|• 20-F • EX-8.1 • EX-12.1 • EX-12.2 • EX-13.1 • EX-13.2|
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 12 October 2012
Commission file number: 001-31615
Republic of South Africa
1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank 2196
Christine Ramon, Chief Financial Officer, Tel. No. +27 11 441 3435, Email email@example.com
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:
644 825 216 Sasol ordinary shares of no par value
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý No o
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232 405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes o No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer ý Accelerated filer o Non-accelerated filer o
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP o International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ý Other o
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17 o Item 18 o
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No ý
TABLE OF CONTENTS
We are incorporated in the Republic of South Africa as a public company under South African Company law. Our consolidated financial statements for the financial years ended 30 June 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 included in our corporate filings in South Africa were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
For purposes of this annual report on Form 20-F, we have prepared our consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS. Our consolidated financial statements for each of the financial years ended 30 June 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been audited.
As used in this Form 20-F:
We present our financial information in rand, which is our reporting currency. Solely for your convenience, this Form 20-F contains translations of certain rand amounts into US dollars at specified rates. These rand amounts do not represent actual US dollar amounts, nor could they necessarily have been converted into US dollars at the rates indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, rand amounts have been translated into US dollars at the rate of R8,31 per US dollar, which was the closing rate for customs purposes of the rand as reported by Thomson Reuters on 28 September 2012.
All references in this Form 20-F to "years" refer to the financial years ended on 30 June. Any reference to a calendar year is prefaced by the word "calendar".
Besides applying barrels (b or bbl) and standard cubic feet (scf) for reporting oil and gas reserves and production, Sasol applies the Système International (SI) metric measures for all global operations. A ton, or tonne, denotes one metric ton equivalent to 1 000 kilograms (kg). Sasol's reference to metric tons should not be confused with an imperial ton equivalent to 2 240 pounds (or about 1 016 kg). Barrels per day, or bpd, or bbl/d, is used to refer to our oil and gas production.
In addition, in line with a particular South African distinction under the auspices of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), all Sasol global reporting emanating from South Africa uses the decimal comma (e.g., 3,5) instead of the more familiar decimal point (e.g., 3.5) used in the UK, US and elsewhere. Similarly, a hard space is used to distinguish thousands in numeric figures (e.g., 2 500) instead of a comma (e.g., 2,500).
All references to billions in this Form 20-F are to thousands of millions.
All references to the "group", "us", "we", "our", "the company", or "Sasol" in this Form 20-F are to Sasol Limited, its group of subsidiaries and its interests in associates, joint ventures and special purpose entities. All references in this Form 20-F are to Sasol Limited or the companies comprising the group, as the context may require. All references to "(Pty) Ltd." refers to Proprietary Limited, a form of corporation in South Africa which restricts the right of transfer of its shares and prohibits the public offering of its shares.
All references in this Form 20-F to "South Africa" and "the government" are to the Republic of South Africa and its government. All references to the "JSE" are to the JSE Limited or Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the securities exchange of our primary listing. All references to "SARB" refer to the South African Reserve Bank. All references to "PPI" and "CPI" refer to the South African Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index, respectively, which are measures of inflation in South Africa. All references to "GTL" and "CTL" refer to our gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids processes, respectively.
Certain industry terms used in this Form 20-F are defined in the Glossary of Terms.
Unless otherwise stated, presentation of financial information in this annual report on Form 20-F will be in terms of IFRS. Our discussion of business segment results follows the basis used by the group executive committee (GEC) (the company's chief operating decision maker) for segmental financial decisions, resource allocation and performance assessment, which forms the accounting basis for segmental reporting, that is disclosed to the investing and reporting public.
We may from time to time make written or oral forward-looking statements, including in this Form 20-F, in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, in reports to shareholders and in other communications. These statements may relate to analyses and other information which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:
Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and there are risks that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. You should understand that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include among others, and without limitation:
The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive; when making investment decisions, you should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and events, and you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
We are a public company incorporated under the company law of South Africa. Most of our directors and officers reside outside the United States, principally in South Africa. You may not be able, therefore, to effect service of process within the United States upon those directors and officers with respect to matters arising under the federal securities laws of the United States.
In addition, most of our assets and the assets of our directors and officers are located outside the United States. As a result, you may not be able to enforce against us or our directors and officers judgements obtained in United States courts predicated on the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States.
There are additional factors to be considered under South African law in respect of the enforceability, in South Africa (in original actions or in actions for enforcement of judgments of US courts) of liabilities predicated on the US federal securities laws. These additional factors include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Based on the foregoing, there is no certainty as to the enforceability in South Africa (in original actions or in actions for enforcement of judgements of US courts) of liabilities predicated on the US federal securities laws.
The following information should be read in conjunction with "Item 5Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" and the consolidated financial statements, the accompanying notes and other financial information included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
The financial data set forth below for the years ended as at 30 June 2012, 2011 and 2010 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2012 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 18 of this annual report on Form 20-F.
Financial data at 30 June 2009 and 2008 has been derived from the group's previously published audited consolidated financial statements, adjusted for the amendments to IAS 19, Employee Benefits, which are not included in this document.
The financial data at 30 June 2012, 2011 and 2010 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended 30 June 2012 should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, our audited consolidated financial statements.
The audited consolidated financial statements from which the selected consolidated financial data set forth below have been derived were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
Exchange rate information
The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the rand/US dollar exchange rate for the years shown:
On 28 September 2012, the closing exchange rate of rand per US dollar as reported by Thomson Reuters was R8,31/US$1.
Fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The rand is the principal functional currency of our operations. However, a large part of our group's turnover is denominated in US dollars and some part in euro, derived either from exports from South Africa or from our manufacturing and distribution operations outside South Africa. Approximately 90% of our turnover is linked to the US dollar as petroleum prices in general and the price of most petroleum and chemical products are based on global commodity and benchmark prices which are quoted in US dollars. A significant part of our capital expenditure is also US dollar-denominated, as it is directed to investments outside South Africa or constitutes materials, engineering and construction costs imported into South Africa. The majority of our costs are either rand based for
South African operations or euro based for European operations. Accordingly, fluctuations in the exchange rates between the rand and US dollar and/or euro may have a material effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
During 2012, the rand/US dollar exchange rate averaged R7,78 and fluctuated between the high of R8,58 and the low of R6,67. This compares to an average exchange rate of R7,01 during 2011 which fluctuated between the high of R7,75 and the low of R6,57. Subsequent to 30 June 2012, the rand has on average weakened against the US dollar and the euro.
The rand exchange rate is impacted by various international and South African economic and political factors. Although the exchange rate of the rand is primarily market-determined, its value at any time may not be an accurate reflection of its underlying value, due to the potential effect of, among other factors, exchange controls. For more information regarding exchange controls in South Africa see "Item 10.DExchange controls".
We use derivative instruments to protect us against adverse movements in exchange rates on certain transactional risks in accordance with our group hedging policies. See "Item 11Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk".
Fluctuations in refining margins and crude oil, natural gas and petroleum product prices may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Market prices for crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products may fluctuate as they are subject to local and international supply and demand fundamentals and factors over which we have no control. Worldwide supply conditions and the price levels of crude oil may be significantly influenced by international cartels, which control the production of a significant proportion of the worldwide supply of crude oil, and by political developments, especially in the Middle East, North Africa and Nigeria. Other factors which may influence the aggregate demand and hence affect the markets and prices for petroleum products in regions which influence South African fuel prices through the Basic Fuel Price (BFP) price formula (used for the calculation of the refinery gate price of petroleum products in South Africa) and/or where we market these products include changes in economic conditions, the price and availability of substitute fuels, changes in product inventory, product specifications and other factors. In recent years, prices for petroleum products have fluctuated widely.
During 2012, the dated Brent crude oil price averaged US$112,42/b and fluctuated between the high of US$128,14/b and the low of US$88,69/b. This compares to an average dated Brent crude oil price of US$96,48/b during 2011, which fluctuated between the high of US$126,64/b and the low of US$70,61/b.
A substantial proportion of our turnover is derived from sales of petroleum and petrochemical products. Through our equity participation in the National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (Natref) crude oil refinery, we are exposed to fluctuations in refinery margins resulting from differing fluctuations in international crude oil and petroleum product prices. We are also exposed to changes in absolute levels of international petroleum product prices through our synthetic fuels and oil operations. Fluctuations in international crude oil prices affect our results mainly through their indirect effect on the BFP price formula, see "Item 4.BBusiness overview"Sasol Synfuels" and "Sasol Oil", as well as the impact on oil derived feedstock. Prices of petrochemical products and natural gas are also affected by fluctuations in crude oil prices.
We use derivative instruments to protect us against day-to-day US dollar oil price and rand to US dollar exchange rate fluctuations affecting the acquisition cost of our crude oil needs. See "Item 11Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk". While the use of these instruments may provide some protection against short-term fluctuations in crude oil prices it does not protect us against
longer term fluctuations in crude oil prices or differing trends between crude oil and petroleum product prices.
We are unable to accurately forecast fluctuations in refining margins and crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products prices. Fluctuations in any of these may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Cyclicality in petrochemical product prices may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The demand for chemicals and especially products such as solvents, olefins, surfactants, fertilisers and polymers is cyclical. Typically, higher demand during peaks in the industry business cycles leads producers to increase their production capacity. Although peaks in the business cycle have been characterised by increased selling prices and higher operating margins, in the past such peaks have led to overcapacity with supply exceeding demand growth. Low periods during the industry business cycle are characterised by a decrease in selling prices and excess capacity, which can depress operating margins. The expected capacity additions in the next few years, could put downward pressure on prices of chemical products. Lower prices for chemical products may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may not be able to exploit technological advances quickly and successfully
Most of our operations, including the gasification of coal and the manufacture of synfuels and petrochemical products, are highly dependent on the development and use of advanced technologies. The development, commercialisation and integration of the appropriate advanced technologies can affect, among other things, the competitiveness of our products, the continuity of our operations, our feedstock requirements and the capacity and efficiency of our production.
It is possible that new technologies or novel processes may emerge and that existing technologies may be further developed in the fields in which we operate. Unexpected rapid advances in employed technologies or the development of novel processes can affect our operations and product ranges in that they could render the technologies we utilise or the products we produce obsolete or less competitive in the future. Difficulties in accessing new technologies may impede us from implementing them and competitive pressures may force us to implement these new technologies at a substantial cost. Examples of new technologies which may in the future affect our business include the following:
We cannot predict the effect of these or other technological changes or the development of new processes on our business or on our ability to provide competitive products. Our ability to compete will depend on our timely and cost-effective implementation of new technological advances. It will also depend on our success in commercialising these advances in spite of competition we face.
In addition to the technological challenges, a large number of our expansion projects are integrated across a number of Sasol businesses. Delays with the development of an integrated project might accordingly have an impact on more than one Sasol business.
If we are unable to implement new technologies in a timely or cost-efficient manner, or penetrate new markets in a timely manner in response to changing market conditions or customer requirements, we could experience a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Our GTL and CTL projects may not prove sufficiently viable or as profitable as planned
We have constructed a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar and are involved in constructing a GTL plant in Nigeria. In addition, we are considering opportunities for further GTL and coal-to-liquids (CTL) investments in other areas of the world. GTL opportunities are being investigated in Uzbekistan (front end engineering and design phase), the US (feasibility phase) and Canada (feasibility phase was completed by the end of June 2012). A CTL project is being investigated in India (pre-feasibility phase). The development of these projects, solely or through joint ventures or associates, is a capital-intensive process and requires us to commit significant capital expenditure and devote considerable management resources in utilising our existing experience and know-how, especially in connection with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis technologies. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Synfuels International".
The processes used and the products developed by these projects may also give rise to patent risks in connection with the use of our GTL and CTL technologies. See below "Intellectual property risks may adversely affect our products or processes and our competitive advantage".
We consider the development of our GTL and CTL projects as a major part of our strategy for future growth and believe that the markets for GTL and CTL have room for further expansion. In assessing the viability of our GTL and CTL projects, we make a number of assumptions relating to specific variables, mainly including:
Significant variations in any one or more of the above factors that are beyond our control, or any other relevant factor, may adversely affect the profitability or even the viability of our GTL and CTL investments. In view of the resources invested in these projects and their importance to our growth strategy, problems we may experience as a result of these factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition and opportunities for future growth.
Increasing exposure related to investments in associates and joint venture companies may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
We have invested in a number of associates and joint ventures as part of our strategy to expand operations globally. We are considering opportunities for further upstream GTL and CTL investments, as well as related opportunities in chemicals, to continue our local and global expansion. The development of these projects may require investments in associates and joint ventures, most of which are aimed at facilitating entry into countries and/or sharing risk with third parties. Although the risks are shared, the objectives of associates and joint venture partners, their ability to meet their financial and/or contractual obligations, their behaviour, as well as the increasing complexity of country specific legislation and regulations, may impact negatively on our reputation and/or result in disputes and/or litigation, all of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition and constrain the achievement of our growth objectives.
We may not achieve projected benefits of acquisitions or divestments
We may pursue strategic acquisitions or divestments. With any such transaction there is the risk that any benefits or synergies identified at the time of acquisition may not be achieved as a result of changing or incorrect assumptions or materially different market conditions, or other factors. Furthermore, we could be found liable for past acts or omissions of the acquired business without any adequate right of redress.
In addition, delays in the sale of assets or reductions in value realisable may arise due to changing market conditions. Failure to achieve expected values from the sale of assets or delays in expected receipt or delivery of funds may result in higher debt levels, underperformance of those businesses and possible loss of key personnel.
We may face constraints in obtaining the expected level of financing to pursue new business opportunities or support existing projects
As at 30 June 2012, we had authorised approximately R79 billion of group capital expenditure in respect of projects in progress, of which we had spent approximately R33 billion by 30 June 2012. In addition, we are considering opportunities for additional GTL and CTL investments as well as related opportunities in chemicals. Our capital expenditure plans, requirements and project pipeline are subject to a number of risks, contingencies and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, and therefore the actual future capital expenditure and investments may differ significantly from the current planned amounts.
Our operating cash flow and banking facilities may be insufficient to meet all of these expenditures, depending on the timing and cost of development of these and other projects as well as operating performance and utilisation of our banking facilities. As a result, new sources of capital may be needed to meet the funding requirements of these developments, to fund ongoing business activities and to pay dividends. Our ability to raise and service significant new sources of capital will be a function of macroeconomic conditions, the condition of the financial markets, future prices for the products we sell, our operational performance and operating cash flow and debt position, among other factors. Our ability to raise further debt financing in the future and the cost of such financing will depend on, among other factors, our credit rating at the time, which may be affected by our ability to
maintain our outstanding debt and financial ratios at levels acceptable to the credit ratings agencies, our business prospects or other factors.
As a result, in the event of unanticipated operating or financial challenges, any dislocation in financial markets or new funding limitations, our ability to pursue new business opportunities, invest in existing and new projects, fund our ongoing business activities and retire or service outstanding debt and pay dividends, could be constrained, all of which could have an impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
There are country-specific risks relating to the countries in which we operate that could adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Several of our subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates operate in countries and regions that are subject to significantly differing political, social, economic and market conditions. See "Item 4.BBusiness Overview" for a description of the extent of our operations in the main countries and regions. Although we are a South African domiciled company and the majority of our operations are located in South Africa, we also have significant energy businesses in other African countries, chemical businesses in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, a joint venture in a GTL facility in Qatar, joint ventures in Canada, Iran and Uzbekistan and an economic interest in a GTL project in Nigeria.
Particular aspects of country-specific risks that may have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition include:
(a) Political, social and economic issues
We have invested or are in the process of investing in significant operations in African, European, North American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries that have in the past, to a greater or lesser extent, experienced political, social and economic uncertainty. Government policies, laws and regulations in countries in which we operate or plan to operate may change in the future. There is also a risk that our plants that were constructed during buoyant market conditions will have to operate in markets in which product prices may have declined, as we are currently experiencing. The impact of such changes on our ability to deliver on planned projects cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty and such changes may therefore have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results.
(b) Inflation and fluctuations in interest rates
Macro-economic factors, such as inflation and higher interest rates could adversely impact our ability to contain costs and to ensure cost-effective debt financing in countries in which we operate.
In South Africa, consumer price index inflation increased to 5,9% in 2012 from 3,9% in 2011 and 5,7% in 2010. With inflation remaining relatively well contained within the SARB 3-6% inflation targeting range, unemployment at still uncomfortably high levels, weak domestic economic growth conditions and an uncertain global economic growth backdrop, the SARB decided to cut its policy-interest rate to 5,0% in July 2012 from 5,5%. Producer price index inflation increased to 8,6% in 2012 from 6,8% in 2011 and 1,4% in 2010.
In March 2012, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced that Eskom's, South Africa's state-owned electricity provider, electricity tariffs will rise by approximately 16% in 2012 and 2013 against an earlier published 26% increase. Despite this lower-than-expected increase, it remains above the 6% inflation target ceiling and continues to pose challenges for the economy and the inflation outlook. Food and fuel price trends also remain key risks to the inflation outlook, but these risks are, in our view, outweighed by an uncertain global economic environment and relatively subdued growth conditions in South Africa. As such, it is currently expected that monetary policy will
remain accommodative, where we expect the SARB to maintain the policy interest rate at its current level of 5,0% until late in the 2013 calendar year.
(c) Transportation, water and other infrastructure
The infrastructure in some countries in which we operate, such as rail infrastructure, electricity and water supply may need to be further upgraded and expanded and in certain instances possibly at our own cost. Water, as a resource, is becoming increasingly limited as world demand for water increases. In South Africa, the risk that water may become significantly limited is exacerbated by the fact that it is one of the drier countries in the world. Water use by our operations varies widely depending largely on feedstock and technology choice. While a GTL plant is typically a net producer of water, a CTL process has a significant water requirement, driven by the need to produce hydrogen and additional cooling requirements. Although various technological advances may improve the water efficiency of our processes, we may experience limited water availability and other infrastructural challenges, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
(d) Disruptive industrial action
The majority of our employees worldwide belong to trade unions. These employees comprise mainly general workers, artisans and technical operators. In July 2011, disputes over wage increases in South Africa led to general industrial action, which resulted in disruptions to production and supply of products to the markets. During August to October 2012, the mining and transport sectors in South Africa experienced significant disruptions and violence due to strikes and other industrial action by employees. This may spread to other mining sectors, including our coal mines. Although we have constructive relations with our employees and their unions, we cannot assure you that significant labour disruptions will not occur in the future nor have significant consequences on the South African economy.
