South Africa’s Sasol approves $8.1 billion U.S ethane cracker

October 28, 2014 | Budget & Investment, United States & Canada

Johannesburg, South Africa |  – South African petrochemicals group Sasol, the world’s biggest maker of motor fuel from coal, has taken the final investment decision on an $8.1 billion ethane cracker it plans to build in Louisiana, United States, the company said on Monday.

The plant will produce 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene annually, the company said in a statement . Sasol appointed Fluor Technip Integrated, a joint venture between Fluor Corporation and Technip SA, as the primary engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor. WorleyParsons Ltd. will support Sasol’s project-management team. Ethylene is a gas that helps make chemicals used in plastics and detergents.

“Once commissioned, this world-scale petrochemicals complex will roughly triple our chemical production capacity in the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer David Constable said in the statement.

Sasol said it’s “well-advanced” in raising the funds for the build and will use “a variety of international U.S.-based dollar sources.” The facility will achieve beneficial operation in 2018, it said.

A further $800 million will be invested in infrastructure and utility improvements around Lake Charles, it said.

The company has previously said it will follow the decision on the cracker with one on a gas-to-liquids plant 18 to 24 months later.