Sasol Boosts Mozambique Gas Processing as Regional Demand Grows

  • Countries in region are short of power: Sasol’s Sichinga
  • Sasol waits on regulator to complete exploration contract

Sasol Ltd. plans to increase the capacity of its processing facility in Mozambique amid strong regional demand for the southern African nation’s gas.

“There’s no shortage of demand,” John Sichinga, senior vice president of Sasol’s exploration and production unit, said Monday in an interview at the processing plant in Temane, Mozambique. “There’s a power pool and all the countries of the region are short of power.”

Sasol Ltd. drills gas reservoir in Temane, Mozambique.

Photographer: Paul Burkhardt/Bloomberg

Sasol will boost the capacity of the facility by almost 8 percent to 197 million gigajoules by 2017, he said.

The Pande and Temane gas fields, discovered by Gulf Oil more than 50 years ago, were acquired by Sasol in 2003, according to the World Bank. After processing, the gas is transported through a 865-kilometer (538-mile) pipeline to the Johannesburg-based company’s plant in Secunda, South Africa. Sasol is also a partner in the line, which will operate higher rate and supply more domestic markets after a $210 million expansion is completed by 2017.

Mozambique Focus

Sasol has crimped spending after a slump in crude prices dragged down profits from its synfuels and chemicals divisions. The world’s largest producer of liquid fuel from coal is concentrating its investments on Mozambique.

A group led by Eni SpA and including Sasol and Statoil ASA was last year awarded one of the six exploration and production contracts offered by Mozambique to search for oil and gas in an offshore block. Sasol was also granted an onshore block at Pande Temane in the fifth licensing round.

“We’ve been notified of the award” and were due to engage with the authorities on an exploration, production concession contract earlier this year, Sichinga said. “It’s taken a bit longer. I’m told it will be ready soon.”

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