(e) Exchange control regulations
South African law provides for exchange control regulations which apply to transactions involving South African residents, including both natural persons and legal entities. These regulations may restrict the export of capital from South Africa, including foreign investments. The regulations may also affect our ability to borrow funds from non-South African sources for use in South Africa, including the repayment of these borrowings from South Africa and, in some cases, our ability to guarantee the obligations of our subsidiaries with regard to these funds. These restrictions may affect the manner in which we finance our transactions outside South Africa and the geographic distribution of our debt. See "Item 10.DExchange controls" and "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resources".
(f) Localisation issues
In some countries, our operations are required to comply with local procurement, employment equity, equity participation and other regulations which are designed to address country-specific social and economic issues.
In South Africa, there are various transformation initiatives with which we are required to comply. We embrace and will engender or participate in initiatives to bring about meaningful transformation in South Africa. We consider these initiatives to be a strategic imperative and we acknowledge the risk of not vigorously pursuing them.
We are a participant in transformation charters in the liquid fuels and mining industry in South Africa, pursuant to which we have undertaken to enable historically disadvantaged South Africans to hold at least 25% equity ownership in our liquid fuels business and 26% equity ownership, by 2014, in our mining business.
The Minister of Trade and Industry published the Codes of Good Practice for broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) on 9 February 2007, effective from the date of publication. These codes provide a standard framework for the measurement of broad-based BEE across all sectors of the economy, other than the mining industry.
We have complied with the current requirements of said codes and other requirements of the Liquid Fuels Charter, Mining Charter and the Codes of Good Practice for broad-based BEE. We believe that the long-term benefits to the company and our country should outweigh any possible short-term adverse effects, but we cannot assure you that future implications of compliance with these requirements or with any newly imposed conditions will not have a material adverse effect on our shareholders or business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BEmpowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans".
(g) Engineering, procurement and construction contract costs
We have a significant capital portfolio and are therefore exposed to fluctuations in the price and supply of engineering, procurement and construction services, in particular the availability of scarce technical skills and capacity. We are currently not expecting the abnormal inflationary pressures of the pre-recession period, but rather low to moderate increases as gradual economic recovery sets in. Significant fluctuations and volatility is, however, currently being observed. Scarce technical skills remain a key factor, to a varying degree in different geographical areas. Cost increases will depend on the region and market dynamics, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
(h) Ownership rights
We operate in several countries where ownership of rights in respect of land and resources is uncertain and where disputes in relation to ownership or other community matters may arise. These disputes are not always predictable and may cause disruption to our operations or development plans.
(i) Stakeholder relationships
Our operations can also have an impact on local communities, including the need, from time to time, to relocate or resettle communities or infrastructure networks such as railways and utility services. Failure to manage relationships with local communities, governments and non-government organisations may harm our reputation as well as our ability to bring development projects into production. In addition, the costs and management time required to comply with standards of social responsibility, community relations and sustainability, including costs related to resettlement of communities or infrastructure, have increased substantially recently and are expected to further increase over time.
(j) Other specific country risks that are applicable to countries in which we operate and which may have a material impact on our business include:
Some of the countries where we have already made, or other countries where we may consider making, investments are in various stages of developing institutions and legal and regulatory systems that are characteristic of democracies. However, institutions in these countries may not yet be as firmly established as they are in democracies in South Africa, North America and some European countries. Some of these countries are also transitioning to a market economy and, as a result, are experiencing changes in their economies and their government policies that could affect our investments in these countries.
Moreover, the procedural safeguards of the new legal and regulatory regimes in these countries are still being developed and, therefore, existing laws and regulations may be applied inconsistently. In some circumstances, it may not be possible to obtain the legal remedies provided under those laws and regulations in a timely manner.
As the political, economic and legal environments remain subject to continuous development, investors in these countries face uncertainty as to the security of their investments. Any unexpected changes in the political or economic conditions in the countries in which we operate (including neighbouring countries) may have a material adverse effect on the investments that we have made or may make in the future, which may in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Electricity supply interruptions and increases in electricity costs in South Africa could adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth
Sasol is capable of generating up to 50% of its total South African power supply needs internally and continues with the commissioning of additional power generation equipment to increase internal electricity generation to up to 60% of our requirements. However, our South African operations remain dependent on power generated by the state-owned utility, Eskom. During 2008, South Africa experienced significant electricity supply interruptions, and although the situation has improved since then, the possibility remains that the electricity supply will again become constrained. Although Eskom has announced a number of short- and long-term mitigation plans, we cannot assure you that we will not experience power supply interruptions which could have material adverse effects on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
Furthermore, South Africa is experiencing higher than normal electricity price increases. During February 2010, NERSA granted Eskom further price increases of 24,8%, 25,8% and 25,9% per year for the three years in terms of the multi-year pricing dispensation (the first of which came into effect in July 2010). However, the cost increases for electricity for 2012 have been reduced to 16%. We have entered into a power purchase agreement with Eskom which mitigates these price increases to some extent. However, any sharp increase in electricity costs may have material adverse effects on our business, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and future growth.
We may not be in compliance with laws or regulations in the countries in which we operate
The industry in which we operate is highly regulated and requires compliance with a myriad of laws and regulations, governing matters such as minerals, trading in petroleum products, safety, health and environment, in our South African and global operations. Non-compliance can impact business performance dramatically. Although systems and processes are in place, monitored and improved upon, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that we will be in compliance with all laws and regulations at all times. Any failure to comply with applicable laws and
regulations could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
New South African mining legislation may have an adverse effect on our mineral rights
Since the enactment of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, (MPRDA) in May 2004, all mineral rights have been placed under the custodianship of the state, which grants prospecting and mining rights for prospecting and mining activities. Our subsidiary, Sasol Mining (Pty) Ltd., has been successful in converting its prospecting permits and mining authorisations (old order rights) to new order prospecting and mining rights in terms of the MPRDA. The new order mining rights, known as converted mining rights, became effective on 29 March 2011. The converted new order mining rights in respect of the Secunda area have been granted for a period of ten years, while those in respect of the Mooikraal operations have been granted for a period of thirty years. Our converted mining rights may, on application, be renewed for further periods not exceeding thirty years each. Prospecting rights are granted for five years, with one further renewal of three years. Even though the MPRDA provides the criteria to be met to obtain renewal, no guarantee can be given that the converted mining rights or prospecting rights will be renewed.
If a holder of a prospecting right or mining right conducts prospecting or mining operations in contravention of the MPRDA, the new order rights can be suspended or cancelled by the Minister of Mineral Resources if the entity, upon receiving a notice of breach from the Minister, fails to remedy such breach. The MPRDA and applicable provisions in the National Environmental Management Act impose additional responsibilities with respect to environmental management as well as the prevention of environmental pollution, degradation or damage from mining and/or prospecting activities.
The Mining Charter, which is intended to facilitate the transformation of the South African mining industry, was reviewed during the 2009 and 2010 calendar years, and the revised Mining Charter became effective as from 13 September 2010. Although the revised Mining Charter was intended to only be an amendment of the previous Mining Charter, it has replaced the original Mining Charter and introduced a number of new elements. A number of uncertainties exist with regard to the interpretation of some of the elements of the revised Mining Charter. The scorecard reporting template released by the Department of Mineral Resources also added further elements, not contained in the revised Mining Charter.
We cannot assure you that these changes will not affect our operations and mining rights in the future, and as a result have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
New legislation in South Africa on petroleum and energy activities may have an adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
The Petroleum Products Amendment Act (the Act) requires persons involved in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of petroleum products to obtain relevant licences for such activities. Sasol Oil, Natref and Sasol Synfuels submitted applications for their respective operations, and the Sasol Oil and Sasol Synfuels wholesale licence applications have been approved and issued. The Natref manufacturing licence application is still under review by the Department of Energy. Nevertheless, these facilities continue to operate, as being persons who, as of the effective date of the Act, manufactured petroleum products, they are deemed to be holders of a licence until their applications have been finalised. Until these applications have been finalised, we cannot assure you that the conditions of the licences may not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa".
The Department of Energy will, by 2017, implement new fuel specifications and standards, which are aligned to EURO 5 fuel specifications, to reduce the environmental impact caused by vehicle emissions. The introduction of the new specifications and standards by 2017 will require capital investment in our manufacturing facilities. We cannot assure you that these new specifications will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
The Department of Energy has embarked on a process of reviewing the methodology for the determination of margins relating to the regulated fuel price mechanism known as the Regulatory Accounting System. The ultimate goal of the Regulatory Accounting System is to achieve a uniform and transparent set of regulatory accounts, whereby costs are allocated on predetermined methods, thereby providing certainty to investors with regard to the return on assets throughout the petroleum industry value chain (wholesale, coastal storage and handling, secondary storage, secondary distribution and the benchmark service station). The final implementation thereof has been postponed by two years to allow for amendment of the commercial agreements between oil company franchisors and fuel retail franchisees. We cannot assure you that the final cost allocation model will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
The Gas Act regulates matters relating to gas transmission, storage, distribution, liquefaction and re-gasification activities. NERSA has published guidelines for determining transmission and storage tariffs for piped-gas in South Africa, as well as a methodology to determine maximum gas prices. The implementation and enforcement of these tariffs and prices may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flow and financial condition.
Although we negotiated a ten year regulatory dispensation (expiring in March 2014) with the South African government with respect to the supply of Mozambican natural gas to the South African market, we cannot assure you that the provisions of the Gas Act will not have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.BBusiness overviewRegulation of gas related activities in South Africa".
Changes in safety, health and environmental regulations and legislation and public opinion may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Failure to comply with applicable safety, health and environmental laws, regulations or permit requirements may result in fines or penalties or enforcement actions, including regulatory or judicial orders enjoining or curtailing operations or requiring corrective measures, installation of pollution control equipment, decommissioning or other remedial actions, any of which could entail significant expenditures.
We are subject to a wide range of general and industry-specific environmental, health and safety and other legislation in jurisdictions in which we operate. Environmental requirements govern, among other things, exploration, mining and production activities, land use, air emissions, use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, use of water, wastewater discharge, waste management, decommissioning and site remediation. Compliance with these laws, regulations, permits, licences and authorisations is a significant factor in our business, and we incur, and expect to continue to incur, significant capital and operating expenditures in order to continue to comply with applicable laws, regulations, permits, licences and authorisations. These laws and regulations and their enforcement are likely to become more stringent over time. We may be required in some cases to incur additional expenditure in order to comply with such legislation. Similarly, public opinion is growing more sensitive to consumer health and safety, environmental and climate change protection matters, and, as a result, markets may apply pressure on us concerning certain of our products, manufacturing processes, transport and distribution arrangements. As a result of these additional costs of compliance and other factors, including pressures related to public opinion, we may be required to withdraw certain products from the market, which
could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We continue to take remedial actions at a number of sites due to soil and groundwater contamination. The process of investigation and remediation can be lengthy and is subject to the uncertainties of site specific factors, changing legal requirements, developing technologies, the allocation of liability among multiple parties and the discretion of regulators. Accordingly, we cannot estimate with certainty the actual amount and timing of costs associated with site remediation.
In order to continue to comply with these safety, health and environmental licences, laws and regulations, we may have to incur costs which we may finance from our available cash flows or from alternative sources of financing. We may be required to provide for financial security for environmental rehabilitation in the form of a trust fund, guarantee, deposit or other methods as may be required by legislation imposing obligations in respect of decommissioning and rehabilitation of environmental impacts. No assurance can be given that changes in safety, health and environmental laws and regulations or their application or the discovery of previously unknown contamination or other liabilities will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
In addition, our manufacturing processes may utilise and result in the emission of substances with potential health risks. We also manufacture products which may pose health risks. Although we apply a duty of care principle and implement health and safety, product stewardship, the Chemical and Allied Industries' Association Responsible Care programme and other measures to eliminate or mitigate associated potential risks, we may be subject to liabilities as a result of the use or exposure to these materials or emissions.
Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions could increase our operational cost and reduce demand for our products
Continued political attention to issues concerning climate change, the role of human activity in it, and potential mitigation through regulation could have a material impact on our operations and financial results. International agreements and national or regional legislation and regulatory measures to limit greenhouse emissions are currently in various stages of discussion or implementation.
For instance, the Kyoto Protocol envisions a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through market-based regulatory programmes, technology-based or performance-based standards or a combination of them. South Africa has entered into a voluntary non-binding agreement to take, subject to certain conditions, nationally appropriate mitigation action to enable a 34% deviation below "business as usual" emissions growth trajectory by 2020, and 42% by 2025. Current measures in South Africa have already resulted in increased compliance costs for power suppliers that are passed to us in the form of levies for electricity generated from fossil fuels. These levies may increase substantially over time. In addition, the South African government has published a climate change response green paper in November 2010 and issued a carbon tax discussion paper in December 2010. This policy process, culminated in the publication of a Climate Change Response White Paper, in November 2011 and, in the February 2012 budget review, a new option for a possible carbon tax design was announced by the South African Minister of Finance. A detailed carbon tax policy document is expected before the end of the 2012 calendar year.
These and other greenhouse gas emissions-related laws, policies and regulations may result in substantial capital, compliance, operating and maintenance costs. The level of expenditure required to comply with any laws and regulations is uncertain and will depend on a number of factors including, among others, the sectors covered, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by law, the extent to which we would be entitled to receive any emission allowance allocations or would need to purchase compliance instruments on the open market or through auctions, the price and availability of emission
allowances and credits, and the impact of legislation or other regulation on our ability to recover the costs incurred through the pricing of our products. Material price increases or incentives to conserve or use alternative energy sources could reduce demand for products we currently sell and adversely affect our sales volumes, revenues and margins.
We are subject to competition and antitrust laws
Violations of competition/antitrust legislation could expose the group to administrative penalties and civil claims and damages, including punitive damages, by entities which can prove they were harmed by such conduct. Such penalties and damages could be significant and have an adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. In addition, there is also the significant reputational damage that accompanies findings of such contraventions as well as imprisonment or fines for individuals in some countries where antitrust violations are a criminal offence. Competition authorities are increasingly engaging with each other to exchange information relating to potential violation of antitrust laws and enforce antitrust laws.
The South African Competition Commission is conducting investigations into the piped gas, coal mining, petroleum, fertilisers and polymer industries. The group has cooperated with competition authorities to deal pro-actively with non-compliance matters. We continue to interact and cooperate with the South African Competition Commission in respect of leniency applications as well as in the areas that are subject to the South African Competition Commission investigations. Refer to "Item 4.B Business overviewLegal proceedings and other contingencies". Although it is our policy to comply with all laws, and notwithstanding training and compliance programmes, we could nonetheless contravene competition or antitrust laws and be subject to the imposition of fines, criminal sanctions and/or civil claims and damages. This could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The competition law compliance risks mentioned above will be aggravated in South Africa when the Competition Amendment Act of 2009 becomes effective. This act will introduce individual criminal liability for collusion as well as the concept of a "complex monopoly". This could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient skilled employees
We are highly dependent on the continuous development and successful application of new technologies. In order to achieve this, we need to maintain a focus on recruiting and retaining qualified scientists and engineers as well as artisans and operators. In addition, we are dependent on highly skilled employees in business and functional roles to establish new business ventures as well as to maintain existing operations.
Globally the demand for personnel with the range of capabilities and experience required in our industry is high, and success in attracting and retaining such employees is not guaranteed. Natural attrition rates have remained depressed as a result of the global economic downturn. Some areas of the global economy are showing signs of recovery and there is a risk that our scientific, engineering, artisans, operators and project execution skills base may be constrained over time because of, for example, natural attrition and a shortage of people being available in these disciplines in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The quality and availability of skills in certain labour markets is impacted by the challenges within the education and training systems in certain countries in which we operate, such as South Africa and Mozambique. The retention of staff is particularly challenging in South Africa, where in addition to global industry shortages of skilled employees, we and our competitors are also required to achieve employment equity targets. Localisation and other similar legislation in countries in which we operate are equally challenging to the attraction and retention of sufficiently skilled employees.
The shortage of skilled employees will be further exacerbated as global economic recovery progresses and we compete with a global industry for skilled and experienced employees. Failure to attract and retain people with the right capabilities and experience could negatively affect our ability to introduce and maintain the appropriate technological improvements to our business, our ability to successfully construct and commission new plants or establish new business ventures. This may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Intellectual property risks may adversely affect our freedom to operate our processes and sell our products and may dilute our competitive advantage
Our various products and processes, including most notably, our chemical, CTL and GTL products and processes have unique characteristics and chemical structures and, as a result, are subject to confidentiality and/or patent protection, the extent of which varies from country to country. Rapid changes in our technology commercialisation strategy may result in a misalignment between our intellectual property protection filing strategy and the countries in which we operate. The disclosure of our confidential information and/or the expiry of a patent may result in increased competition in the market for our products and processes, although the continuous supplementation of our patent portfolio mitigates such risk to an extent. In addition, aggressive patenting by our competitors, particularly in countries like the US and China, may result in an increased patent infringement risk and may constrain our ability to operate in our preferred markets.
A significant percentage of our products can be regarded as commodity chemicals, some of which have unique characteristics and chemical structure. These products are normally utilised by our clients as feedstock to manufacture specialty chemicals or application-type products. We have noticed a worldwide trend of increased filing of patents relating to the composition of product formulations and the applications thereof. These patents may create pressure on those of our clients who market these product formulations which may adversely affect our sales to these clients. These patents may also increase our risk to exposure from limited indemnities provided to our clients of these products. Patent-related pressures may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We believe that our proprietary technology, know-how, confidential information and trade secrets, provide us with a competitive advantage. A possible loss of experienced personnel to competitors, and a possible transfer of know-how and trade secrets associated therewith, may negatively impact this advantage. In addition, the patenting by our competitors of technology built on our know-how obtained through former employees may result in additional risk.
Similarly, operating and licensing technology in countries in which intellectual property laws are not well established and enforced may result in an inability to effectively enforce our intellectual property rights. The risk of some transfer of our know-how and trade secrets to our competitors is increased by the increase in the number of licences granted under our intellectual property, as well as the increase in the number of licensed plants which are brought into operation through entities which we do not control. As intellectual property warranties and indemnities are provided under each new licence granted, the cumulative risk increases accordingly.
