of the Commission and on 5 July 2010, Sasol Nitro concluded a further settlement agreement with the Commission. In terms of this settlement, Sasol Nitro has restructured its fertiliser business. Sasol Nitro believes the restructuring will address the Commission's concerns regarding Sasol's position within the nitrogen based fertiliser value chain, while also opening the industry to more competition. Sasol Nitro is in the process of withdrawing from certain downstream fertiliser activities with increased focus on the core activities of its fertiliser business.
The settlement agreement is a full and final settlement of the alleged contraventions of excessive pricing and exclusionary practices, which were the subject of the Nutri-Flo and Profert referrals. On 20 July 2010, the Tribunal confirmed the settlement agreement. No finding was made relating to abuse of dominance and accordingly no administrative penalty was imposed. Sasol also did not make any admissions as to abuse of dominance.
The settlement agreement included the following salient structural changes to Sasol Nitro's fertiliser business model:
Sasol Nitro has also concluded confidential settlement agreements with Profert and Nutri-Flo in terms of which any and all of the complaints arising from the Commission's investigations were settled without admission of any liability or admission of any anti-competitive or unlawful conduct as alleged by Profert and Nutri-Flo.
The settlement together with the changes to the Sasol Nitro business, will not have a material adverse impact on the Sasol group.
Sasol Wax On 1 October 2008, following an investigation by the European Commission, 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 in 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 affected by the decision lodged an appeal with the European Union's General Court against the decision of the European Commission on the basis that the fine is excessive and should be reduced. As a result of the fine imposed on Sasol Wax GmbH, on 23 September 2011, Sasol Wax GmbH has been served with a law suit in The Netherlands by a company to which potential claims for compensation of damages have been assigned to by eight customers. The law suit does not demand a specific amount for payment. The result of this proceeding cannot be determined at present and accordingly, no provision was made at 30 June 2011.
Dorothy Molefi and others Certain plaintiffs sued Sasol Limited and National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Ltd (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 Presidents Nelson Mandela and 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. During 2009, the court issued an order dismissing the case against Sasol and the other
defendants based on failure to prosecute. Despite this order, it remains possible for plaintiffs to join Sasol and the other defendants to the related cases.
Sasol Polymers As previously disclosed by Sasol, the Commission has been investigating the South African polymers industry. On 12 August 2010, the Commission announced that it had referred its findings to the Tribunal for adjudication.
The complaints that the Commission referred to the Tribunal allege that Sasol Chemical Industries Limited (SCI) has in the pricing of polypropylene and propylene in the domestic South African market contravened section 8(a) of the Competition Act (the Act) in that its prices for each of the products are excessive. The referral further alleges that in regard to a formula employed and information exchanged between SCI and Safripol (Pty) Ltd (Safripol) to determine the price of propylene which SCI sells to Safripol, SCI and Safripol have contravened section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Act by engaging in price fixing. The Commission also announced that it had simultaneously reached a settlement with Safripol in which Safripol admitted that the supply agreement between SCI and Safripol and its implementation amounted to the indirect fixing of a price or trading condition in contravention of the Act. This settlement agreement between the Commission and Safripol was confirmed by the Tribunal on 25 August 2010.
On 14 December 2010, Sasol Polymers, a division of SCI, concluded a settlement agreement with the Commission in relation to its existing propylene supply agreement (the Supply Agreement) with Safripol. The Supply Agreement was concluded pursuant to concerns raised by Safripol in relation to the proposed merger in 1993 of Sasol Limited and AECI Limited's monomer, polymer and certain other chemical operations. To address these concerns, the then Competition Board required a supply agreement, which would ensure Safripol's ongoing access to propylene according to a pricing formula, which would result in market-related prices. At the time, neither party understood this pricing formula to give rise to competition law concerns. The Commission, in terms of the current Competition Act, alleged that the pricing formula, which required the exchange of pricing information amounts to indirect price fixing.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the legal position in relation to the pricing formula and the technicality of the matter, it was considered prudent to settle the matter. Sasol Polymers has therefore agreed to pay a penalty of R111,7 million, which represents 3% of Sasol Polymers' turnover derived from its sale of polypropylene products for its 2009 financial year. The settlement agreement is in full and final settlement of the Commission's allegations that the pricing formula gave rise to indirect price fixing. The settlement agreement was confirmed by the Tribunal on 24 February 2011.
