The transaction, the companies said in a statement, represented the largest renewable-energy procurement deal from the private sector in South Africa and the renewable electricity generated by the IPPs would supply Sasol’s operations in Secunda, Mpumalanga.
The companies are acting jointly following the R8.5-billion acquisition, by Air Liquide in July, of Sasol’s air separation units (ASUs) at the Secunda site, which are fully integrated into the chemicals and energy complex.
Both companies have commitments to reduce their greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, with Sasol having set an official target of reducing its emissions by 10% by 2030, from a 2017 baseline of 63.9-million carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) tons yearly to 57.5-million CO2e tons.
That target has been heavily criticised as lacking ambition by various environmental groups as well as shareholder activists, but CEO Fleetwood Grobler told Engineering News in February that Sasol had also initiated work on a 2050 GHG emissions reduction roadmap, which could incorporate a higher level of ambition.
More details on the plan would be published at Sasol’s 2021 Capital Markets Day in the second half of the current calendar year.
“Sasol is committed to further reduction opportunities to accelerate our decarbonisation efforts, aligned with our 2030 roadmap and with a focus on green hydrogen, the introduction of natural gas and energy efficiency improvements,” the company said when announcing the RFP.
Sasol said its collaboration with Air Liquide had already enabled it to increase its initial procurement target of 600 MW to 900 MW by 2030.
The closing date for submissions of expressions of interest is April 23.
“Due to the highly integrated nature of the Secunda site and the footprint associated with the ASUs, collaboration between the companies is necessary to ensure optimal GHG reduction benefits,” Sasol chief procurement officer: energy business Lebelo Lukhele said.
“It is anticipated that a collaborative approach will not only result in the original Sasol commitment for the Secunda site being met, but will also be exceeded through the combined efforts.”
Air Liquide Africa Middle East and India VP Ronnie Chalmers described the call for tenders as a major lever to the decarbonise the Secunda ASUs.