The above risks may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Increasing competition by products originating from countries with low production costs may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition
Certain of our chemical production facilities are located in developed countries, including the US and Europe. Economic and political conditions in these countries result in relatively high labour costs and, in some regions, relatively inflexible labour markets. Increasing competition from regions with
lower production costs and more flexible labour markets, for example the Middle East, India and China, exerts pressure on the competitiveness of our chemical products and, therefore, on our profit margins. This could result in the withdrawal of particular products or the closure of specific facilities. We cannot assure you that increasing competition from products originating from countries with lower production costs will not result in withdrawal of our products or closure of our facilities, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
We may face potential costs in connection with industry-related accidents or deliberate acts of terror causing property damage, personal injuries or environmental contamination
We operate coal mines, explore for and produce oil and gas and operate a number of plants and facilities for the manufacture, storage, processing and transportation of oil, chemicals and gas, related raw materials, products and wastes. These facilities and their respective operations are subject to various risks, such as fires, explosions, leaks, ruptures, discharges of toxic hazardous substances, soil and water contamination, flooding and land subsidence, among others. As a result, we are subject to the risk of experiencing, and have in the past experienced, industry-related incidents. Our facilities are also subject to the risk of deliberate acts of terror.
Our main Sasol Synfuels production facilities are concentrated in a relatively small area in Secunda, South Africa. This facility utilises feedstock from our mining and gas businesses, whilst the chemical and oil businesses rely on the facility for the raw materials it produces. Accidents and acts of terror may result in damage to our facilities and may require shutdown of the affected facilities, thereby disrupting production, increasing production costs and may even disrupt the mining, gas, chemicals and oil businesses which make up a significant portion of our total income. Furthermore, accidents or acts of terror at our longstanding operations may have caused, or may in future cause, environmental contamination, personal injuries, health impairment or fatalities and may result in exposure to extensive environmental remediation costs, civil litigation, the imposition of fines and penalties and the need to obtain or implement costly pollution control technology.
It is Sasol's policy to procure appropriate property damage and business interruption insurance cover for its production facilities above acceptable deductible levels at acceptable commercial premiums. However, full cover for all loss scenarios may not be available at acceptable commercial rates, and we cannot give any assurance that the insurance procured for any particular year would cover all potential risks sufficiently or that the insurers will have the financial ability to pay all claims that may arise.
The costs we may incur as a result of the above or related factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Our coal, synthetic oil, natural oil and natural gas reserve estimates may be materially different from quantities that we eventually recover
Our reported coal, natural oil and gas reserves are estimated quantities based on applicable reporting regulations that under present and anticipated conditions have the potential to be economically mined, processed or produced.
There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and in projecting future rates of production, including factors which are beyond our control. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data, engineering and geological interpretation and judgement.
Reserve estimates will require revision based on actual production experience and other factors, including extensions and discoveries. In addition, regulatory changes, market prices, increased production costs and other factors may result in a revision to estimated reserves. Significantly revised
estimates may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. See "Item 4.DProperty, plants and equipment".
There is a possible risk that sanctions may be imposed on Sasol by the US government, the European Union or the United Nations as a result of our existing chemicals investments in Iran
There are possible risks posed by the potential imposition of US, European Union or United Nations economic sanctions in connection with activities we are undertaking in the polymers field in Iran. For a description of our activities in Iran see "Item 4.BBusiness overviewSasol Polymers".
The risks primarily relate to two sanctions programmes administered by the US government: the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITRs) administered by the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 and the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and supplemented by US executive orders, administered by the US Department of State.
The ITRs prohibit or restrict most transactions between US persons and Iran. The ITRs do not apply directly to either Sasol or the group entities involved in activities in Iran, because none of them would be considered US persons under these regulations. Nonetheless, because the group is a multinational enterprise, the ITRs may apply to certain entities associated with the group, including US employees, investors and certain subsidiaries.
We take measures to mitigate the risk that our US employees, investors and certain subsidiaries of the group to which the ITRs apply will violate the ITRs as a result of their respective affiliations with the group.
However, we cannot predict OFAC's enforcement policy in this regard, and it is possible that OFAC may take a different view of the measures we have implemented. In such event, US persons or affiliates associated with the group may be subject to a range of civil and criminal penalties.
The ISA was adopted by the US government in 1996, and subsequently amended, with the objective of denying Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism and fund the development or acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the US Congress continues to consider amendments to the ISA that could subject a broader range of business or investment activities to sanctions.
In its amended form, the ISA grants the President of the US discretion in imposing sanctions on companies that, among other things, make certain investments in Iran or provide goods, services, technology or support above certain thresholds that could directly and significantly contribute to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum or petrochemical industries.
Should the US government determine that some or all of our activities in Iran are investments in the petroleum or petrochemical industry or provide goods, services, technology or support for Iran's domestic production of petrochemical products or refined petroleum products, as defined by the ISA, the President of the US may, in his discretion, impose sanctions against Sasol. These sanctions could include restrictions on our ability to obtain credit from US financial institutions, restrictions on our ability to procure goods, services and technology from the US, restrictions on our ability to make sales into the US, restrictions on our ability to operate in the US, of blocking of Sasol's property within US jurisdiction, in which case transactions in our securities and distributions to US individuals and entities with respect to our securities would also be prohibited.
We cannot predict future interpretations of the provisions of the ISA or the implementation policy of the US government with respect to the ISA. We cannot assure you that our activities in Iran will not be deemed sanctionable under the current US sanction programme.
Additionally, recent developments in US, European Union and United Nations Iranian sanctions programmes have increased the risks of doing business related to Iran. We cannot assure you that as a result of these developments our activities in Iran will not be adversely impacted and that there will not be a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. We continue to evaluate the risks and implications of these sanctions on our investments and activities in Iran and are in a process of divesture from our Iranian activities, however, we cannot assure you as to the timing or terms of such divesture, particularly in light of the impact of the Iranian sanctions programmes on the divesture process.
Legislation by US states that may require US public pension funds to divest of securities of companies with certain Iran-related activities could adversely affect our reputation with US investors or the market price of our shares
Several US states have enacted or are considering legislation that may require US state pension funds to divest securities of companies that have certain business operations in Iran. The terms of these provisions differ from state to state, and we cannot predict which legislation, if any, would require state pension funds to divest our shares. If a substantial number of our shares were to be divested as a result of state legislation, or the perception be created that the divestiture is required to occur, our reputation with US investors or the market price of our shares could be adversely affected.
The exercise of voting rights by holders of American Depositary Receipts is limited in some circumstances
Holders of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) may exercise voting rights with respect to the ordinary shares underlying their American Depositary Shares (ADSs) only in accordance with the provisions of our deposit agreement (Deposit Agreement) with The Bank of New York Mellon, as the depositary (Depositary). For example, ADR holders will not receive notice of a meeting directly from us. Rather, we will provide notice of a shareholders meeting to The Bank of New York Mellon in accordance with the Deposit Agreement. The Bank of New York Mellon has undertaken in turn, as soon as practicable after receipt of our notice, to mail voting materials to holders of ADRs. These voting materials include information on the matters to be voted on as contained in our notice of the shareholders meeting and a statement that the holders of ADRs on a specified date will be entitled, subject to any applicable provision of the laws of South Africa and our Memorandum of Incorporation, to instruct The Bank of New York Mellon as to the exercise of the voting rights pertaining to the shares underlying their respective ADSs on a specified date. In addition, holders of our ADRs will be required to instruct The Bank of New York Mellon how to exercise these voting rights.
Upon the written instruction of an ADR holder, The Bank of New York Mellon will endeavour, in so far as practicable, to vote or cause to be voted the shares underlying the ADSs in accordance with the instructions received. If instructions from an ADR holder are not received by The Bank of New York Mellon by the date specified in the voting materials, The Bank of New York Mellon will not request a proxy on behalf of such holder. The Bank of New York Mellon will not vote or attempt to exercise the right to vote other than in accordance with the instructions received from ADR holders.
We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct The Bank of New York Mellon to vote the shares underlying your ADSs. In addition, The Bank of New York Mellon and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and there may be no recourse if your voting rights are not exercised as you directed.
Sales of a large amount of Sasol's ordinary shares and ADSs could adversely affect the prevailing market price of the securities
Historically, trading volumes and liquidity of shares listed on the JSE Limited (JSE) have been low in comparison with other major markets. The ability of a holder to sell a substantial number of Sasol's ordinary shares on the JSE in a timely manner, especially in a large block trade, may be restricted by this limited liquidity. The sales of ordinary shares or ADSs, if substantial, or the perception that these sales may occur and be substantial, could exert downward pressure on the prevailing market prices for the Sasol ordinary shares or ADSs, causing their market prices to decline.
Sasol Limited, the ultimate holding company of our group, is a public company. It was incorporated under the laws of the Republic of South Africa in 1979 and has been listed on the JSE Limited (JSE) since October 1979. Our registered office and corporate headquarters are at 1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, 2196, South Africa, and our telephone number is +27 11 441 3111. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Puglisi and Associates, 850 Library Avenue, Suite 204, P.O. Box 885, Newark, Delaware 19715.
In 1950, the South African government formed our predecessor company, the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation Limited, to manufacture fuels and chemicals from indigenous raw materials. In October 1979, Sasol Limited was listed on the JSE, and 70% of its share capital was privatised. We used the proceeds from the private and public issue to acquire 100% shareholding in our synthetic fuels plant at Sasolburg (Sasol One), in the Free State province, about 80 kilometres (km) south of Johannesburg and 50% shareholding in Sasol Two in Secunda, 145 km southeast of Johannesburg in the Mpumalanga province and our third synfuels and chemicals plant also in Secunda, Sasol Three, from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC). During 1983, we acquired the IDC's remaining interest in Sasol Two and the remaining interest in Sasol Three was acquired effective 1 July 1990. Subsequently, the interest in our share capital held by the South African government through the IDC was further reduced to its current 7,9%.
In 1982, our American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) were quoted on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) National Market through an unsponsored ADR programme, which was later converted to a sponsored ADR programme in 1994. With effect from 9 April 2003, we transferred our listing to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Based in Johannesburg and formed in 1997, Sasol Synfuels International (Pty) Ltd. (SSI), our GTL and CTL technology marketing and support subsidiary, is responsible for developing, implementing and managing international business ventures based on our proprietary technology. Over the past years, we have been exploring opportunities through SSI to exploit the Sasol Slurry Phase Distillate (Sasol SPD) process technology for the production of high-quality, environment-friendly diesel and other higher-value hydrocarbons from natural gas and coal. In October 2000, we signed agreements with Chevron for the creation of Sasol Chevron, a 50:50 global joint venture founded on gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. In 2009, Sasol and Chevron reviewed and optimised their business model for co-operation with respect to their GTL ambitions and agreed, in future, to work together directly and on a case-by-case basis and not through the Sasol Chevron joint venture, which will only be used to support the GTL project in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, where SSI has a 10% interest in the 32 400 bbl/day Escravos GTL project, construction progressed steadily and commissioning of certain utility sections of the facility has been completed with the start of beneficial operations targeted towards the end of 2013.
In July 2001, we signed a joint venture agreement with Qatar Petroleum to establish ORYX GTL (Qatar Petroleum51% interest and Sasol49% interest). The joint venture constructed a GTL plant located at Ras Laffan Industrial City to produce high quality synfuels from Qatar's natural gas resources. The plant started producing on specification product during the first quarter of the 2007 calendar year and the first product was sold in April 2007. ORYX GTL is focused on stability, availability and sustainability consistently producing above design capacity of 32 400 barrels a day (bbl/d) since a maintenance shutdown early in the second half of the year. A variety of upgrades and changes over the last years resulted in exceptional plant performance which was coupled with an excellent safety record. ORYX GTL's proven capability over long periods gives us confidence that this can be sustained and they are working on a further expansion and investigating options to add more
value to the plant's output. We also continue to engage with the Qatari government to expand Sasol's activities in Qatar by evaluating potential projects related to GTL, GTL value adds and chemicals.
In February 2003, we signed a joint venture agreement with the Pars Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) of Iran. The NPC has since been involved in a privatisation process and shareholding has partially moved to a state pension fund for the military (SATA). The joint venture (Arya Sasol Polymer Company (ASPC)), on behalf of both joint venture parties, constructed a polymer plant designed to produce one million tons of ethylene to be converted into polyethylene or exported as ethylene. The complex comprises one ethane cracker for producing polymer-grade ethylene and two polyethylene plants. The ethane cracker was commissioned in November 2007. The low-density polyethylene plant and high-density polyethylene plant reached beneficial operation in 2009. We have initiated a review of our activities in and with Iran and for that purpose, have commenced a process to divest of our ASPC investment. This process could have an effect on the assets and facilities that we hold in Dubai and China.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the implementation of a black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction valued at approximately R1,8 billion. A black-women controlled coal mining company, Ixia Coal (Pty) Ltd. (Ixia Coal), acquired 20% of Sasol Mining's shareholding through the issue of new shares. The transaction increased Sasol Mining's BEE ownership component by approximately 20%, and when considered together with the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, Sasol Mining's BEE ownership is over 40%. The transaction was finalised on the conversion of mining rights on 29 March 2010 and the approval of the Competition Tribunal of South Africa on 1 September 2010. The effective date of the Ixia Coal transaction was 29 September 2010, when the remaining conditions precedent were met. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
On 16 May 2008, our shareholders approved our broad-based BEE transaction valued at approximately R24 billion (at R380 per share) at that time, which resulted in the transfer of beneficial ownership of approximately 10% of Sasol Limited's issued share capital to our employees and a wide spread of black South African BEE participants. This transaction will provide long-term sustainable benefits to all participants and has a tenure of 10 years. The following BEE participants acquired indirect or direct ownership in Sasol's issued share capital as follows:
The Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation were funded entirely through Sasol facilitation whilst the selected participants and the black public participating, through the funded invitation, were funded by way of equity contributions and preference share funding (including preference shares subscribed for by Sasol). The black public participating, through the cash invitation, were financed entirely by the participants from their own resources.
The effective date of the transaction for the Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation was 3 June 2008. The effective date of the transaction for the selected participants was 27 June 2008 and the effective date for the black public invitations was 8 September 2008. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
In February 2006, Sasol initiated engagements with key stakeholders in India to establish an enabling environment within which to evaluate the potential for a CTL project in India. This resulted in the decision to open a representative office in Mumbai in February 2007. Sasol and the Tata group of India signed agreements in July 2008 to form a 50:50 joint venture company, which has been allocated a portion of the North of Arkhapal and Srirampur coal blocks in the Talche coalfield in the State of Orissa for the development of a potential CTL project in India. In January 2010, the joint venture company initiated a pre-feasibility study for the project. This study is underway, and during the first half of the 2013 calendar year, the parties will decide whether to proceed with a full feasibility study.
In April 2009, Sasol, Uzbekneftegaz, the national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, and PETRONAS of Malaysia (the participants), signed a heads of agreement to evaluate the feasibility of GTL and upstream co-operation in Uzbekistan. On 15 July 2009, Sasol signed a joint venture agreement with Uzbekneftegaz and PETRONAS, to form a joint venture called Uzbekistan GTL LLC, a limited liability company, with each partner having a one third participating interest. A joint feasibility study for the development and implementation of this GTL project in Uzbekistan, with an estimated nominal capacity of 38 000 bbl/d commenced. The feasibility study was completed in the middle of the 2011 calendar year. The Uzbekistan GTL project was presented for approval to the government of Uzbekistan in September 2011, during which time, an investment agreement was concluded between the Government of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan GTL LLC and the participants in the project. The participants agreed to increase Sasol and Uzbekneftegaz's equity interests in Uzbekistan GTL LLC to 44,5% each, resulting in PETRONAS having an 11% interest. Following the approval from the Government of Uzbekistan and the participants, the front end engineering and design phase (FEED) of the GTL project in Uzbekistan commenced in October 2011, and it is expected that the FEED work will be completed during the second half of the 2013 calendar year.
In 2011, Sasol acquired from Talisman Energy Inc. (Talisman), a 50% stake in the Farrell Creek and Cypress A unconventional (shale/tight gas) assets situated in the Montney Basin of British Columbia, Canada. The acquired assets include associated gas gathering systems and processing facilities.
In the first quarter of 2011, Sasol, together with Talisman, initiated a feasibility study to determine the technical and commercial viability of a GTL plant in Western Canada. The feasibility study was completed by the end of June 2012. We are expecting to finalise our assessment of the feasibility study and take the decision of whether or not to proceed to the FEED phase in the second half of the 2012 calendar year. Our partner, Talisman, for internal reasons, has decided that they will not be exercising their right to participate in the FEED phase of the project.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sasol completed a pre-feasibility study into a possible integrated GTL and chemicals facility in Louisiana in the US. After the successful completion of the pre-feasibility study, the Sasol board approved that the project proceed to feasibility study phase. These studies are expected to be completed in the second half of the 2012 calendar year. The decision whether or not to proceed to FEED phase will be taken thereafter.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sasol commenced a pre-feasibility study to assess the technical and commercial viability of a world-scale ethane cracker and associated ethylene derivatives in Louisiana, US. These studies are expected to be completed in the second half of the 2012 calendar year. The decision whether to proceed to FEED phase will be taken thereafter.
At our annual general meeting of 23 November 2006, shareholders approved that the directors be granted the authority to acquire up to 10% of Sasol Limited ordinary shares by way of a general repurchase. This authority was renewed by shareholders at subsequent annual general meetings. As at 30 June 2012, a total of 8 809 886 Sasol ordinary shares (30 June 20118 809 886; 30 June 20108 809 886), representing 1,44% (30 June 20111,45%; 30 June 20101,46%) of the issued share
capital of the company, excluding the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, is held by its subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd. These shares are held as treasury shares and do not carry any voting rights. At the annual general meeting held on 25 November 2011, shareholders granted the authority to the Sasol directors to repurchase up to 10% of Sasol's issued securities. No shares were repurchased during 2012.
As of 30 June 2012, we were one of the largest JSE listed companies by Sasol ordinary shares market capitalisation (R220 788 million in respect of the Sasol ordinary shares), with total consolidated turnover of R169 446 million in 2012. We employ more than 34 000 people worldwide in our operations.
In 2012, we invested approximately R29 billion, compared with R21 billion in 2011 and R16 billion in 2010, in capital expenditure (on a cash flow basis excluding capitalised borrowing costs and including projects entered into by our joint ventures) to sustain and enhance our existing facilities and to expand operations. Capital expenditure incurred on key projects to expand our operations includes:
Key projects to meet legal and environmental obligations as well as to sustain existing operations during 2012 include:
Included in the above capital expenditure, we invested approximately R49 million in intangible assets (including investments made by joint ventures), mainly in respect of software, patents and trademarks during the year. For a discussion of the method of financing capital expenditure, refer to "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity".