As part of its investigation into the polymer industry, the Commission has also contended that the prices at which Sasol Polymers supplies propylene and polypropylene are excessive. Sasol Polymers does not agree with the Commission's position in this regard and is contesting the Commission's allegations. Consequently, the Commission's allegations in respect of excessive pricing do not form any part of the settlement agreement concluded between the parties. The results of the investigation by the Commission cannot be determined at present and accordingly, no provision was made at 30 June 2011.
Bitumen Pricing A review of competition law compliance at Sasol Oil and Tosas identified a competition compliance concern related to the use of a bitumen pricing methodology agreement reached within the South African Bitumen and Tar Association (SABITA), of which Sasol Oil and Tosas are members, along with other oil companies. Sasol Oil and Tosas thereupon approached the Commission for leniency in terms of the Commission's corporate leniency policy and were granted conditional leniency by the Commission in April 2009. On 4 March 2010, the Commission announced that it had referred the findings of its investigation into bitumen pricing to the Tribunal for adjudication.
Sasol Oil and Tosas, as leniency applicants, have been granted conditional immunity from prosecution and no penalty will be sought by the Commission against Sasol or its subsidiaries subject to the leniency becoming unconditional. Sasol Oil and Tosas are cooperating with the Commission in its preparation for the hearing of the referral against those respondents who have not yet concluded settlement agreements with the Commission. The hearing is scheduled for May 2012.
Sasol Gas On 30 October 2009, after being advised that certain provisions in a suite of agreements concluded between Sasol Gas, Coal, Energy and Power Resources Limited (CEPR) and Spring Lights Gas (Pty) Ltd (Spring Lights) constituted contraventions of the Act, Sasol Gas applied for leniency in terms of the Commission's corporate leniency policy and obtained conditional leniency. Subsequent to Sasol Gas' leniency application, the Commission investigated the matter and found that provisions in the agreements resulted in fixing of prices and had the effect of dividing the piped gas market by allocating customers and territories. The suite of agreements related to the establishment of Spring Lights as a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) company for the purpose of acquiring a portion of the business of Sasol Gas as part of Sasol's BBBEE strategy at the time. On 20 August 2010, Spring Lights concluded a settlement agreement with the Commission in terms of which Spring Lights acknowledged the mentioned contraventions and agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R10,8 million. A provision was made in 2009. Spring Lights has also made an application to the Commission to exempt the conduct permitted in terms of these agreements, on the basis that it promotes the ability of small businesses, or firms controlled or owned by historically disadvantaged persons, to become competitive, in terms of section 10 (3)(b)(ii) of the Act. The settlement agreement was considered by the Tribunal on 1 September 2010 but the matter was postponed sine die to enable the Commission to make a ruling on the exemption application of Spring Lights.
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.
Sasol is continuously evaluating and enhancing its compliance programmes and controls in general, and its competition law compliance programme and controls in particular. As a consequence of these compliance programmes and controls, including monitoring and review activities, Sasol has also adopted appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps, where necessary or advisable, lodged leniency applications and made disclosures on material findings as and when appropriate. As reported previously, these compliance activities have already revealed, and the implementation of certain close-out actions arising there from, 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.
The Commission is conducting investigations into the South African piped gas, coal mining, petroleum, fertilisers and polymer industries. Sasol continues to interact and co-operate with the Commission in respect of the subject matter of current leniency applications brought by Sasol, conditional leniency agreements concluded with the Commission, as well as in the areas that are subject to the Commission's investigations.
Sasol is 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 Sasol operates. These laws and regulations may, in future, require Sasol 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.
