Sasol launches low sulphur diesel in South Africa

November 21, 2013 | Products, Services & Techniques

Sasol filling station in Cape Town, South Africa

Sasol filling station in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town – South Africa’s multinational petrochemicals company Sasol has launched a 10ppm diesel fuel into the domestic market on its own forecourts. This is the lowest sulphur content diesel available locally, and has advanced properties to keep engine fuel injection systems clean and lubricated.

Fuel-from-coal producer Sasol on Wednesday said it will take years for its local competitors to produce the low sulphur content diesel it launched into the South African market on Wednesday.

Sasol’s turbodiesel ULS 10 parts per million (ppm), launched yesterday, is the lowest sulphur content diesel available in South Africa. It is fully compliant with Euro 5 fuel specifications and brings diesel users in South Africa in line with motorists in the US and Europe.

In 2012, the energy minister gazetted new petroleum regulations requiring oil companies to introduce the so-called “Euro 5” fuel specifications — the high-quality grades sold in the European Union and other first-world markets – by July 1 2017.

Sasol turbodiesel ULS 10ppm was guaranteed to contain 10ppm sulphur or less and allowed the latest technology vehicles fitted with exhaust-after treatment devices to operate freely in South Africa.

This would require less regeneration effort to keep such devices in an active state and extend the service life of the devices.

“We are continually looking for ways to enhance our products to enable the latest technology vehicles to be introduced in South Africa and ultimately benefit the general consumer. It is indeed a huge milestone for Sasol and South Africa,” said Sasol Oil retail manager Mohamed Carrim.

According to Mr Carrim, the Sasol turbodiesel ULS 10ppm is suitable for all diesel vehicles, from the latest technology to older generation models, with and without turbocharging.

“A key part of the Sasol turbodiesel ULS 10ppm is its advanced detergency. This prevents or removes deposit build-up in the engine and fuel system, allowing the engine to operate at optimum efficiency and sustain optimum fuel consumption over time.

Continued use will maintain new fuel systems as well as clean up dirty fuel systems,” he said.

The fuel had advanced detergency and lubricity properties to keep the engine and fuel injection system clean and well protected.

It did not foam much so it could be pumped into vehicles quicker than many other fuels.

“It is ideally suited to complement the modern-day fuel to enable these engines to run efficiently, while producing less harmful exhaust emissions,” Sasol said in a statement.

The fuel would be available at 78 Sasol filling stations. Sasol declined to say how much the product cost to develop.

When asked if Sasol could export the new fuel technology, a group spokesman said: “The very short answer to your question is that we don’t license our technology.”

It should not be more expensive than other diesel, Mr Carrim said. The diesel fuel market is not regulated in South Africa. Franchisees who buy fuel from Sasol, set their own prices but have to set at competitive rates.

Sasol Oil MD Alan Cameron said Sasol was taking initiatives to entice customers to use the fuel. “Customers are spoilt for choice in South Africa. This is why we have linked up with Burger King to open stores near our pumps, for example, to make the fuel buying experience more attractive.”

The global Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) group, which is bringing Burger King to South Africa, launched locally in May this year.

Burger King Worldwide, based in Miami, was founded in 1954. It is the world’s second biggest chain of quick service restaurants, after McDonald’s.