As at 30 June 2012, we had authorised approximately R79 billion of group capital expenditure in respect of projects in progress, of which we had spent approximately R33 billion by 30 June 2012. Of the unspent capital commitments of R46 billion, R17 billion has been contracted for. Of this amount, we expect to spend R25 billion in 2013, R16 billion in 2014 and the remainder thereafter. For more information regarding our capital commitments refer to "Item 5.BLiquidity and capital resourcesliquidity" and "Item 5.FCapital and contractual commitments".
We expect to spend approximately R38 billion of our capital commitments on projects in South Africa, R1 billion in other African countries, R5 billion in North America, R2 billion in Europe and the remainder on projects in other regions. The following table reflects key projects approved by the Sasol Limited board and contracted which were not yet completed at 30 June 2012:
The amounts include business development costs and our group's share of capital expenditure of joint ventures.
In 2012, no additional amounts (2011R148 million and 2010R1 266 million) were committed by the group for further development of the Escravos GTL project.
Sasol is an international integrated energy and petrochemicals company that leverages the talent and expertise of our more than 34 000 people working in 38 countries. We develop and commercialise technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities, to produce a range of product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity.
While continuing to support our home-base of South Africa, Sasol is expanding internationally based on a unique value proposition, which links our diverse businesses into an integrated value chain supported by top-class functions. Our ability to deliver sustainable shareholder value is premised on developing our people, keeping them safe and healthy, contributing meaningfully to the social and economic development of the countries and communities within which we work, and doing so in an environmentally responsible way. Sasol is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Johannesburg (JSE: SOL) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SSL), with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Sasol believes that its ability to compete and grow sustainably is contingent on internal collaboration, knowledge and resource sharing, as well as building effective external partnerships and joint ventures in different markets, territories and cultural contexts. We cluster our businesses according to common business drivers. Clustering, which involves creating linkages among logically related businesses that allow for strategic consistency and operational efficiencies, has been increasingly adopted by world-class companies to become recognised best practice. The group's structure is organised into three focused business clustersSouth African Energy Cluster, International Energy Cluster and Chemical Cluster.
We divide our operations into the following segments:
South African Energy Cluster
International Energy Cluster
natural gas and condensate from the onshore Temane and Pande fields in Mozambique, oil in Gabon from the VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. operated offshore Etame, Avouma and Ebouri oilfield cluster and natural gas and condensate from the Talisman operated Farrell Creek and Cypress A unconventional (shale/tight gas) assets in Canada. We hold exploration interests in West and Southern Africa and the Asia Pacific region. We are mandated to pursue upstream exploration opportunities in the regions where we have interests and in other geographic areas, for the exploration and development of gas resources to supply feedstock to potential future Sasol GTL plants. SPI accounted for 1% of our total external segmental turnover in 2012.
The following tables present our total external turnover after the elimination of inter-segment turnover by business operation and geographic market in accordance with IFRS:
Our primary strategic focus is to increase shareholder returns through:
In addition, we are working to develop low carbon electricity as our third major value chain, alongside liquid fuels and chemicals. We are also exploring renewable and lower carbon energy options such as solar power, hydroelectricity and natural gas based opportunities, as well as biofuels and biomass.
Continuously improving our existing foundation businessesTo drive improved operational performance and improve margins we continue to pursue two corporate-wide initiatives focused upon operations and marketing excellence. These initiatives operate across all Sasol operations and businesses and are a key part of Sasol's strategy to more effectively extract the value of the company's existing integrated asset base, proprietary technology and product portfolio.
Commercialising and expanding our Fischer-Tropsch GTL and CTL technology growth prospects We have made further progress in growing our GTL businesses based on the Sasol SPD process in natural gas-rich regions. The Sasol SPD process allows us to monetise underutilised gas resources by converting them into GTL kerosene, superior quality diesel, naphtha and higher value chemicals in line with global trends towards cleaner fuel and reduced emissions to the environment. We continue to assess various opportunities in a number of countries and, in support of this growth driver, our team of researchers continues to advance our next-generation GTL technology, including our proprietary low-temperature Slurry Phase Fischer-Tropsch reactor and cobalt based catalysts.
We have chosen to pursue selected CTL growth opportunities, with only the possibility of implementing a CTL project in India still being actively pursued. Following the decision not to proceed with Project Mafutha (a prospective 80 000 bpd CTL project in Limpopo, a province in South Africa), the company has decided to conduct a pre-feasibility study to establish a coal mine, supplying coal to other viable markets in Limpopo.
The prospects for GTL plants are somewhat more promising, in light of the availability of gas at various locations in the world. Our project in Uzbekistan has entered the FEED phase, which is progressing according to schedule, and is expected to be completed during the second half of the 2013 calendar year. Our feasibility study relating to a project in Canada was completed by the end of June 2012. We are expecting to finalise our assessment of the feasibility study and take the decision of whether or not to proceed to the FEED phase in the second half of the 2012 calendar year. Our partner, Talisman, for internal reasons, has decided that they will not be exercising their right to participate in the FEED phase of the project. A possible integrated GTL and chemicals facility in Louisiana in the US is at the feasibility stage. This study is expected to be completed during the second half of the 2012 calendar year. The decision whether or not to proceed to the FEED phase will be taken thereafter. In addition to these projects, we continue to explore other opportunities for GTL including an expansion of the facility in Qatar.
In support of this growth driver, our team of researchers continues to advance our next-generation GTL technology, including our proprietary low-temperature Slurry Phase Fischer-Tropsch reactor and cobalt-based catalysts. These improvements are included in the designs for the new facilities as they are released for commercial application.
Growing our chemicals portfolioThe chemical cluster represents the second leg in Sasol's portfolio, in addition to energy and fuels, and is divided into five business units: Sasol Solvents, Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S), Sasol Nitro, Sasol Wax and Sasol Polymers. In South Africa, the chemical businesses are closely integrated in, and add substantial value to the Fischer-Tropsch value chain. We operate related chemical businesses in Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America in geographies and industries in which we enjoy either a feedstock, market or technology advantage.
We are pursuing substantial growth opportunities in our chemicals portfolio through the development of a world-scale cracker facility at Lake Charles in the US and the extraction of greater high value chemical feedstock from our existing and potential future GTL platforms (feasibility stage). With the exception of Sasol Nitro, all of our business units stand to benefit from these developments, allowing Sasol O&S, Sasol Solvents and Sasol Wax, in particular, to enhance their existing positions in selected products through higher value feedstock.
Outside of these opportunities, our chemical businesses continue to pursue a strategy to improve the operating performance of our existing assets and grow in selected areas of competitive advantage. In this regard, Sasol Solvents is progressing with the construction of the world's first commercial ethylene tetramerisation unit at the Sasol O&S Lake Charles production site in the US. The planned capacity for this facility is 100 000 tons per annum of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene which are co-monomers used in the plastics industry. Sasol O&S and Sasol Wax continue to add value through a focus on improved operational and product margin improvements. These efforts are focused upon creating value from the unique properties of many of the products that arise from Sasol's proprietary chemicals technologies. Sasol Nitro is driving further improvements in operational performance through the commissioning of a new limestone ammonium nitrate (LAN) granulation facility in Secunda, South Africa. We have conducted a review of its activities in Iran and have commenced a process to divest of our Arya Sasol Polymer Company (ASPC) investment. This process could have an effect on the assets and facilities that we hold in Dubai and China.
Mature and develop upstream hydrocarbon opportunitiesWe manage global upstream oil and gas interests and activities including exploration, appraisal, development and production. As operator, we produce natural gas and condensate from the onshore Temane and Pande gas fields in Mozambique, oil in Gabon from the VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. operated offshore Etame, Avouma and Ebouri oil field cluster and natural gas and condensate from the Talisman operated Farrell Creek and Cypress A unconventional (shale/tight gas) assets in Canada. We continue our efforts to expand the upstream asset base in order to supply feedstock gas for existing and possible new downstream businesses. For that purpose, we continue to pursue a growth plan to a) maximise production from existing assets; b) expand our exploration portfolio; c) consider acquisition options; and d) investigate unconventional gas opportunities. The acquisition, in 2011, of the Farrell Creek and Cypress A unconventional (shale/tight gas) assets and, in 2012, of the coal bed methane licences in Botswana, has been part of the growth strategy to acquire upstream gas positions to support Sasol's integrated GTL ambitions.
Sasol Gas continues to focus on growing the South African gas market following the successful introduction of natural gas from Mozambique in 2004.
Develop and grow new energy opportunitiesWe are developing and commercialising new technologies, and exploring renewable and lower carbon energy as well as carbon capture and storage solutions. Sasol New Energy is working to ensure that the group develops low carbon electricity as our third major value chain, alongside liquid fuels and chemicals.
During September 2012, Sasol New Energy invested GBP15 million in the UK-based OXIS Energy as a strategic investment. OXIS Energy has developed next-generation battery technology that offers superior energy density to current lithium-ion batteries, as well as being inherently safer. This is the latest addition to Sasol New Energy's expanding portfolio of new energy technologies.
South African Energy Cluster
Nature of the operations and principal activities
In South Africa, we have three coal mining operations:
During 2012, total production was 40,0 Mt of coal, compared to 38,6 Mt in the previous year. The 2011 year was a low base for comparison, due to a major planned shutdown at Sasol Synfuels. We have created additional capacity by adding three production sections. Production in the export plant was affected by new geological information relating to the Thubelisha shaft, which has a significant impact on the planned future operation of the mine. This resulted in lower productivity and high costs at certain sections of the Twistdraai colliery. The change in the geological grids at Twistdraai colliery has a negative impact on the product yields for export coal.
We extract and supply coal mainly to our Synfuels and chemical plants under terms and conditions which are determined on an arm's length basis. We export approximately 7% of our production. In 2012, external sales, primarily exports, remained at 2,9 Mt, consistent with 2011. In a volatile currency market, average US dollar export prices achieved decreased by 1%, while the rand weakened by 11% compared with the prior year.
Marketing opportunities for coal in both the international and domestic utility market continue to be explored. Our exports are currently constrained by our throughput entitlement at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
External market opportunities
International CTL projects. In support of SSI, we are involved in CTL project studies in India. At this stage, our role is to evaluate the coal feedstock supply in terms of the reserve base, the ability to mine the feedstock, pricing of feedstock, quality requirements of the coal for gasification and safety issues.
Mafutha Mining project. We were awarded a prospecting right in respect of the Limpopo West reserves in August 2007. The prospecting right was extended for the maximum period permitted by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002) (MPRDA) after its initial term and expired on 2 September 2012. The prospecting right is committed to the Eyesizwe Sasol Waterberg Joint Venture. Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (previously known as Eyesizwe Coal) and Sasol Mining respectively hold a 51% and 49% participation right in terms of the prospecting joint venture agreement. It was the intent of the joint venture to exploit this coal resource mainly for a CTL market, i.e. Project Mafutha. During late 2010, work on Project Mafutha was suspended. In view of the government's National Development Plan relating to the Waterberg coal resource area, which was communicated in December 2011, the GEC requested in January 2012 that Sasol Mining investigate options to exploit possible future business opportunities relating to the Limpopo West reserves independent of the CTL market. Based on the outcome of study results completed in May 2012, Sasol Mining submitted a mining right application on behalf of the Eyesizwe Sasol Waterberg Joint Venture in August 2012. It is planned to complete a feasibility study by December 2012, with subsequent project studies to follow in the 2013 calendar year.
The demand for coal by our synfuels and chemical plants is consistent throughout the year. The export coal demand is consistent, mainly in Europe and Asia. Even though the demand for coal is seasonal in certain regions, our sales are planned to ensure even shipment of coal throughout the year.
We make use of both a direct and an agency sales model as the chosen channels to market our products to third parties. There are a limited number of agents representing Sasol Mining in their specific geographic markets. These agents operate on a commission basis and are authorised to act as intermediaries only with the aim of promoting our product and providing after-sales service. All sales require approval by Sasol Mining before they may be concluded with the customer.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Being part of the Sasol value chain, we continually engage with Sasol Synfuels to ensure optimal delivery and utilisation of our coal resources. We also have dedicated strategic and long-term planning
departments to ensure that mining and other related activities are performed in accordance with our strategic plans for the future.
Also refer to Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of mining activities in South Africa".
Property, plants and equipment
Sasol Mining operates six mines for the supply of coal to Sasol Synfuels, Sasol Infrachem (utility coal only) and the external market. The annual production of each mine, the primary market to which it supplies coal and the location of each mine are indicated in the table below:
Some of our mines are approaching the end of their useful lives and we are developing new mines and shafts to sustain consistent supply. During April 2010, we started with shaft sinking operations of Twistdraai colliery's new Thubelisha Shaft. Unforeseen dolerite intrusions and a substantial "burnt coal area" have resulted in delays of the underground development until August 2013. This delay will, however, not impact on delivery to the market as the main surface facilities and overland conveyer system was completed and is in operation from 2012. Approval for the construction of the Impumelelo colliery, which will replace the ageing Brandspruit mine, was obtained in November 2010. Shaft sinking at the new Impumelelo colliery started in August 2011 and is progressing as planned. Shaft sinking activities are in progress on three shafts (man/material, ventilation and incline shafts). The ventilation shaft is planned to reach the coal seam in the first half of the 2013 calendar year. Construction activities are scheduled to be completed to accept the first production section from Brandspruit by the second half of the 2014 calendar year.
Construction work at the Shondoni colliery, which will replace the current Middelbult mine production, started during February 2012. This colliery is planned to come into operation in the second half of the 2015 calendar year.
Coal handling facilitySasol Coal Supply (SCS)
SCS at Secunda is responsible for the conveyance of coal from the mine mouth to a stock holding facility. Coal from the different mines are blended in order to homogenise the product that is then conveyed to Sasol Synfuels as required.
A coal beneficiation plant is operated at Secunda to enable us to supply export quality coal for the international market. The design throughput of the plant is 10,5 Mt per annum. The plant feedstock is supplied by Twistdraai mine via overland conveyor belts of approximately 20 km in length. The new Twistdraai Thubelisha shaft conveyor, which is approximately 17 km in length, will replace the current conveyor system over the next few years.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Established in 1964, originally as the South African Gas Distribution Corporation Limited (Gascor), Sasol Gas operates and maintains an approximately 2 500 km pipeline network in South Africa and Mozambique. Sasol Gas is a shareholder in Rompco and Spring Lights Gas (Pty) Ltd. (Spring Lights Gas).
As part of the Natural Gas Project for the development, production and transportation of natural gas from Mozambique, Rompco was established as the owner of the Mozambique to Secunda gas transmission pipeline (MSP).
Initially, Rompco was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasol Gas Holdings. Pursuant to the Rompco Shareholders' Agreement, the South African and Mozambican governments' nominated shareholders, namely the South African Gas Development Company (Pty) Ltd. (iGas) and Companhia de Moçambicana de Gasoduto, S.A.R.L (CMG), were afforded a deferred option to purchase in aggregate up to 50% of the shareholding in Rompco. With effect from 1 July 2005, iGas exercised its option to purchase 25% of the shares in Rompco. CMG exercised its option with effect from 2 August 2006. The shareholding by government nominated entities positively impacted the political risk profile of the investment in Rompco and the MSP.
As part of Sasol Gas's commitment to broad-based BEE, Sasol Gas formed a joint venture company, Spring Lights Gas, with Coal Energy and Power Resources Limited (CEPR), in 2002 to which it sold a portion of its marketing business in KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. CEPR has sold its 51% share in Spring Lights Gas to another broad-based BEE consortium, Kwande Ziko in 2012. Spring Lights Gas has realised substantial growth in the market since its inception.
Since 1996, Sasol Gas has been using the Lilly pipeline owned by Transnet SOC Limited (Transnet), operated by its division Transnet Pipelines, for the transportation of gas to the KwaZulu-Natal market. During 2005, we renewed the gas transportation agreement with Transnet Pipelines to continue to use the pipeline for a duration of 17 years (until 2022), with an option to extend the agreement.
In 2011, Sasol Gas commenced a project to construct the R1,6 billion Gauteng Network Pipeline (GNP). This project entails the construction of a 156 km, 26 inch gas transmission pipeline between Secunda and Sasolburg, South Africa. It is anticipated that this facility will be commissioned during the first half of the 2013 calendar year.
Sasol Gas markets methane-rich gas, produced by Sasol Synfuels and natural gas produced from gas fields in Mozambique. In the energy market, pipeline gas competes with crude oil-derived products, electricity and coal in various industries, such as ceramics, glass, metal, manufacturing, chemical, food and pulp and paper.
The pipeline gas segment makes up a small part of the overall energy industry in South Africa. The market has grown as a result of the introduction of natural gas from Mozambique since 2004. The current supply of 152,7 mega gigajoule per annum (MGJ/a) of pipeline gas increased from 148,2 MGJ/a in 2011. Compared to developed countries, in the short- to medium-term, South Africa is a small consumer of natural gas as a percentage of its total energy requirements. However, there is the opportunity to increase sales of environmentally preferred natural gas. Environmental and technological trends together with new environmental legislation are expected to entice customers to convert to gas as a substitute for environmentally less desirable energy sources. During 2012, natural gas volumes sold
were 129,8 mega gigajoule (MGJ) compared to 125,8 MGJ in 2011. Methane rich gas volumes sold were 22,6 MGJ in 2012 compared to 24,4 MGJ in 2011.
Sasol Gas supplies 61,8 MGJ/a of gas to approximately 550 industrial and commercial customers in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North-West and the Free State. Besides marketing pipeline gas to these customers, natural gas is also supplied as feedstock to Sasol's facilities in Sasolburg and Secunda.
The total South African demand for gas is consistent throughout the year and is generally not subject to seasonal fluctuations due to moderate temperature variances between seasons and the absence of a significant domestic market.
The natural gas purchased in Mozambique, from an un-incorporated joint venture (UJV), consisting of Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada (SPT), a subsidiary of Sasol Petroleum International, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos, S.A.R.L (CMH), is transported by Rompco to Secunda in South Africa. Methane-rich gas is purchased from the Sasol Synfuels facility in Secunda. The UJV has been supplying Sasol Gas with natural gas since 2004 and Sasol Synfuels has been supplying methane-rich gas to Sasol Gas since 1994.
Approximately 98% of the products produced by Sasol Gas are sold to end-use industrial customers by our own sales and marketing personnel. We also supply a small number of traders and reticulators who sell the gas to their own customers.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Licences and regulations
We have obtained, from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the necessary licences required in terms of the Gas Act to operate our gas transmission and distribution facilities and to engage in our trading activities. As and when expansion of our distribution and transmission facilities is required we apply for the required construction licences from NERSA. Sasol Gas prices its gas in terms of the Market Value Pricing methodology, as set out in the Regulatory Agreement with the South African government. This pricing dispensation expires in March 2014. Sasol Gas is currently developing a new pricing mechanism that will apply from March 2014.