Sasol's environmental obligation accrued at 30 June 2011 was R6 900 million compared to R6 109 million in 2010. Included in this balance is an amount accrued of approximately R2 696 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, Sasol 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 Sasol has 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, was investigating a pollution incident at Augusta Bay, allegedly caused by the infiltration of pollutants into the sea. The investigation involved all the companies located within the Melilli-Priolo-Augusta industrial area, which includes Sasol Italy. The Prosecutor's office and the involved companies each appointed experts to evaluate the environmental situation which included a broad range of ecological impacts. It was not clear what product was the cause of the pollution and Sasol Italy's potential involvement would only be able to be determined after collection and analysis of samples, sea sediments and sea water. Experts had, at the request of the judge, filed their opinions on the cause of the pollution.
The judge requested the court for an extension of the preliminary investigation. On 13 October 2010, the court dismissed the case in favour of all the companies involved.
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 licences 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 introduced 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 has a tenure of 10 years. The following BEE participants acquired indirect or direct ownership in Sasol's issued share capital at the time as follows:
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 to "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 (MPRDA) 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 10 calendar years from the enactment of the new 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 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. During August 2009, we received a notice of intention to withdraw from the Igoda transaction from our partner, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the implementation of its BEE strategy. In a transaction valued at approximately R1,8 billion, a black-woman controlled mining company called Ixia Coal (Pty) Ltd (Ixia), acquired 20% of Sasol Mining's shareholding through the issue of new shares. The transaction increased Sasol Mining's BEE ownership component by 20%, and when considered together with the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, to an estimated 34% (calculated on a direct equity basis). The transaction is financed through equity (R47 million) and a combination of third party funding and appropriate Sasol facilitation. Ixia contributed its share of the financing for the transaction. The implementation of this transaction was conditional upon, inter alia, the conversion of old order mining rights to new order rights and the South African Competition Commission approval. The conversion of rights has been approved by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The converted mining rights were signed and notarially executed on 29 March 2010. The converted mining rights for the Secunda Complex have been granted for a period of 10 years. Sasol Mining has the exclusive right to apply and be granted renewal of the converted mining right for an additional period not exceeding 30 years. The Mooikraal Complex converted mining right has been granted for the maximum allowable period of 30 years. The Competition Tribunal of South Africa approved the transaction on 1 September 2010. The effective date of the Ixia Coal transaction was 29 September 2010, when the remaining conditions precedent were met. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsSasol Mining Ixia BEE transactions".
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. By concluding the Sasol and Tshwarisano transaction, referred to below, Sasol Oil has satisfied this requirement.
The Minister of Energy initiated a compliance audit of the Liquid Fuels Charter in the latter part of the 2010 calendar year. This process is expected to be conducted on an annual basis. Pursuant to the Department of Energy's compliance programme, Sasol Oil's compliance with the Liquid Fuels Charter was audited during the first and second quarters of 2011 and the final sector report is pending.
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.
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 Liquid Fuels 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 Commission), 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 of Land Affairs 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 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 complied with the repealed Minerals Act, and we comply 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 NEMA Amendment Act has taken effect, the full alignment is dependent on the MPRDA Amendment Act still to take effect on a date yet to be determined by the Minister of Mineral Resources. Once implemented, they introduce the concept of a single environmental authorisation which must be obtained in terms of the provisions of NEMA. It also provides for a transition 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 Environmental Affairs.
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. Revisions to the MPRDA are currently in process and it is expected that the draft MPRDA Amendment Bill will be submitted to Parliament before the end of the 2011 calendar year. This will replace the MPRDA Amendment Act, which never came into effect. The purpose of the MPRDA Amendment Bill is to address the ambiguities and grey areas within the MPRDA. The process to revise the Mining Charter has been completed and the Revised Mining Charter came into effect on 13 September 2010. Currently, Sasol Mining is compliant with the Revised Mining Charter and will continue to take the appropriate measures to ensure compliance.
Sasol Mining held various prospecting permits or mining authorisations with respect to our existing mining operations, which were classified as old order rights. We 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 new order prospecting rights and all our old order mining rights have been converted to new order mining rights. The mining rights in respect of the Mooikraal Operations have been granted for 30 years, whilst those in respect of the Secunda area have been granted for 10 years, after which both are capable of renewal.
