US Gets Its First Gas-to-Liquid Plant, Courtesy of Sasol

The company has already chosen a location, wants to start work as soon as possible

By Laura Sinpetru on December 5th, 2012 22:01 GMT

South African energy company Sasol is now planning to expand its business on US soil. Thus, the company is to build the country's first ever gas-to-liquid plant.

For those unaware, the gas-to-liquid technology that Sasol plans to bring into the US basically refers to turning natural gas into liquid energy sources, such as diesel and jet fuel.

It is Sasol's belief that, by embracing this technology, the US will witness an increase in its energy independence.

Sasol's CEO, David Constable, stressed that, “By incorporating GTL technology in the U.S.A.’s energy mix, states such as Louisiana will be able to advance the country’s energy independence through a diversification of supply.”

The plant is to be built in the southwest Louisiana. Oil Price explains that this particular location was chosen to “ease” the plant's access to the shale fields located up north and to its west, in Texas.

Construction activities are set to begin in 2018, and Sasol expects that their debuting this project will translate into numerous job opportunities being made available to American citizens.

Thus, it is quite likely that this plant will create roughly 7,000 jobs during its construction phase, and 1,200 permanent jobs once it becomes fully operational.

Business Day explains that, according to the figures released thus far, this gas-to-liquid facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana will be one of the biggest in the world.

As analyst Sasha Naryshkine puts it, “Let me just make this clear to you : this will be the biggest project of its kind in the US, and the second-biggest gas-to-liquids plant on the planet, after the disastrous Shell project (Pearl) in Qatar. Disastrous for Shell because of the overruns and costs that exceeded budget by a factor of three.”

“The cost ended up being a whopping $19bn for Shell … So, as you can understand right now, there are more than just a few concerns about Sasol’s ability to be able to execute on this sort of size and scale project,” the analyst went on to add.

The final costs for this project are expected to amount to $20 billion (€15.29 billion).
Sasol readies to build the first GTL plant in the US
   Sasol readies to build the first GTL plant in the US
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