Refer to Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of pipeline gas activities in South Africa" for additional information.
Property, plants and equipment
The MSP natural gas transmission pipeline owned by Rompco is a 26 inch carbon steel underground pipeline of 865 km. The pipeline starts from the natural gas central processing facility (CPF) at Temane in Mozambique and ends at the pressure protection station (PPS) in Secunda. The instantaneous capacity of the pipeline is 136 MGJ/a, with an annual average of 120 MGJ/a without any additional compression along the pipeline. In 2010, Rompco commissioned its first compressor station near Komatipoort in South Africa. This facility supplies midpoint compression and enables the pipeline to increase gas transportation up to a nominal annual average of 166 MGJ/a, with an instantaneous pipeline capacity in excess of 170 MGJ/a.
The inland transmission network of Gauteng is fed from the PPS at Nigel. The network is operated at a maximum pressure of 3 550 kPa and the capacity of the transmission network is approximately 89 MGJ/a. These pipelines supply various low pressure distribution areas as well as some customers directly. Where these lines enter into various distribution areas, a pressure reduction station reduces the pressure to 625 kPa. The southern part of the inland network ends in Sasolburg.
The Secunda, Witbank and Middelburg distribution network receives methane-rich gas from Sasol Synfuels. The maximum operating pressure for this pipeline is 3 000 kPa and the capacity of the network is approximately 10 MGJ/a. Methane-rich gas, similar to that which is supplied to Witbank and Middelburg, is compressed and fed into the Transnet Pipelines transmission pipeline to supply our customers in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The maximum operating pressure for this transmission pipeline is 5 300 kPa and the capacity of the network is approximately 21 MGJ/a.
Nature of the operations and principal activities
Sasol Synfuels, based in Secunda, operates a coal and gas based synthetic fuels manufacturing facility. We produce syngas primarily from low-grade coal with a smaller portion of feedstock being natural gas. The process uses advanced high temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert syngas into a range of synthetic fuel components, as well as industrial pipeline gas and chemical feedstock. Feedstreams are produced that are used for the production of chemical and polymer building blocks, including ethylene, propylene, ammonia, phenols, alcohols and ketones. We operate the world's largest oxygen production facilities (according to Air Liquide, the French industrial gas company), currently consisting of 16 units.
The Sasol Natural Gas Growth Project (SNGGP) phase 1(a) was approved by the Sasol Limited board during March 2010. The total approved amount of R13,2 billion, consists of capital and feasibility funds. This investment will result in an increase in production of approximately 3,2% on a sustainable basis as well as additional electricity generation from gas turbines. Sasol Synfuels has incurred total costs of R10,5 billion to 30 June 2012. This was in respect of the SNGGP phase 1(a), including R641 million for pre-feasibility and feasibility studies. On the clean fuel specification programme phase 1(b), an amount of R358 million has been approved for feasibility studies and basic development, with a total expected capital investment of R5,1 billion. The core scope of phase 1(b) is to address expected future fuel specification changes. Future related projects and growth opportunities will be considered.
Sasol Synfuels sells fuel components and heavy fuel oils to Sasol Oil, and methane-rich gas is sold to Sasol Gas. Chemical feedstocks are sold to the chemical divisions of Sasol and its joint venture partners, including Merisol. Such feedstocks are processed and marketed for a wide range of applications locally and abroad. Ammonia and sulphur are sold to the fertiliser and explosives industries.
The main feedstock components used by Sasol Synfuels in the production process are low grade coal obtained from Sasol Mining and natural gas obtained from Sasol Gas. Prices of low grade coal are determined with using an arms length pricing mechanism for Sasol Mining, while the price of natural gas is determined by the international price of Brent crude oil, the rand /US dollar exchange rate as well as the South African Producer Price Index.
The bulk of our products are sold to other Sasol business units. A very small volume of carbon products are directly marketed to clients locally and abroad, via commercial distribution channels. Sasol Infrachem acts as a marketing agent for the selling of ammonia mainly to the South African fertiliser industry.
Property, plants and equipment
Specific product volumes
Sasol Synfuels is continuing the development of an operations excellence approach suitable for Sasol Synfuels' manufacturing activities. Greater energy efficiency is also being pursued through new programmes aimed at reducing overall unit cost, improving environmental performance and assuring the reliability of electricity supply. Sasol Synfuels has completed the construction of a 200 megawatt power-generation plant at Secunda. Beneficial operation for the gas turbine plants were achieved during July 2010. This facility was commissioned on natural gas but will eventually use waste-gas streams as an energy source to reduce costs and reduce negative environmental impact as well as achieve overall improved site energy efficiency. Subsequently, a 68 megawatt heat recovery steam generator system (HRSG), which further increases the electricity generation capacity of Sasol Synfuels, was commissioned during 2012. The total cost incurred for the system was R740 million.
Sasol Synfuels was faced with numerous challenges with regards to stable plant operations during the first half of the 2012 year. Despite these challenges, plant integrity and reliability were restored from November 2011 resulting in improved production volumes during the second half of 2012. Sasol Synfuels embarked on a plant restoration drive in order to ensure sustainable plant operations. The operations excellence programme is aimed at further improving long-term plant reliability and stability.
Sasol Synfuels continues to advance a series of major environmental projects as part of a wider group initiative in South Africa to reduce our environmental footprint and enhance operational efficiency.
Sasol Synfuels are also focusing on opportunities to reduce volumes of low-level volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). These projects are in various development phases. The volatile organic compounds abatement project was approved in stages, with final approval given during November 2009. The total amount approved for the project is R1,9 billion.
Sasol Synfuels has approved an amount of R5,6 billion for environmental projects to date. This amount includes spending on black product remediation, rehabilitation of the waste ash site, dolomite pits, the reduction of VOC emissions, the sulphuric acid plant and the coal tar filtration project. As 30 June 2012, the total expenditure to date on these projects amounted to R2,2 billion, with the remaining R3,4 billion to be spent in the future.
In March 2010, capital expenditure amounting to R1,4 billion was approved by the Sasol Limited board to install an additional reformer (17th) in order to acquire additional reforming capacity. The reforming gas improvement project reached beneficial operation in May 2012.
In March 2010, the Sasol Limited board approved a total amount of R1,9 billion for the Sasol Fixed Bed Dry Bottom Gasifiers project. Two of four new gasifiers were commissioned successfully during April 2012 and June 2012, respectively.
The Sasol Limited board also approved an additional R1,0 billion for the replacement of tar tanks and separators during March 2012. This will ensure that the production capacity of the Secunda complex is maintained. The total amount approved for the project is R2,0 billion.
Nature of the operations and principal activities
Sasol Oil encompasses the established liquid fuels, bitumen, heating fuels and lubricants marketing activities of Sasol through our wholesale, commercial and retailing interests, featuring both the Sasol and the Exel brands. Operations include fuel blending and storage facilities at our Secunda operations to turn fuel components procured from Sasol Synfuels into market ready products. Sasol Oil is also responsible for crude oil procurement, shipping and the subsequent refining of crude oil through our majority shareholder interest in the Natref refinery in Sasolburg. Final product is supplied to and traded with, other licenced wholesalers operating in Southern Africa. Products include petrol, diesel, jet fuel, illuminating paraffin, LPG, fuel oils, bitumen, motor and industrial lubricants and sulphur.
Liquid fuels marketed
Sasol Oil's fuel production is primarily located in South Africa's industrial heartland, where an estimated 58% of the country's petrol and diesel is consumed. Our full production of approximately 8,13 million m3 of white products per year is insufficient to supply this market. The balance of the market is supplied from coastal refineries and imports, transported via road and rail tankers and Transnet's pipelines. Limited volumes of white products are exported overland to neighbouring countries.
The total South African demand for road transportation fuels is fairly consistent throughout the year. Slightly higher demand for petrol is evident during the December summer holiday period and diesel demand tends to peak during October, the summer grain planting season. Diesel demand weakens during the December holiday period in line with reduced construction activities. The demand for fuel oil and gases tends to increase in the winter season and weaken in summer. Demand during the first quarter of the calendar year is generally weaker than the annual average.
South African fuel prices are derived from international reference prices as a result of the longstanding regulatory dispensation, which is based on import alternatives. Local price seasonality is mainly as a result of northern hemisphere demand peaks for petrol during the US driving season in the summer and distillate demand during the European winter. This normally results in petrol and diesel prices being higher during our winter and summer months, respectively.
During 2012, international diesel crack spreads have shown signs of recovery after the global economic recession. Petrol crack spreads have shown seasonal improvements. Petrol margins are, however, expected to remain under pressure due to weak demand and an increase in ethanol blending in the US. Geopolitical instability and excess refining capacity have replaced seasonality and fundamental demands as primary drivers for refining margins.
Sasol Oil's main raw material inputs are blending components from Sasol Synfuels, crude oil and base oils for lubricant manufacturing.
Sasol Oil has an agreement with Sasol Synfuels to uplift fuel components, which are then blended to market specifications in Secunda. Fuel oil components from Sasol Synfuels and Natref are blended to provide customer specific heating fuel solutions. The purchase price of fuel components is referenced to international petroleum product prices, crude oil and refinery operating costs.
Natref historically obtained approximately 50% of its crude oil requirements from the Middle East (of the purchases from the Middle East approximately 12 000 bpd of crude oil was purchased from Naftiran Intertrade Company Limited of Iran and approximately 20 000 bpd of crude oil was purchased from Saudi Arabia) through crude oil term contracts. Purchases from Iran were terminated during February 2012. Replacement for the Iranian crude oil supply is being sourced from Saudi Arabia and the spot market. The balance, representing the other 50% of the requirement, is purchased on the spot market from West Africa and other sources. Volatility in crude oil prices has increased since the late 1990's as result of international supply/demand dynamics and geo-politics. Crude oil prices have been trading in a range of US$88,69/bbl to US$128,14/bbl in 2012, with fundamentals pushing prices towards the lower end of the price band, and geopolitical tensions relating to Iran supporting prices at the high end of the spectrum.
Crude oil is landed at Durban, South Africa, and transferred to the refinery by a 583 km pipeline owned and operated by Transnet Pipelines, a subsidiary of Transnet Limited, which is a state-owned multi-modal transport company.
Sasol Oil owns a portion (40%) of the ESA Lubricants Blending facility of Island View in Durban. The plant is managed by Engen Petroleum and blends automotive and industrial lubricants to Sasol Oil specifications. Base oils are predominantly procured locally.
Sasol Oil's marketing effort can be divided into four main areas namely sales to licenced wholesalers, direct marketing (retail and commercial markets) in South Africa, direct marketing in other African countries, as well as overland exports into Africa.
Sasol Oil is predominantly a bulk supplier to licenced wholesalers. Multi- national oil companies with their own South African refining capacity, namely, BP, Engen Petroleum (Engen), Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), Chevron and Total South Africa (Total), rely on Sasol to supply a part of their local marketing requirements. Another new type of licenced wholesaler, referred to as a non-refining wholesaler, has emerged over the past few years. Non-refining wholesalers tend to compete mainly in the commercial market with oil companies.
Individual agreements that vary in terms of duration, volume, and modes of delivery, regulate the relationship between Sasol and its licenced wholesale customers. The agreed product slates reflect Sasol Oil's production slate to aid efficient and reliable supply. Product is imported to cover planned and unplanned refinery outages to ensure that supply commitments are met.
We believe that independent access to retail and commercial markets have strategic, competitive and growth opportunities, and we intend to improve our position in the South African fuels market in this respect. Sasol Oil entered the South African retail market on 1 January 2004 with Sasol- and Exel-branded retail convenience centres. Currently our network consists of 404 service stations, including five Sasol branded integrated energy centres, across South Africa. Sasol's current national retail market share is estimated at 9,8%. We have commenced with a process to phase out the Exel brand and to convert existing retail convenience centres to the Sasol brand. New site development is progressing, although slower than anticipated, due to, amongst other things, a challenging regulatory environment.
Lubricants are marketed to targeted industrial market segments and motorists via our retail network. Efficient supply logistics are essential to operate a competitive business model. Extensive effort has been put into designing and implementing a supply chain that is comparable with international benchmarks.
In 2009, we acquired the remaining 49,9% of Exelem Aviation (Pty) Ltd. The business is now trading as Sasol Aviation (Pty) Ltd. (Sasol Aviation). Sasol Aviation focuses on jet fuel marketing at South Africa's premier airport, OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, but also services other inland airports. Sasol Aviation is part of an operating consortium at OR Tambo International and its market share at the airport is approximately 8%.
The fuel oil business provides a remarkably diverse range of heating fuels and applications to industrial and mining customers. The Natref refinery is situated 670 km from the coast. The resultant lack of a bunker fuels market makes this business unit crucial to ensure sale of heavy fuels to assist in smooth refining operations at Natref.
Base bitumen is wholesaled by Sasol Oil, while Tosas Holdings (Pty) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary, markets value-added bitumen and applies it through construction teams.
Lesotho and Swaziland are in the natural supply area of Sasol Oil's production facilities. Exel Lesotho and Exel Swaziland, wholly owned subsidiaries of Sasol Oil, acquired the marketing assets of BP in Lesotho and Swaziland in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Exel Lesotho is the marketing leader in Lesotho, with a 40% market share, and Exel Swaziland currently has 8,5% market share in Swaziland.
Sasol Oil holds a 49% interest in Petromoc e Sasol Sarl (PeSS), which is a joint venture with the Mozambican national state oil company, Petromoc. PeSS operates a network of 8 retail convenience centres and has 47 commercial customers. PeSS has an 8,0% share of the petrol and diesel market in Mozambique. Petrol, diesel, illuminating paraffin and lubricants are marketed through PeSS.
Export sales to other African countries are effected at the refinery gate, as Sasol Oil has no marketing assets in these countries. Volumes available for export to these markets are limited as a result of significant demand growth in South Africa.
Factors on which the business is dependent
Activities across the value chain, including manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, are regulated through a licensing regime. Retail pump prices of petrol, the maximum refining gate price of LPG, the maximum cylinder retail price for LPG, and a maximum single national retail price of unpacked illuminating kerosene are regulated by the Petroleum Controller under the Petroleum Products Act, 1977.
An activity specific licensing regime for the South African oil industry was introduced during 2006. Manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing of petroleum products may only be conducted once a licence has been issued by the Petroleum Controller under the Petroleum Products Act, 1977. Onerous application requirements and a lengthy licensing process may hamper the development of retail convenience centres in future. Refer to Item 4B "Business overviewRegulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa" for additional information.
NERSA, under the Petroleum Pipelines Act, sets tariffs for petroleum pipelines and approves tariffs for third party access to storage and marine loading facilities. This act grants NERSA limited discretion when applying its pricing methodologies to set tariffs, which may affect some competitors, because of different market and production locations. Sasol utilises Transnet's fuel pipeline services to transport crude oil from Durban to its Natref refinery in Sasolburg, and to transport fuel products from Natref, the Secunda tank farm and from Durban to various destinations in the South African inland. In April each year, Transnet's pipeline tariffs are adjusted. Since April 2011, pipeline tariffs from the injection points in Durban, up to the final destination in the inland, have been set equal, even though routes and costs may differ.
Property, plants and equipment
Natref refinery operational statistics(1)
Natref is an inland refinery, focusing on the production of refined petrol and distillate fuels and producing only a small percentage of fuel oil and bitumen. It is designed to upgrade relatively heavy crude oil with a high sulphur content (sour) to yield about 90% white petroleum products. Crude oil selection and degree of upgrade are ultimately dictated by refinery configuration and overall economics. Products of the refinery include petrol, diesel, commercial propane, jet fuel, different grades of bitumen, fuel oils, sulphur and various gasses.
While Sasol Oil operates the refinery, Total participates in its management with veto rights over a number of corporate actions, including, increasing or reducing Natref's share capital, amending Natref's Memorandum of Incorporation and the rights attaching to its shares, appointing directors to serve as executive officers and determining directors' remuneration.
Under the terms of an agreement concluded between Total and Sasol, Total has the option to purchase up to 13,64% of the ordinary shares in Natref from Sasol at fair market value upon the occurrence of certain events. Since December 2003, Total has had two opportunities to increase its shareholding in Natref to 50%, the first being the termination of the Main Supply Agreements and the second the proposed transaction between Sasol and PETRONAS, which was subsequently prohibited by the South African Competition Tribunal. On both occasions Total decided not to exercise its option to increase its shareholding in Natref.
During the 2005 upgrade to meet new fuel specifications, Natref's throughput was reduced by 11%. A decision has been made that capacity will not be increased in the foreseeable future. South African fuel specifications continue to evolve with international trends and it is expected that substantial additional investment of approximately R8,3 billion will be required between 2014 and 2017 to meet these more stringent specifications. Construction of a pipeline to integrate Sasol Synfuels and Natref has been completed and the pipeline will be fully operational by October 2012. This will facilitate and optimise the production of new specification fuels by both plants.
During 2012, the overall refinery availability amounted to 93%, mainly due to planned and unplanned shutdowns. Improved planned maintenance strategies resulted in lower unplanned down time.
International Energy Cluster
Sasol Synfuels International
Nature of operations and principal activities
Based in Johannesburg and formed in 1997, Sasol Synfuels International (Pty) Ltd. (SSI), our GTL and CTL technology marketing and support subsidiary, is responsible for developing, implementing and managing international business ventures based on our proprietary technology. SSI's primary focus is on securing opportunities to advance our GTL and CTL ambitions.
The catalyst business forms a part of SSI, and is an integral component of the Sasol Fischer-Tropsch (FT) value chain and aims to provide security of supply of quality competitive FT catalyst to the current and future GTL and CTL ventures. To support our current GTL projects, we use three 680 tons per annum cobalt catalyst manufacturing units, with two units situated in De Meern, in The Netherlands, operated and owned by BASF, and a third at our Sasolburg site, operated and owned by Sasol Cobalt Catalyst Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd. (SCCM), a wholly owned subsidiary of SSI.