With regard to the renewal of the converted mining rights, the holder of a mining right has the right to apply and be granted renewal of a mining right, subject to meeting specified requirements of the MPRDA and the Minister of Mineral Resources must grant renewal if these requirements have been met. Rights can be renewed for periods not exceeding 30 years at a time.
The mining rights in respect of the Secunda area were only granted for a 10 year period as Sasol Mining did not comply with the 26% BEE ownership requirement at the time of conversion. However, if the Sasol Inzalo transaction contributes to Sasol Mining's BEE status, the BEE ownership is calculated to be 34%. The DMR will be engaged to recognise the Sasol Inzalo transaction in terms of the Mining Charter, but it is uncertain whether the DMR will consider the Sasol Inzalo transaction in calculating Sasol Mining's BEE ownership status. 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. It is the declared intent of the South African government not to disrupt operations as a result of the introduction of the new legislation. The approved social and labour plans and mining work programmes are now legally enforceable, and we have undertaken and will continue to undertake any appropriate action required to ensure retention of our converted 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 are 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 determinable in accordance with a formula-based system. The impact on Sasol Mining for the year ended 30 June 2011 is a cost of R29,9 million (2010: R9,9 million) and an
estimated cost of R44,5 million for the year ending 30 June 2012 and R49 million for the year ending 30 June 2013. 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 licences 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 licencee fails to comply with its licence 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. The RRM became effective on 1 July 2009. The RRM obliges licencees to agree to an implementation plan with NERSA, which includes an agreement on a cost allocation manual which will enable the conversion of Sasol Gas' statutory financial statements to the format requirement by NERSA as well as the date for the submission of the relevant financial statements to NERSA. Sasol Gas submitted its implementation plan and engaged with NERSA in order to agree the process and schedule for implementation. 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 2010 in order to enable compliance with the RRM requirements. In accordance with the RRM implementation plan agreed with NERSA, Sasol Gas and Rompco are required to make their final regulatory report submission by the end of November 2011 in respect of the 2010 financial year.
The National Energy Regulator Act
The National Energy Regulator Act came into operation on 15 September 2005 as proclaimed by the President of South Africa. 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. With effect from 1 April 2011, the existing four full-time regulators were re-appointed for another period of five years. A new chief executive officer was also appointed for NERSA for this same period.
According to Section 35 of the Gas Act licence 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 licence to operate a transmission facility was issued to Rompco on 21 February 2007. After completion of the Rompco compressor station in Komatipoort, this operating licence was amended to also include the operation of the compressor station. Sasol Gas submitted licence applications for the operation of distribution and transmission facilities as well as for trading in gas.
All the licence applications have been compiled in accordance with the Gas Act and the rules published by NERSA. 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 and on 23 March 2009, was granted seven distribution and trading licences in the KwaZulu-Natal province. On 12 November 2010, Sasol Gas was granted operating licences in respect of all its inland transmission facilities.
The licence applications in respect of the Sasol Gas' transmission operations in the KwaZulu-Natal province have still to be concluded. All construction activities relating to the distribution and transmission pipeline networks of Sasol Gas are undertaken subject to the relevant construction licences as prescribed by the Gas Act.
The Mozambique Gas Pipeline Agreement (Regulatory Agreement)
This agreement entered into between Sasol Limited and the South African Government, represented by the Minister of Minerals and Energy, and the Minister of Trade and Industry 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 licences to be issued to Sasol Gas and Rompco under the Gas Act:
At the conclusion of the 10 year period provided for in the Regulatory Agreement, the transmission tariffs and gas prices charged by Sasol Gas will be subject to regulation by NERSA in
terms of the regulatory powers of NERSA established by the Gas Act. In this regard, NERSA has promulgated the tariff methodology that will apply to gas transmission and storage operations and NERSA is in the process of developing the methodology that will apply to the approval of maximum prices in terms of 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 10 year regulatory dispensation (three 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 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 2011, Sasol Gas paid a total amount of R28,2 million in levies under this act. For the NERSA financial year ending on 31 March 2012, the levies have been estimated to be R0,2872/GJ (2011R0,1928/GJ). The levies have yet to receive required ministerial approval. It is anticipated that approximately R40,5 million will be paid in levies during this period.
Regulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa
The Petroleum Products Amendment Act (Amendment Act)
This Amendment Act, which became effective on 17 March 2006, requires the Minister of Energy to license persons involved in the activities of manufacturing, wholesaling, holding or development of retail sites, and retail sale of petroleum products. Sasol operating entities have applied for the required licences. All licences, except for the Natref manufacturing activities and wholesale licence, have been issued. It should be noted that, a person conducting the aforesaid activities at the commencement of the Amendment Act, is entitled to the issue of such licences if they are found to be in compliance with all legal requirements in force for the operation of their respective activities. The non-issuance of the licence is, therefore, not seen as a risk, but rather as an administrative and timing issue on the side of the Controller of Petroleum products. New retail site developments continue to be delayed by the retail and site licensing regulations.
This Amendment Act entitles the Minister of Energy to regulate the prices, specifications and stock holding of petroleum products:
investments by both Natref and Sasol Synfuels. Discussions regarding cost recoveries and/or incentives for these investments are commencing with the South African government.
We cannot assure you that the application of these regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
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, namely NERSA, as custodian and enforcer of the regulatory framework applicable to petroleum pipelines, storage facilities and marine loading facilities.
Among the stated objectives of the Petroleum Pipelines Act are:
This act provides that no person may construct, or operate, a petroleum pipeline, loading facility or storage facility without a licence issued by NERSA. It enables NERSA to impose conditions to such licences relating to, amongst other things:
We have been granted licences for our depots and related infrastructure and petroleum pipelines and are in the process of submitting tariff applications for approval of third party user access and tariffs.
The Act enables the authority to expropriate land in accordance with Section 25 of the South African Constitution if a licencee 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 Energy 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.
Safety, health and environment
We are committed to zero exposure of harm to people, facilities and the environment. Our safety, health and environment (SHE) 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 US, Canada, 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 SHE policy, strategy and essential 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. These essential requirements are also extended to joint ventures in which we participate, subject to specific provisions in the venture agreements and agreement with the boards of the respective venture partners.
Safety, health and environmental laws and regulations affect a wide spectrum of our group activities. These statutory requirements often require permits or licences to be obtained for the use of natural resources such as water, and for the operation of our facilities and the handling and 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 various laws and regulations will become more stringent in the future. In those countries where the SHE legal requirements are less stringent, we aim to comply with our SHE essential requirements, as applicable.
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 essential requirements for all our operations. Matters of safety, health and environment are treated as critical business issues. Planning of safety, health and environmental matters includes the setting of targets, performance measurement, reporting, review and audit.
In order to ensure that our safety, health and environmental performance is aligned with our group targets and objectives, SHE governance and other audits are carried out regularly. All of our businesses are required to track their performance and quarterly reports are submitted to operating boards, the group executive safety, health and environment committee (acting as a sub committee of the group executive committee (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, refer also to "Item 6.CBoard Practices". Similar reports are also required to address significant division-specific issues. We use the findings emanating from SHE governance and other audits to implement improvement measures.
Specific governance structures were developed to address greenhouse gas challenges facing the group. A greenhouse gas management committee meets every two months to discuss and guide the group on strategic climate change and related environmental issues. The members are mandated to take the necessary decisions on behalf of the group. In September 2010, Project Everest was constituted as a group strategic project, managed by Sasol's group strategy department. It is governed by a mandating committee reporting directly to the GEC. Project Everest is, amongst other things, managing the group response to the South African government's recent publication of a green paper on a climate change policy and the carbon tax discussion document. The carbon credit management committee is governed within our new energy business unit, with the focus on managing the group's carbon portfolio.
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, our operating businesses have achieved International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certification and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Service (OHSAS) 18001 certification.
The ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and Responsible Care 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 Process Safety Management (based on the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other Sasol requirements) as additional essential corporate requirements, including a behavioural safety programme for all Sasol businesses. These systems and programmes are currently implemented and progressed.
