Sasol to finalise scope of LCCP unit's repairs in Feb

24th January 2020 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

Integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol expects to finalise the scope of, and time needed for, repairs to the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit, at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, during the second half of February.

“Limited” damage was done to a small portion of the LDPE unit in an explosion and fire earlier this month.

Sasol on Friday said an investigation to determine the cause and the extent of the damage was still under way, but that major equipment, such as the unit’s compressors, had not been affected.

Parallel commissioning activities on the remainder of the LDPE unit will continue while the investigation and repairs are completed.

The company, meanwhile, confirmed that engineering and procurement activities at the LCCP were substantially complete and that construction progress was at 98% as at December 31.

Overall project completion was at 99% and capital expenditure of $12.5-billion had been invested.

LOOKING AHEAD

Sasol expects to report a largely strong operational performance for the financial year ending on June 30, predicated on the following:

Firstly, the mining business was expected to update its full-year forecasted productivity to 1 170 to 1 200 tonnes per continuous miner per shift.

This will, however, result in further external coal purchases of about 1.3-million to 1.6-million tonnes during the second half of the financial year to supplement the contracted Isibonelo volumes and enable recovery to desired stockpile levels.

Moreover, gas production volumes from the Petroleum Production Agreement in Mozambique are expected to be between 114-billion and 118-billion standard cubic feet, in line with previous market guidance.

Further, the Secunda Synfuels Operations full-year production is forecasted to be about 7.7-million to 7.8-million tonnes, in line with previous market guidance.

Also, the Natref refinery is targeting production rates of above 600 m³/h for the remainder of the financial year.

Moreover, Energy’s sales volumes are on track to meet previous market guidance of about 57- to 58-million barrels for the full year.

Oryx gas to liquids expects to achieve a utilisation rate of 55% to 60% for the full year, owing to an extended planned shutdown during the second half of the year.

In line with previous market guidance, Base Chemicals sales volumes, excluding Polymers US products, are expected to be 1% to 2% higher than the prior year, while total sales volumes are expected to be 15% to 20% higher than the prior year.

Lastly, given the continuing macroeconomic headwinds and the softer outlook on global gross domestic product growth in calendar year 2020, Performance Chemicals expects sales volumes for the full financial year to be slightly below the prior year’s level.

Total sales volumes for the business are expected to be 7% to 9% higher than the prior year.