The Sasol SPD process
Based on our long and extensive experience in the commercial application of Fischer-Tropsch technology, we have successfully developed the Fischer-Tropsch- based Sasol SPD process for converting natural gas into high-quality, environment-friendly GTL diesel, GTL kerosene and other liquid hydrocarbons. The SPD process consists of three main steps, each of which is commercially proven. These include:
Currently we believe, based on our knowledge of the industry and publicly available information, that on a worldwide basis we have the most extensive experience in the application of Fischer-Tropsch technology on a commercial scale. Given the increasing discovery of extensive natural gas reserves, our Sasol SPD process can be applied with significant commercial advantages in various parts of the world. As a consequence, our technology has evoked interest from countries and companies with extensive natural gas reserves as an appealing alternative for commercialising these reserves. We have been actively promoting our Sasol SPD technology and are examining opportunities with a view to commercial application for new GTL and CTL plants.
The Sasol SPD process converts natural gas into diesel and other liquid hydrocarbons, which are generally more environmentally friendly and of higher quality and performance compared to the equivalent crude oil-derived products. In view of product specifications gradually becoming more stringent, especially with respect to emissions, we believe that the option of environmentally friendly
GTL and CTL fuels will become increasingly appealing. GTL and CTL diesel can be used with optimised engines for best performance, although it can also be utilised with current compression ignition engines. GTL diesel is currently used as a cost-competitive blend stock for conventional diesels, thereby enabling conventional diesel producers to improve the quality and capacity of their product without investing substantially in sophisticated new plants and infrastructure. We anticipate that the combined factors of GTL and CTL diesel's superior characteristics and the prevailing market conditions in developed economies will enable GTL and CTL diesel to command premium prices for either niche applications or as a blend stock for upgrading lower-specification products. The construction of GTL/CTL facilities and the production of GTL/CTL fuels require significant capital investment.
GTL and CTL developments utilising the Sasol SPD process
SSI is successfully progressing GTL projects in Canada (feasibility), the US (feasibility), Uzbekistan (front end engineering and design) and Nigeria (execution) and has achieved stable operations at ORYX GTL, in Qatar. SSI is also involved in the pre-feasibility stage for its CTL project in India. For further details on these projects, see "Item 4.A-History and development of the company".
The bulk of the ultra-low sulphur GTL diesel produced at ORYX GTL is sold as a blend stock with middle distillate product streams derived from conventional oil refining to produce on-specification automotive diesel. The GTL naphtha produced at ORYX GTL is sold to naphtha crackers that produce olefins such as ethylene.
The FT catalyst is currently principally sold to Sasol's GTL operations, in particular ORYX GTL in Qatar.
GTL product prices reflect the seasonal behaviour of global petroleum product markets.
Catalyst demand is fairly stable but is driven by higher oil prices if the GTL plant owner decides to increase diesel output to maximise profits.
ORYX GTL, a 51% Qatar Petroleum and 49% Sasol joint venture, purchases natural gas feedstock from Al Khaleej Gas, a joint venture between ExxonMobil Middle East Gas Marketing Limited and Qatar Petroleum, under a gas purchase agreement with a contractual minimum off-take volume. The agreement commenced in January 2006 and is valid for a term of 25 years with an option to extend for a further 7 years.
Ethanol, wax, ammonia, as well as precious and transition metals, are key input materials required to produce FT catalyst, although customers provide the precious metals. These inputs are commodities and prices will therefore be market dependent.
The diesel produced by ORYX GTL is marketed by Sasol Synfuels International Marketing Limited (SSIM), under a marketing agency agreement, whereas the GTL naphtha and LPG are sold by Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company Limited (Tasweeq).
Factors on which the business is dependent
SSI is dependant on the successful integration of various technologies also referred to in the description of the Sasol SPD process. The continuous improvement of our cobalt catalyst performance is also key.
SCCM licences the catalyst manufacturing technology from Sasol Technology and BASF, and is dependent on catalyst technology development to improve its product offering.
The growth of the SSI business depends on the availability of competitively priced natural gas or coal reserves.
Remaining cost competitive
Working closely with Sasol Technology's Fischer-Tropsch process innovation teams at Sasolburg and Johannesburg, we are involved in an ongoing programme aimed at further improving competitiveness by lowering the capital and operating costs of future GTL and CTL plants. There is also a continued focus to reduce the total cost and increase the efficiency of the cobalt catalyst used in the process through improvement of the performance and total value chain of the catalyst supplied.
GTL and CTL ventures
SCCM follows a demand-supply approach, where new customer demand drives catalyst production and plant capacity. Therefore, the presence of GTL and CTL demand is key to the catalyst business sustainability.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Sasol Petroleum International
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
In 1995, we founded Sasol Petroleum International (Pty) Ltd. (SPI) to undertake oil and gas exploration and production in selected high potential areas in West and Southern Africa. Since then, we have expanded our portfolio and currently hold equity in producing assets with proved natural oil and gas reserves in Mozambique, Gabon and Canada and exploration interests in West and Southern Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. In Mozambique, we produce natural gas and condensate from the onshore Temane and Pande fields. Gas production from the Temane field commenced in 2004 and from the Pande field in 2009. In Gabon, oil production from the VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. operated offshore Etame field commenced in 2002, followed by production in 2007 and 2009 from the associated Avouma and Ebouri fields. In 2011, SPI acquired equity in the Talisman Energy Inc. operated Farrell Creek and Cypress A unconventional (shale/tight gas) producing assets in Canada.
Principal markets and marketing channels
Gas produced under the Pande-Temane Petroleum Production Agreement (PPA), other than royalty gas that is provided to the Mozambican government, is sold to Sasol Gas and to Aggreko Mocambique Limitada. The gas sold to Sasol Gas under long-term sales agreements, is exported for marketing in South Africa and for use as part of the feedstock for our chemical and synthetic fuel operations in Secunda and Sasolburg. The gas sold to Aggreko Mocambique Limitada under a short-term sales agreement, executed in 2012, is for power generation in Mozambique.
The natural gas condensate produced is currently sold at the gas processing plant under a long-term sales agreement to Temane Trading, a joint venture between Petromoc and Trafigura. The condensate is trucked to Beira, Mozambique, by the buyer for export via the port of Beira to offshore markets.
Oil production from the Etame Marin Permit operations is sold internationally on the open market. An annual sales contract is typically entered into for the sale of the Etame Marin Permit oil based on a competitive bidding process and sales prices are linked to international oil prices.
Gas production from the unconventional Farrell Creek and Cypress A (shale/tight gas) assets is sold by the Talisman Sasol Montney Partnership, under a long-term marketing agreement with Talisman Energy Canada, into the North American gas market. Pricing is based on the daily realised spot market prices less transportation and marketing fees, in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement with Talisman. The condensate is sold under the same marketing agreement.
Property, plants and equipment
In Mozambique natural gas and condensate is produced from the Pande-Temane PPA asset operated by Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada, a subsidiary of SPI. Production is from the Temane and Pande fields via a central processing facility (CPF) located some 700 km north of the Mozambican capital, Maputo.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
In Gabon, oil is produced from the Etame Marin Permit asset which is operated by VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. Production is from the Etame field is via subsea wells and through a floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel which is moored offshore at the field location.
Production from the Avouma and Ebouri fields is via minimum facilities fixed platforms which is tied back by pipelines to the Etame FPSO.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
In Canada, natural gas and condensate are produced from the unconventional (shale/tight gas) Farrell Creek and Cypress A assets, which are operated by Talisman. Production is via a number of field production wells, gathering lines and processing facilities located in British Columbia, Canada.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Our polymer-related activities are managed in two separate entities, Sasol Polymers, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited, and Sasol Polymers International Investments (Pty) Ltd. (SPII), a subsidiary of Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd. SPII manages our international operations.
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
In Sasol Polymers, we produce ethylene by separating and purifying an ethylene-rich mixture and by cracking of ethane and propane supplied by Sasol Synfuels. Propylene is separated and purified from a Fischer-Tropsch stream produced in the Sasol process. The ethylene is polymerised into low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and the propylene into polypropylene (PP). We operate a fully integrated chlor-alkali/polyvinylchloride chain. Ethylene and chlorine, from on-site chlor-alkali plants, are reacted to produce vinyl chloride monomer and then polymerised to polyvinylchloride (PVC). Caustic soda, hydrochloric acid and calcium chloride are other chlor-alkali products which are produced. Liquid sodium cyanide is produced from methane, ammonia and caustic soda.
We are a major South African plastics and chemicals operation and our vision is to be an exceptional producer of polymers and preferred supplier in our market. We supply quality monomers, polymers, chlor-alkali chemicals and mining reagents.
In South Africa, Sasol Polymers has two operating businesses:
In SPII, we manage the following international investments:
We continue to evaluate the risks and implications of these sanctions on our investments and activities in Iran and are in a process of divesture from our Iranian activities.
Over the past three years between 66% and 75% of Sasol Polymers' revenue has been earned from sales into the South African market.
We are the sole polymer producer of PVC, LDPE and LLDPE in South Africa and have the leading share of sales of these products in South Africa, where the competition is in the form of polymer imports primarily from Asian and Middle Eastern producers. We supply 160 ktpa ethylene and 110 ktpa propylene under contract to Safripol (Pty) Ltd. (Safripol) in Sasolburg by pipeline for the production of HDPE and polypropylene, respectively. We compete directly with Safripol in the polypropylene market, where we have a large share of the South African market. Caustic soda is sold primarily in South Africa into the pulp and paper, minerals beneficiation and soap and detergent industries. We are the sole local producer of sodium cyanide solution which is sold to local gold mining industry. Sales are expected to be in line with investment in dump retreatment in association with gold and uranium prices.
Currently, we export polymers from our South African operations to the African continent, South East Asia, Europe and South America. Product from the Petlin plant in Malaysia is sold into Malaysia, India, China, Australia and New Zealand.
SPII has commenced a divestiture process of the ASPC facility.
Global polymer demand does not show any marked annual seasonality although higher demand tends to arise in the third quarter of each calendar year as converters stock up for increased sales over the South African festive season.
The global polymer industry is, however, cyclical in terms of margins earned, given irregular investment patterns caused by large capital requirements and size of plants. The duration of a typical cycle has been seven years and margins can vary from low trough conditions to extreme peak conditions. During tight supply/demand periods, which usually coincide with increases in economic activity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), margins may increase disproportionately with high peaks. Over time margins reduce as investment is stimulated or as demand slows down in line with GDP. It may happen that excess capacity is installed, which results in collapsed margins.
Feedstock for ethylene and propylene in South Africa is purchased from Sasol Synfuels at market-priced fuel-alternative values. The mechanism for determining the fuel-alternative value is based on the South African Basic Fuel Price (BFP) mechanism administered by the Department of Energy. Feedstock prices have increased in line with the oil price. Salt used in our chlor-alkali production process is imported from Namibia and Botswana at US dollar denominated prices. Electricity is purchased from Eskom, South Africa's state-owned electricity provider.
Feedstock namely, ethane and propane, for SPII's joint venture cracker in Malaysia (PETRONAS Chemicals, previously known as Optimal Olefins) is purchased from PETRONAS at set prices, unrelated to oil, that escalates annually in line with US inflation rates. Petlin (Malaysia) buys its ethylene feedstock from PETRONAS Chemicals at prices related to the South East Asian ethylene market. ASPC, SPII's joint venture in Iran, buys its feedstock, ethane, from the Pars Petrochemical Company at a fixed price, unrelated to the oil price. In times of high oil prices this provides a competitive advantage to the operations in Malaysia and Iran, compared to crude oil based producers.
Our sales in South Africa are made directly to customers using our own marketing and sales staff. Sales offices are located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. Account managers are responsible for management of our relationship with customers.
For exports from South African operations, an international trading business was established to sell directly into Southern Africa and through distributors and agents into East and West Africa, the Far East, Europe and South America. All sales, administration and logistics are arranged from the Johannesburg office. Half of the exports from ASPC are handled by Sasol Polymers Middle East, a marketing company established in Dubai and wholly owned by SPII.
Property, plants and equipment
The construction of a 47 000 tpa ethylene purification unit (EPU) in Sasolburg, which will yield additional ethylene to support our polymer plants to run continuously, is expected to achieve beneficial operation during the second half of the 2013 calendar year.
The Sasol Limited board approved the construction of a 50 000 tpa propylene stability unit in Secunda. This facility will enable full capacity utilisation of the polypropylene plants and is expected to achieve beneficial operation during the second half of 2014.
The following table summarises the production capacities of each of our main product areas.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
We are one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of a diverse range of solvents, co-monomers and associated products. Solvent products are supplied to customers in approximately 90 countries and are used primarily in the coatings, printing, packaging, plastics, pharmaceutical, fragrance, aerosol paint and adhesive industries, as well as in the polish, cosmetics, agriculture and mining chemicals sectors. Pentene, hexene and octene are used as co-monomers in polyethylene production. We have production facilities in South Africa at Secunda and Sasolburg and in Germany at Moers and Herne. Our product range includes ketones, glycol ethers, acetates, alcohols, acrylates, pentene, hexene and octene, fine chemicals and mining chemicals. Our joint venture with Huntsman Corporation (Sasol Huntsman) produces maleic anhydride in Europe. We believe that the breadth of our product portfolio provides a competitive advantage relative to the more limited portfolios of most of our competitors in the global market.
The successful start up of Octene train III during 2009 added an additional 100 ktpa of octene to the co-monomers product portfolio. A second 30 ktpa methyl isobutyl ketone (MiBK) in Sasolburg was commissioned in April 2010 and production has been ramped up according to plan. During 2011, the construction of the second malaeic anhydride train was completed, which resulted in an increase of 45 ktpa to 105 ktpa.
In 2012, approximately 1,63 Mt of products were sold worldwide. Our global business is managed from offices in Johannesburg in South Africa. We have sales offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US.
We market our products throughout the world, with a large proportion of our alcohols being distributed in Europe. We are a leading producer of solvents in South Africa and we are a market leader in co-monomers based on production capacity. We expect to strengthen our position in the co-monomer high growth market through the commercialisation of our proprietary tetramerisation technology which involves the manufacture of octene from ethylene. The basic engineering on a 100 ktpa octene plant has been completed with beneficial operation planned for the third quarter of the 2013 calendar year. The location of the unit is at the Sasol cracker complex at Lake Charles in Louisiana, where we will benefit from plant integration economics and close location to our key customers.
Our competition varies depending on the products sold and includes a number of major international oil and chemical companies. Our competitors include ExxonMobil, Shell Chemicals, BP Chemicals, Chevron Phillips, Ineos, the Dow Chemical Company, Celanese and Eastman.
Production and sales volumes are generally not subject to seasonal fluctuations but tend to follow the broader global industry trends. In terms of the global cyclical nature of our products, periods of high demand and higher prices are followed by an increase in global production capacity which can depress global margins. The global economic crisis has had a detrimental effect on our sales prices, and market demand has shown signs of contraction as a result of increased volatility, caused in part by the continuing European debt crisis, as well as declining growth in China. The rising feedstock prices, on the back of increased crude oil prices partially offset by the rand weakness, have resulted in margins decreasing from the highs experienced during 2011.
Feedstocks for our operations in Secunda are derived mainly from Sasol Synfuels at market-priced fuel-alternative values based on the Basic Fuel Price (BFP). Fluctuations in the crude oil price and rand /US dollar exchange rate have a direct impact on the cost of our feedstocks and hence on margins. Feedstocks in Sasolburg are purchased from Sasol Polymers (based on fuel-alternative value) and Sasol Infrachem based on a long-term supply contract price with an annual inflation-linked escalation clause.
Ethylene, propylene, butylene and butane, used in our production facilities in Germany, are purchased at market prices from third party suppliers under a combination of long-term supply contracts and open market purchases.
Some products are produced by converting primary chemical commodities produced in our facilities to higher value-added derivatives. These include:
We operate thirteen regional sales offices and nine storage hubs in South Africa, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the US. We utilise a number of distributors and agents worldwide as an extension of our sales and marketing force to enable increased market penetration.
A combination of product and account managers ensures continued, long-term relationships with our customers. Our in-house sales and administrative staff manage order processing, logistics and collection of payments as well as customer relationships. The use of bulk supply facilities situated in China, Dubai, Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe, Singapore, South Africa and the US allows for timely delivery to our customers.
Factors on which the business is dependant
Our plants operate using a combination of proprietary technology developed by Sasol, primarily by Sasol Technology, as well as technology licenced from various suppliers. Our acrylates and n-butanol technology is licenced from the Mitsubishi Chemical Company. Our maleic anhydride technology (utilised in Sasol Huntsman) is licenced from Huntsman Corporation. We own the licence to the MiBK technology. The hydroformylation technology for use in our Safol and Octene 3 plants is licenced from Davy Process Technology.
We licence our technology for alcohol recovery to PetroSA. Being fully integrated into the Sasol operations in South Africa, we are dependant on Sasol Synfuels and Sasol Infrachem for the supply of both our raw materials and utilities (electricity, water and air).
We are in the ongoing process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the European Union Regulatory Framework for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH), which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of May 2013. The estimated total costs of compliance over the next six years amounts to approximately €8 million.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity as at 30 June 2012
Approximately 70% of our production capacity is at sites in South Africa and 30% in Germany. Our second MiBK plant at Sasolburg, with a nameplate capacity of 30 ktpa, started up in April 2010.
Sasol Huntsman has increased its total production capacity from 60 ktpa to 105 ktpa through the construction of a second 45 ktpa reactor and purification section, which was completed in the last quarter of the 2011 calendar year.
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S) comprises seven areas of activity, grouped into two business divisions, namely the Organics and Inorganics Divisions.
The Organics Division consists of:
The Inorganics Division consists of:
The main alkylate products are paraffins, olefins and linear alkyl benzene (LAB). LAB is the feedstock for the manufacture of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS), an essential surfactant ingredient for the detergents industry. Paraffins (n-paraffins) and n-olefins are produced mainly as feedstock for the production of LAB and oxo-alcohols. A portion of this business unit's products are used internally for the production of downstream surfactants.
These products cover a diversified portfolio of linear and semi-linear alcohols of carbon range between C6 and C22+. The diversity of this product portfolio is supported by the wide range of feedstocks (petrochemical, oleochemical and coal-based), technologies and manufacturing facilities used. A portion of the alcohols production is consumed internally to produce surfactants and specialty plasticisers.
These products include nonionic and anionic surfactants, based on alcohol and LAB and other organic intermediates.
Other organic intermediate chemicals include ethylene oxide, alkyl phenols, alkanolamines, etc.
Our ethane-based cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the US, produces ethylene for the US market. A portion of the ethylene production is consumed internally to manufacture ziegler alcohols and ethylene oxide.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sasol commenced with a pre-feasibility study to assess the technical and commercial viability of a world-scale ethane cracker and associated ethylene derivatives in Louisiana. This project has subsequently moved into the feasibility stage, which is expected to be completed in the second half of the 2012 calendar year.