Health and safety
Safety. 2011 has been challenging for Sasol, as 10 people were fatally injured in incidents at Sasol workplaces. In addition, five people lost their lives in a boating incident during an off-site year-end function. These fatal incidents necessitated the strengthening of our improvement efforts in the form of a high profile group wide Safety Improvement Plan (at corporate and business unit level) which was launched in October 2010.
Health. Although Sasol has strong pro-active measures for managing occupational health, work related illnesses continue to be diagnosed specifically in our Sasol Mining operations. These can be attributed to historic exposures. The specific illness recordings is exacerbated by an increasing age profile of our employees in mining and the prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which diminishes the immune system and increases likelihood of contracting tuberculosis as a secondary disease.
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. However, it should be noted that South Africa has submitted voluntary emission reduction pledges for the Copenhagen Accord which was formalised at the United Nations Conference of Parties in Cancun 2010, refer also to "Item 3.DRisk factorsChanges in safety, health and environmental regulations and legislation and public opinion may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition".
In recent years global understanding and awareness regarding climate change 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 to combat climate change. We have initiated a focused and coordinated approach to understanding and providing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions from our CTL and other ventures. In December 2008, the GEC approved a
revised greenhouse gas (GHG) policy and also agreed to a new set of GHG targets. We have set targets for reducing GHG emissions intensity by 15% by 2020 on the 2005 baseline. In addition, new CTL plants commissioned before 2020 have a target emissions reduction of 20%, increasing to 30% reduction for new CTL plants commissioned by 2030 (with the 2005 designs as the baseline) as a precautionary measure. Sasol established the Sasol New Energy business in 2008, which is pursuing opportunities in renewable energy, low carbon electricity, energy efficiency, clean coal, including underground gasification, and carbon capture and storage. Some of these potential solutions are not yet proven on a large scale and face regulatory, economic, technical, geological and geographical challenges.
We have established an internal carbon credit management committee, which is governed within our Sasol New Energy business unit, to facilitate the governance of carbon credits obtained through, amongst other things, the clean development mechanism (CDM). We support the voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord championed by the South African Department of Energy.
We monitor and measure ambient air quality around our South African plants. In addition, our operations in the US have reduced reported emissions under the Toxic Release Inventory by over 80% since reporting began in 1987. Significant efforts are being made to reduce hydrogen sulphide and volatile organic compound emissions emanating from our Secunda operations, mainly brought about by the commissioning of a sulphuric acid plant. Moreover, the implementation of a leak detection and repair programme will result in significant decreases in fugitive emissions from our operations. Several interventions aimed at reducing high risk volatile organic compound releases have been identified which could realise absolute reductions.
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. Current initiatives in South Africa include water offsetting projects in collaboration with local authorities. We are also considering the setting of internal targets for water efficiency. Our operations remain committed to the identification and implementation of projects related to water optimisation and effluent treatment. Our project team of internal and external experts in mining, geohydrology, geochemistry, water and waste treatment is committed to researching and implementing innovative and cost-effective solutions to further reduce our impact on the environment. Sasol 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 and enabling regulations under the National water Act, yet to be finalised.
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 then 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. Since 1 June 2009, the project has been declared operational by the Department of Water Affairs. Construction of infrastructure has been completed and is operational.
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. Fires, explosions and releases are reported and investigated and efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of these events are managed through the Process Safety Management System.
Our operations in the US 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 US has become an important focus. Our Lake Charles plant has since evaluated plant security programmes and made changes in procedures and physical security measures. Sasol North America (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. As a result of our chemicals and fuels processes, we have particular legacy and current risks that we have addressed or are currently addressing. A group wide strategy towards land remediation is adopted in order to ensure that all areas of potential liabilities are adequately addressed.
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. Surface rehabilitation of the pipeline footprint between Mozambique and Secunda was a World Bank requirement. Regulatory sign-off for this was received in 2009. However, ongoing maintenance on the pipeline continues in order to ensure that there is minimal impact on the environment during continued operations of the pipelines.
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 rely on the relevant assessment information to manage the associated liabilities of the non-material risks. 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 finalised.
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 European Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulations 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 fulfil these requirements. In order to ensure continued pro