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South Africa’s Sasol takes impairment for its Secunda coal-to-liquids plant

Sasol, a South African synthetic fuels and chemicals producer, has released its annual financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2023, posting earnings of ZAR9.3bn (-78% compared to 2022, US$0.5bn). The earnings fall was caused due by the impairment of assets, the inflationary impact on costs, the softening of the Brent crude oil price and refining margins in the latter part of the year. Indeed, the company took a ZAR35bn (US$1.9bn) impairment for its 8 Mt/year Secunda coal liquefaction plant in Mpumalanga, reflecting difficulties that threaten the viability of the facility because of its high emissions. Secunda is one of the world’s largest emitting plant.

The company, which is one of the largest coal miner in South Africa, produced 30.8 Mt of coal in 2023 (-3%). A large part of its output was used to produce 3.4 Mt of refined products at its Secunda facility (+3%). In addition, Sasol produced 2.4 Mt of oil products at its Natref refinery (capacity of 5.4 Mt/year). Finally, the group produced 3.2 bcm of natural gas in Mozambique (+2%).