These products involve mainly specialty aluminas and related products. The inorganics specialities are further processed by means of a variety of technical processes to adapt the product characteristics to highly specialised products. The inorganics division also manufactures shaped catalyst carriers from their products. The latest development is a new process to produce ultra-high purity alumina for sapphire applications as it is required for LED lighting.
The bulk of the production from the alkylates product group ends up as surfactants, either produced internally (our surfactants product group) or by other parties having acquired the intermediates from us. The bulk of these surfactants result in the making of detergents and industrial or institutional cleaning products. The main competitors include: Shell and Cepsa in n-paraffins; and Huntsman Corporation, Cepsa and ISU in the LAB market.
Although a substantial portion of the alcohols and resultant surfactants products also end up in detergents and industrial and institutional cleaning products, these products also find wide application in industries such as metalworking, flavours and fragrances, personal care, cosmetics, plastic additives, textiles and agriculture. The main competitors include Shell and BASF, as well as a growing number of oleochemical alcohol producers in Southeast Asia.
Specialty aluminas and related products from the inorganic division are used in a broad range of applications, including catalyst support, raw material for ceramics, coatings, polymer additives and synthetic sapphires. Competitors in aluminas include UOP and BASF Catalyst.
Ethylene, based on Ethane as feedstock, is sold to plastic manufacturers in the US Gulf Coast region and is used internally to manufacture alcohols and ethylene oxide.
There is very little seasonality associated with our products or the markets in which they participate. Cyclicality of this business is more related to the general chemical investment cycle, which impacts the supply side of the market equation. Many of the markets that we serve typically follow global and regional gross domestic product growth trends and are therefore impacted more by macro-economic factors.
The main feedstocks used in this business are kerosene, benzene, ethane, ethylene, oleochemical and aluminium (all purchased externally with the exception of some portion of our ethylene which is produced at our Lake Charles facility and the Fischer-Tropsch based feedstock used for our South African alcohol production). The prices of most of these materials are related to crude oil and energy pricing and the prices follow the movement of crude oil and energy pricing reasonably closely and, to a lesser extent, lauric oils. In view of the expected increase in oleochemical-based alcohol production, the differential between crude oil and lauric oils is expected to become increasingly important in determining competitiveness. Sasol O&S, unlike other producers, manufactures products from multiple feedstocks and thus has a built-in natural hedge, which becomes especially important in times of high price volatility.
Over 90% of the products produced by Sasol O&S are sold directly to end-use customers by our sales and marketing personnel. A limited number of distributors are used. Approximately 60% of the total sales by Sasol O&S are conducted under annual and in some cases multi-year contracts.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
The business, especially margins, is dependent on the supply and demand of the various products that we make and the feedstock costs. Demand growth is typically GDP driven with some exceptions of higher growth products and markets. Supply is primarily influenced by the build-up of new capacity in the developing regions, especially China, India and Southeast Asia. Feedstock costs generally follow the trends of crude oil and vegetable oil.
We are in the ongoing process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with REACH, which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of May 2013. The estimated total costs of compliance over the next 10 years amount to approximately €22 million. To date, €6,3 million has been incurred to comply with the REACH policy.
Property, plants and equipment
The following table summarises the production capacity for each of our main product areas.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Other chemical activities
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
We produce and market wax and wax-related products to commodity and specialty wax markets globally. We refine and blend crude oil-derived paraffin waxes, as well as synthetic waxes produced on the basis of our Fischer-Tropsch technology.
The overall volume of products marketed by the business amounts to approximately 635 ktpa, of which approximately 30% are products derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process. The product portfolio includes paraffin waxes, both fully refined and semi-refined, produced and marketed in various grades, as well as Fischer-Tropsch-based synthetic waxes which include the Fischer-Tropsch-derived hard wax, the Fischer-Tropsch-derived medium wax and liquid paraffins in the carbon range C5 through C20. Various specialty blends of waxes are also produced and marketed. We continue to develop niche markets for higher-value specialty waxes, such as those used by the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, construction-board, adhesive, polymer additives, inks and coatings and bitumen additive industries. We also produce wax emulsions at our facilities in Germany, Austria, South Africa, the US and United Kingdom. We produce and market petroleum jelly and trade in white-oils to support our personal care business.
We manufacture and sell candles from our subsidiary, Price's Candles in South Africa. We supply the Middle East market as well as our operations in Hamburg with additional paraffin waxes from our subsidiary, Alexandria Wax Products Company, located in Egypt.
The division markets its products globally, but its main markets are in Europe, the US and Southern Africa. Approximately 25% of waxes are sold to candle manufacturing companies and the balance is sold to numerous market segments, including cosmetics, pharmaceutical, construction-board, adhesive, polymer additives, inks and coatings and bitumen additive industries. N-paraffins are sold predominantly into the drilling-fluids market (west coast of Africa) and for use in the plastics industry (mainly South Africa, India and the Far East).
The overall world market for waxes is estimated at about 4 500 ktpa and our main competitors in the commodity market are ExxonMobil, Shell, China Oil and Sinopec. In the specialty wax markets our main competitors are H & R Wax Company, International Group Inc. and Paramelt. Shell Malaysia is the only other hard wax producer.
The candle market in Europe is seasonal in nature, with demand peaking prior to the festive season in December. In South Africa, demand is relatively stable although higher demand is evident in the winter season. The other market segments that Sasol Wax services are more driven by economic growth than seasonality.
Marketing is mostly done by own resources in all geographical areas where we operate. Primary marketing areas are Europe, the US and South Africa, but we also market our products in the rest of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australasia. Agents are also used, where appropriate.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
As a result of the move from production of group I to group II & III base-oils, it is expected that there will be a long-term decline in the availability of slack wax.
It is expected that GTL production capacity will increase in future. GTL facilities typically also produce medium wax as an intermediate product which is cracked to produce liquid fuels. It is possible to extract this product stream for use in the wax industry.
We are in the ongoing process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the REACH, which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of May 2013.
Property, plants and equipment
The main production assets are located in Hamburg, Germany; Sasolburg, Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa; and Richmond, California, the US. We also have wax emulsion production facilities located in Birkenhead, United Kingdom and Linz, Austria.
Our plant in Hamburg has a production and blending capacity for paraffin wax of approximately 300 ktpa. It purchases slack wax feedstock from numerous lube-oil-producing refineries predominantly in Europe and Africa. We initially de-oil slack waxes to fully or semi-refined quality and fully
hydrogenate all final products. Subsequently, various product blends are produced. Products are sold either in liquid bulk or in solidified form.
Our plant in Sasolburg operates Fischer-Tropsch-based technology for the production of synthetic waxes. It uses natural gas as feedstock, supplied by Sasol Gas from Mozambique. We own and operate a wax plant integrated into the Engen refinery in Durban. This plant produces wax blends predominantly for the South African and other African candle industries. The production capacity of the South African wax plants amounts to 220 ktpa of Fischer-Tropsch-derived products.
We also operate a candle factory located in Johannesburg with a capacity of up to 26 ktpa.
In the US, we have a plant based in Richmond, California. The facility receives refined and other waxy products from the Far East and from within the US and markets them in the US. We also distribute Fischer-Tropsch-derived and paraffin waxes via this operation.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited, our nitrogenous products division, manufactures and markets fertilisers, commercial explosives and related products. The division also markets sulphur produced by other Sasol divisions. All production activities are located in Southern Africa. The business's products are mainly sold within Southern Africa with increasing exports into Western Africa.
The division's product portfolio includes:
As part of a settlement agreement with the South African Competition Commission, the ammonia business was transferred out of Sasol Nitro to Sasol Infrachem with effect from 1 July 2011. Sasol Nitro also disposed of the downstream fertiliser blending assets in Durban, Bellville, Endicott, Kimberley and Potchefstroom, all in South Africa, pursuant to this settlement agreement.
The phosphoric acid plant in Phalaborwa was sold to Meridian International SA (on behalf of its subsidiary, Farmers World Limpopo (Pty) Ltd.) on 30 September 2011. Transfer of ownership occurred on 1 October 2011.
Fertiliser products produced at the South Africa Secunda manufacturing plant are limited to ex-works sales as per the agreement with the South African Competition Commission.
Explosives products and explosive accessory products are mainly sold within Southern Africa, with the company having a large presence in the platinum, iron, gold and coal mining industries with increasing exports into Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Western Africa.
Fertiliser sales are closely linked to the relevant crop planting seasons. The majority of fertilisers are consumed in grain production, and specifically maize and wheat production, for which inland planting starts in October and runs through to January. Explosives products are used in both opencast and underground mining, with sales spread evenly throughout the year.
Ammonia, produced by Sasol Infrachem at its Sasolburg plant and by Sasol Synfuels at its Secunda facilities, is the main feedstock used in the production of nitric acid and ammonium nitrate, which is the feedstock for explosives and the nitrogen based fertiliser products.
Raw materials for non-electronic initiation systems are sourced from both the US and are also locally produced by Sasol Dyno Nobel, a 50% joint venture at Ekandustria, Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa.
Fertilisers are usually a combination of nitrogen, potassium and phosphates in a so-called N:P:K (nitrogen : phosphate : potassium) formulation. The nitrogen compound consists mainly of either Sasol produced ammonium nitrate or imported urea. The phosphate compound is sourced from local phosphoric acid suppliers, while all of South Africa's potassium needs for its fertiliser industry are imported in the form of potash.
Fertilisers are supplied to the Southern Africa farming community through bulk sales ex factory gate, directly to end users or via distributors, co-operatives and competitors.
Explosives and explosive accessories are primarily supplied to the Southern African mining industry and explosives grade ammonium nitrate is exported to the rest of Africa.
Factors on which the business is dependent
The profitability of the business is dependent on the international ammonia and urea prices, international mining and agricultural commodity prices, mining and agriculture activity, and the exchange rate. International mining commodity prices influence the demand for explosives, while the variability of maize and other crop production influence the market demand for fertiliser.
Property, plants and equipment
All production facilities of Sasol Nitro are currently located in South Africa.
Sasol Nitro own and operates two nitric acid plants. The smaller 315 ktpa unit in Sasolburg is linked to a downstream ammonium nitrate plant. The ammonium nitrate produced at the Sasolburg operations is used mainly for the production of explosive grade low-density ammonium nitrate.
The 470 ktpa nitric acid plant in Secunda supplies a downstream ammonium nitrate plant linked to a 500 ktpa fertiliser granulation and liquid facility. The granulation plant produces limestone ammonium nitrate fertilisers and various other fertiliser blends containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Ammonium nitrate for industrial use is sourced from both the Sasolburg and Secunda sites.
In 2012, Sasol Nitro commissioned a new 400 ktpa fertiliser limestone ammonium nitrate granulation plant in Secunda, replacing the existing granulation facility.
Sasol Nitro also manufactures bulk explosives at various mining sites in South Africa and cartridge explosives in Ekandustria and Secunda. Sasol Dyno Nobel (Sasol Nitro has a 50% shareholding) manufactures non-electronic initiation systems in Ekandustria.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Infrachem is the supplier of utilities and services to various Sasol business units (Sasol Polymers, Sasol Solvents, Sasol Wax, Merisol and Sasol Nitro) as well as external businesses in Sasolburg. Sasol Infrachem operates and maintains the auto thermal reformer (ATR), which reforms natural gas into synthesis gas. Sasol Infrachem is the custodian of the Sasolburg gas loop and the primary responsibility of this function is to ensure that the reformed gas demand/supply is balanced and that reformed gas is supplied to the users of gas on its site.
Sasol Infrachem manufactures and markets ammonia and speciality gases, including hydrogen. The ammonia business was transferred from Sasol Nitro to Sasol Infrachem with effect from 1 July 2011.
Ammonia sales are linked to the seasonal demand in fertilisers consumed in grain production and to explosives consumed in the mining industry. Specialty applications markets such as metal refining, yeast and amine production also consume ammonia.
Coal required for steam and power generation is sourced internally from Sasol Mining and natural gas is sourced from Sasol Gas. Raw water is sourced from the Vaal River and potable/drinking water is sourced from the local municipality. Electricity is purchased from Eskom, the state-owned electricity provider.
The Sasolburg plant uses natural gas as feedstock in the manufacture of ammonia.
Sasol Infrachem's production of gas, steam and other utilities is used internally by Sasol's businesses located in Sasolburg.
About half of Sasol's total ammonia production is used by Sasol Nitro to produce ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers and explosives. The balance of ammonia is sold mainly to other South African explosives and fertiliser manufacturers with relatively small quantities sold for use in other industrial applications, which include chemical manufacture and mineral beneficiation.
Sasol is the only ammonia producer in South Africa, with a total nameplate production capacity of 660 ktpa.
Ammonia is supplied to the fertiliser and explosives industries to external customers as well as internally within Sasol on an arms-length basis. Ammonia is also supplied to specialised applications in industries including yeast and amines production and metal refining. Speciality gases are mainly supplied to multi-national gas companies within South Africa.
Factors on which the business is dependent
The profitability of the ammonia business is mainly dependent on the international ammonia prices and the exchange rate.
Property, plants and equipment
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Merisol is a joint venture company formed in 1997 by the merger of Sasol Phenolics in Sasolburg, with the phenolics activities of Merichem Company, based in Houston, Texas, the US. The joint venture partners each own 50% of Merisol. Merisol has a strong presence in the global market for natural phenolics and cresylics with manufacturing facilities in Sasolburg, Houston and Winnie, Texas, and Oil City, Pennsylvania, the US. Merisol has a 20:80 venture (Merisol holding 20%) with Chang Chun Plastics of Taiwan for the production in Sasolburg of ortho-cresol novolac, a precursor to high-performance epoxy resins used for encapsulating memory and processor chips. Merisol is the supplier of ortho-cresol feedstock and operates and manages this plant.
Merisol manufactures the pure products, phenol, ortho-cresol, meta-cresol and para-cresol, and a diverse range of blended products, consisting of mixtures of phenol, cresols, xylenols and other phenol
derivatives. These blends are known collectively as cresylic acids. Both the Sasolburg and Houston plants produce phenol- and ortho-cresol and cresylic acids. The Houston and Winnie plants use proprietary separation technologies to produce high-purity mixtures of meta-, para-cresol as well as pure meta-cresol and para-cresol, making Merisol one of the few producers of these products in the world.
The pure products, phenol, ortho-cresol, meta-cresol and para-cresol, are sold in competition with synthetically produced equivalents. Merisol is relatively small in the global phenol market, but strong in the South African and North American markets and in selected niche markets elsewhere.
Merisol supplies a significant proportion of the cresol and cresylic acids global markets for:
Merisol derives about 70% of its turnover from North and South America, Europe and Far East markets and the balance from South Africa and other regions.
There is little seasonality associated with the products or the markets in which we participate. The business is driven by market demands which are normally slightly higher in the second half of the financial year.
Merisol derives its raw material as a by-product of coal gasification that is recovered for purification and separation, mostly from Sasol. Most of the raw materials are subject to fluctuations in the oil price.
Merisol markets its products worldwide through sales offices in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the US and South Africa. Markets are served from product inventories held in Antwerp, Belgium, for the European market, in Houston, for the US market and Sasolburg and Durban for most other markets, including Asia.
Factors upon which the business is dependent
The plants operate using a combination of distillation and proprietary technologies developed and licenced by Sasol Technology, as well as proprietary technologies developed and licenced by Merichem. Being fully integrated into the Sasol operations in South Africa, the company is dependent on Sasol Synfuels and Sasol Infrachem for the supply of both its raw materials and utilities (electricity, water and air).
We are in the ongoing process of obtaining the relevant data required in order to comply with the REACH, which became effective on 1 June 2007. We have already complied with the first major deadline and registered our highest volume products at the end of the 2010 calendar year. We are now in the process of registering the second tier volume of products, and we expect to meet the deadline of May 2013.
Property, plants and equipment
Merisol's Sasolburg plant, including the tar naphtha extraction plant, uses feedstock from Sasol's coal gasification activities at Secunda. During 2007, the US operations completed rationalisation and streamlining of its Houston plant to reduce costs.
Merisol owns a butylation plant at Oil City, Pennsylvania, producing di-butyl para-cresol (BHT) and meta-cresol from meta-, para-cresol and pure para-cresol feedstock supplied from Merisol's Houston plant.
Production capacity at 30 June 2012
Nature of the operations and its principal activities
Sasol Technology, as the technology partner in the group, is fully committed to the Sasol group growth objectives by working together with the business units and taking responsibility for the long-term research and development of technology improvements as well as developing new technologies. Through engineering and project execution activities Sasol Technology demonstrates its commitment to the delivery of viable solutions to our business partners for their operation.
Sasol Technology is responsible for leading and directing Sasol's technology future, by delivering strategies for long-term research and development, technological improvements and new, innovative and cleaner technologies.
Acquiring technologyresearch and development
The central research and development division in Sasolburg focuses on fundamental research, while the decentralised divisions focus on product applications. The Sasolburg research facility was expanded and modernised with the aim to:
The enhanced facilities allow the opportunity to commercialise new and improved petrochemical processes more effectively. The central research function has a full suite of state-of-the-art pilot plants to support both current and the development of future technologies. As new technologies are developed, these facilities are growing, with new pilot plant and laboratory facilities being added on an ongoing basis. A new research and development building was completed during 2012 which allowed for the renovation and upgrading of old laboratory space to better equip it for new research challenges. As a result of our investment in facility upgrades in recent years, we are now seeing the benefits in the improved quality and efficiency of our research efforts.
The Sasolburg research activities, supplemented by a presence at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and in Enschede in The Netherlands, are also conducted through external alliances and research collaborations with over 100 research institutions, consortia and universities worldwide. In addition, strong emphasis is placed on training.
Sasol Technology research and development projects over the past decade include the development of the slurry phase and advanced synthol reactors, the development of the proprietary cobalt catalyst, the low temperature Fischer-Tropsch process, ethylene tetramerisation and the 1-heptene to 1-octene conversion process.
A significant part of the research focuses on supporting the CTL and GTL technologies and associated productsthe production of chemicals from the primary Fischer-Tropsch products is of particular interest.
Research is also focused on the reduction of the Sasol operations' environmental footprint which includes greenhouse gas reduction, water treatment and purification. In this regard, special attention is given to water utilisation, given the location of some of the current and future plants in semi-arid areas. Reduction in greenhouse gases focuses on improving plant efficiencies, carbon dioxide capturing and understanding potential storage alternatives. A dedicated research team has been established to support Sasol New Energy, with a view to Sasol's move to lower carbon sources of energy and establishing a technology position in this field for Sasol, either alone or in partnership with others. Sasol Technology has also increased its focus on exploring technology options adjacent to, but beyond, our current technology portfolio, with a view to diversifying the options available to Sasol.
