Wednesday 10 June 2020

25th Anniversary of SASOL (South Africa, 1975)

South Africa Synthetic Oil Limited started as a state-owned fuels company in South Africa in 1950. South Africa’s coal deposits were not high enough quality to be used simply as fuel. Research had been carried out internationally to look at ways to derive fuels from low-quality coal. One of the researchers, Etienne Rousseau, became the first head of Sasol.

The company started to produce fuels from coal using, well, chemistry that I don’t pretend to understand. As the market for fuels came to be dominated by – and priced in relation to – crude oil, the company faced challenges to its profitability. So it diversified into the production of chemicals, fertilisers, solvents and all sorts of other things. It’s one of those companies that you’ve never heard of that somehow has global revenues of $21 billion a year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star