Commercialising technologyfront end engineering and technology management
All front end engineering and technology integration and management are performed by specialist Sasol Technology teams, taking the ideas from our research and development teams and engineering them into a commercial proposition for exploitation by the group. The conceptual studies, basic design
and engineering management of projects are undertaken on an integrated basis with the business unit, leveraging with external technology suppliers and contractors.
Installing technologyproject execution and engineering
Sasol Technology is responsible for the execution of capital projects and project engineering in the group. The involvement is not only focused in South Africa but also elsewhere in the world where Sasol is undertaking studies and the execution of projects. Delivery of smaller projects and shutdowns are also undertaken. These initiatives are highly leveraged with external engineering and construction contractors.
Optimising technologyoperations support
Technical support groups work on an integrated basis with the operations personnel of the business units to improve the profitability and optimise plant performance throughout the group.
Sasol Technology partners with all business units in the Sasol group. However, in line with the group's strategic priorities Sasol Technology is focused on:
South African energy landscape
International energy landscape
New energy landscape
Sasol group landscape
Property, plants and equipment
The Sasolburg research facility was expanded affording the opportunity to commercialise new and improved petrochemical processes more effectively. The central research function has a full suite of state-of-the-art pilot plants to support both current and the development of future technologies. Besides the new laboratories and the fuels research facilities in Sasolburg, plans have been approved to expand the fuel testing and engine emissions laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa, to more effectively research the application of our unique GTL and CTL fuels at sea level.
Legal proceedings and other contingencies
Sasol Nitro In 2004, the South African Competition Commission (the Commission) commenced with investigations against Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited (SCI), based on complaints levelled against Sasol Nitro by two of its customers, Nutri-Flo and Profert. Both complaints were subsequently referred to the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) by the Commission. In May 2009, SCI and the Commission concluded a settlement agreement, in which Sasol Nitro acknowledged that, in the period from 1996 to 2005, it had contravened the Competition Act by fixing prices of certain fertilisers with its competitors, by agreeing with its competitors on the allocation of customers and suppliers and by collusively tendering for supply contracts. Sasol Nitro subsequently paid an administrative penalty of R250,7 million.
Civil claims and law suits totalling approximately R52 million have been instituted against Sasol arising from the admissions made in the settlement agreement. It is currently not possible to make an estimate of a contingent liability and accordingly, no provision was made as at 30 June 2012. The period for filing civil claims prescribed on 20 May 2012, therefore no additional claims may be made against Sasol arising from the admitted contraventions.
Sasol Nitro did not at the time, as part of the abovementioned settlement agreement, admit to engaging in price discrimination, excessive pricing or exclusionary practices.
Sasol Nitro, however, continued with its engagement of the Commission and on 5 July 2010, Sasol Nitro concluded a further settlement agreement with the Commission. In terms of this settlement, Sasol Nitro has restructured its fertiliser business.
The settlement agreement is a full and final settlement of the alleged contraventions of excessive pricing and exclusionary practices, which were the subject of the Nutri-Flo and Profert referrals. On 20 July 2010, the Tribunal confirmed the settlement agreement. No finding was made relating to abuse of dominance and accordingly no administrative penalty was imposed. Sasol also did not make any admissions as to abuse of dominance.
The settlement agreement included the following salient structural changes to Sasol Nitro's fertiliser business model:
Sasol Nitro concluded confidential settlement agreements with Profert and Nutri-Flo in terms of which any and all of the complaints arising from the Commission's investigations were settled without admission of any liability or admission of any anti-competitive or unlawful conduct as alleged by Profert and Nutri-Flo.
The settlement together with the changes to the Sasol Nitro business, will not have a material adverse impact on the Sasol group.
Sasol Nitrocomplaint referral by Omnia On 31 August 2011, Omnia Group (Pty) Ltd. (Omnia) submitted a complaint against SCI to the Commission. The complaint alleged, among other things, excessive pricing for ammonia and price discrimination in respect of ammonia.
On 7 March 2012, the Commission issued a notice of non-referral in respect of the complaint on the grounds that the conduct complained of was substantially the same as the conduct which the Commission had settled on with Sasol in July 2010.
On 5 April 2012, Omnia themselves referred the complaint to the Tribunal. Omnia alleges that SCI charged Omnia an excessive price for ammonia during the period from May 2006 to December 2008 and that SCI has prevented Omnia from expanding within the markets for the supply of certain fertilisers during the period from May 2006 to December 2008 and that SCI has engaged in prohibited price discrimination in respect of ammonia.
SCI does not agree with the allegations made and is defending the matter. The allegations made are substantially similar to allegations in a civil claim for damages made by Omnia in 2009, which SCI is also defending in arbitration proceedings. The competition law complaint, and subsequent referral, have been made by Omnia prior to completing the prosecution of their arbitration claim to completion.
It is currently not possible to make an estimate of a contingent liability from the claim and, accordingly, no provision was made as at 30 June 2012.
Sasol Wax On 1 October 2008, following an investigation by the European Commission, the European Union found that members of the European paraffin wax industry, including Sasol Wax GmbH, formed a cartel and violated antitrust laws.
A fine of €318,2 million was imposed by the European Commission on Sasol Wax GmbH (of which Sasol Wax International AG, Sasol Holdings in Germany GmbH and Sasol Limited would be jointly and severally liable for €250 million). According to the decision of the European Commission, an infringement of antitrust laws commenced in 1992 or even earlier. In 1995, Sasol became a co-shareholder in an existing wax business located in Hamburg, Germany owned by the Schümann group. In July 2002, Sasol acquired the remaining shares in the joint venture and became the sole shareholder of the business. Sasol was unaware of these infringements before the European Commission commenced their investigation at the wax business in Hamburg in April 2005.
On 15 December 2008, all Sasol companies affected by the decision lodged an appeal with the European Union's General Court against the decision of the European Commission on the basis that the fine is excessive and should be reduced. As a result of the fine imposed on Sasol Wax GmbH, on 23 September 2011, Sasol Wax GmbH has been served with a law suit in The Netherlands by a company to which potential claims for compensation of damages have been assigned to by eight customers. On 30 September 2011, another law suit was lodged with the London High Court by 30 plaintiffs against Sasol Wax GmbH, Sasol Wax International AG and Sasol Holdings in Germany GmbH. The law suits do not demand a specific amount for payment. The result of these proceedings cannot be determined at present, however, a provision was recognised at 30 June 2012 for the estimated liability.
Dorothy Molefi and others In June 2004, certain plaintiffs sued Sasol Limited and National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (Natref) and various other defendants in two claims in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. These claims are similar to many instituted against a large number of multi national corporations worldwide under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act, referred to as the related cases. The plaintiffs allege a conspiracy between the defendants and both the former "Apartheid Era Government" as well as the post 1994 democratic government in South Africa of former Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, resulting in the genocide of South Africa's indigenous people and other wrongful acts. Defendants in the related cases moved to dismiss the actions against them.
The Molefi action against Sasol Limited and Natref was stayed in September 2004 pending a decision on the motions to dismiss in the related cases. The motion to dismiss in the related cases was granted, and plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. During October 2007, the
appeal was decided, and plaintiffs in those related cases were successful on one of the three grounds of appeal, thus enabling the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to assert additional factual allegations to meet the requirements of the ATCA. The case was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In May 2008, the Supreme Court issued an order stating that because four justices recused themselves, the United States Supreme Court lacked the necessary quorum and therefore affirmed the judgement of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals with the same effect as an affirmance by an equally divided court, namely, it does not have precedential effect. In March 2009, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an order dismissing the case against Sasol and the other defendants based on failure to prosecute. Despite this order, it remains possible for plaintiffs to join Sasol and the other defendants to the related cases.
In September 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a separate decision in a case titled Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum found that the jurisdiction granted by the ATCA does not extend to civil actions brought against "private judicial entities" or corporations. This decision stands until either overturned on appeal or departed from or distinguished in other judicial decisions. However, in July 2011, the US Circuit Court for the DC Circuit ruled, in a separate case involving claims under the ATCA, that the ATCA can give rise to corporate liability. Subsequently, plaintiffs in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum were granted a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court on three issues: 1) whether the issue of corporate civil liability should be treated as a jurisdictional issue; 2) whether the ATCA applies to corporations; and 3) whether and under what circumstances the ATCA allows courts to recognise a cause of action for violations of the law that occur outside of the territory of the United States.
In February 2012, the Supreme Court heard argument in the Kiobel case. In March 2012, the Supreme Court ordered re-argument and directed the parties to file supplemental briefing addressing the third issue, namely, whether the ATCA allows federal courts to hear lawsuits alleging international law violations that occur outside of the territory of the United States. Briefing on the expanded issue was completed in August 2012, and a date for oral argument is expected to be set for the Supreme Court's next term, which begins in October 2012. A final judgement from the Supreme Court is not expected until the 2013 calendar year.
Sasol Polymers As previously disclosed by Sasol, the Commission has been investigating the South African polymers industry. On 12 August 2010, the Commission announced that it had referred its findings to the Tribunal for adjudication.
The complaints that the Commission referred to the Tribunal alleged that SCI had, in the pricing of polypropylene and propylene in the domestic South African market, contravened section 8(a) of the Competition Act (the Act), in that its prices for each of the products were excessive. The referral further alleged that in regard to a formula employed and information exchanged between SCI and Safripol (Pty) Ltd. (Safripol) to determine the price of propylene which SCI sold to Safripol, SCI and Safripol had contravened section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Act by engaging in price fixing. The Commission also announced that it had simultaneously reached a settlement with Safripol in which Safripol admitted that the supply agreement between SCI and Safripol and its implementation amounted to the indirect fixing of a price or trading condition in contravention of the Act. This settlement agreement between the Commission and Safripol was confirmed by the Tribunal on 25 August 2010.
On 14 December 2010, Sasol Polymers, a division of SCI, concluded a settlement agreement with the Commission in relation to its existing propylene supply agreement (the Supply Agreement) with Safripol. The Supply Agreement was concluded pursuant to concerns raised by Safripol in relation to the proposed merger in 1993 of Sasol Limited and AECI Limited's monomer, polymer and certain other chemical operations. To address these concerns, the then Competition Board required a supply agreement, which would ensure Safripol's ongoing access to propylene according to a pricing formula, which would result in market-related prices. At the time, neither party understood this pricing formula
to give rise to competition law concerns. The Commission, in terms of the current Competition Act, alleged that the pricing formula, which required the exchange of pricing information amounted to indirect price fixing.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the legal position in relation to the pricing formula and the technicality of the matter, it was considered prudent to settle the matter. Sasol Polymers therefore agreed to pay a penalty of R111,7 million, which represented 3% of Sasol Polymers' turnover derived from its sale of polypropylene products for its 2009 financial year. The settlement agreement is in full and final settlement of the Commission's allegations that the pricing formula gave rise to indirect price fixing. The settlement agreement was confirmed by the Tribunal on 24 February 2011.
As mentioned above, the Commission also contended that the prices at which Sasol Polymers supplied propylene and polypropylene were excessive for the period 2004 to 2007. Sasol Polymers does not agree with the Commission's position in this regard and is contesting the Commission's allegations. Consequently, the Commission's allegations in respect of excessive pricing do not form any part of the settlement agreement concluded between the parties. The results of the excessive pricing investigation by the Commission and the outcome of the hearing by the Tribunal, which is scheduled for mid May 2013, cannot be determined at present and accordingly, no provision was made at 30 June 2012.
On 31 July 2012, a letter was received from the Commission whereby Sasol was advised that the Commission had initiated a new abuse of dominance complaint against Sasol Limited, Sasol Oil (Pty) Ltd., Sasol Synfuels (Pty) Ltd. and SCI. This new complaint is based on a complaint which was initially submitted to the Commission by Safripol in November 2011.
The initial Safripol complaint alleged that SCI had contravened various sections of the Act with regard to the pricing and supply of propylene and ethylene. Safripol subsequently withdrew the complaint.
The Commission has, however, decided to continue with its investigation into the matter. The allegations under investigation are excessive pricing of propylene and ethylene required by Safripol, constructive refusal to supply scarce goods (namely propylene and ethylene), margin squeeze in respect of the supply of propylene and polypropylene and price discrimination in relation to the sale of propylene and ethylene. These are all abuse of dominance allegations. The period of the investigation is from 2008 to date. Sasol continues to defend itself against these allegations.
Bitumen Pricing A review of competition law compliance at Sasol Oil and Tosas identified a competition compliance concern related to the use of a bitumen pricing methodology agreement reached within the South African Bitumen and Tar Association (SABITA), of which Sasol Oil and Tosas are members, along with other oil companies. Sasol Oil and Tosas thereupon approached the Commission for leniency in terms of the Commission's corporate leniency policy and were granted conditional leniency by the Commission in April 2009. On 4 March 2010, the Commission announced that it had referred the findings of its investigation into bitumen pricing to the Tribunal for adjudication.
Sasol Oil and Tosas, as leniency applicants, were granted conditional immunity from prosecution and no penalty was sought by the Commission against Sasol or its subsidiaries. On 22 February 2012, the Commission concluded settlement agreements with the remaining respondents.
Sasol Gas On 30 October 2009, after being advised that certain provisions in a suite of agreements concluded between Sasol Gas, Coal, Energy and Power Resources Limited (CEPR) and Spring Lights Gas (Pty) Ltd. (Spring Lights) constituted contraventions of the Act, Sasol Gas applied for leniency in terms of the Commission's corporate leniency policy and obtained conditional leniency. Subsequent to Sasol Gas' leniency application, the Commission investigated the matter and found that provisions in the agreements resulted in fixing of prices and had the effect of dividing the piped gas market by allocating customers and territories. The suite of agreements related to the establishment of
Spring Lights as a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) company for the purpose of acquiring a portion of the business of Sasol Gas as part of Sasol's BBBEE strategy at the time.
On 20 August 2010, Spring Lights concluded a settlement agreement with the Commission in terms of which Spring Lights acknowledged the mentioned contraventions and agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R10,8 million.
Spring Lights had also made an application to the Commission to exempt the conduct set out in these agreements, on the basis that it promoted the ability of small businesses, or firms controlled or owned by historically disadvantaged persons, to become competitive, in terms of section 10 (3)(b)(ii) of the Act. Spring Lights's settlement agreement was considered by the Tribunal on 1 September 2010 but the matter was postponed sine die to enable the Commission to make a ruling on the exemption application of Spring Lights. On 26 March 2012, the Commission gazetted its refusal to grant the exemption. On 7 August 2012, the Commission again approached the Tribunal regarding the approval of the settlement agreement. The Tribunal again postponed the matter ordering the parties to effect certain amendments to the applicable commercial agreements before the Tribunal would be willing to consider its approval of the settlement agreement.
Other From time to time Sasol companies are involved in other litigation and administrative proceedings in the normal course of business. Although the outcome of these proceedings and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, the company does not believe that the outcome of any of these cases would have a material effect on the group's financial results.
Sasol is continuously evaluating and enhancing its compliance programmes and controls in general, and its competition law compliance programme and controls in particular. As a consequence of these compliance programmes and controls, including monitoring and review activities, Sasol has also adopted appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps, where necessary or advisable, lodged leniency applications and made disclosures on material findings as and when appropriate. As reported previously, these compliance activities have already revealed, and may still reveal competition law contraventions or potential contraventions in respect of which we have taken, or will take, appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps including lodging leniency applications.
The Commission is conducting investigations into the South African piped gas, coal mining, petroleum, fertilisers and polymer industries. Sasol continues to interact and co-operate with the Commission in respect of the subject matter of current leniency applications brought by Sasol, conditional leniency agreements concluded with the Commission, as well as in the areas that are subject to the Commission's investigations.
Sasol is subject to loss contingencies pursuant to numerous national and local environmental laws and regulations that regulate the discharge of materials into the environment and that may require Sasol to remediate or rehabilitate the effects of its operations on the environment. The contingencies may exist at a number of sites, including, but not limited to, sites where action has been taken to remediate soil and groundwater contamination. These future costs are not fully determinable due to factors such as the unknown extent of possible contamination, uncertainty regarding the timing and extent of remediation actions that may be required, the allocation of the environmental obligation among multiple parties, the discretion of regulators and changing legal requirements.
Sasol's environmental obligation accrued at 30 June 2012 was R8 911 million compared to R6 900 million at 30 June 2011. Included in this balance is an amount accrued of approximately R3 842 million in respect of the costs of remediation of soil and groundwater contamination and similar
environmental costs. These costs relate to the following activities: site assessments, soil and groundwater clean-up and remediation, and ongoing monitoring. Due to uncertainties regarding future costs the potential loss in excess of the amount accrued cannot be reasonably determined.
Although Sasol has provided for known environmental obligations that are probable and reasonably estimable, the amount of additional future costs relating to remediation and rehabilitation may be material to results of operations in the period in which they are recognised. It is not expected that these environmental obligations will have a material effect on the financial position of the group.
As with the oil and gas and chemical industries generally, compliance with existing and anticipated environmental, health, safety and process safety laws and regulations increases the overall cost of business, including capital costs to construct, maintain, and upgrade equipment and facilities. These laws and regulations have required, and are expected to continue to require, the group to make significant expenditures of both a capital and expense nature.
The South African government has, over the past 17 years, introduced a legislative and policy regime with the imperative of redressing historical, social, and economic inequalities, as stated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, by way of the empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) in the areas of ownership, management and control, employment equity, skills development, procurement, enterprise development and socio-economic development.
The majority of our operations are based in South Africa, but we also operate in numerous other countries throughout the world. In South Africa, we operate coal mines and a number of production plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of raw materials, products and wastes related to coal, oil, chemicals and gas. These facilities and the respective operations are subject to various laws and regulations that may become more stringent and may, in some cases, affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans
Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 53 of 2003
Sasol is well aligned with the economic transformation and sustainable development objectives embodied in the South African legislative and regulatory framework governing Broad-Based-Black-Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). The key elements of this framework are the BBBEE Act, the Codes of Good Practice for BBBEE issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry in terms of the Act (the Codes), as well as the Charters (i.e. the Mining Charter and Liquid Fuels Charter in South Africa addressing employment equity) adopted by the various sectors within which Sasol operates businesses and related scorecards. The measures discussed below reflect Sasol's commitment to giving meaningful effect to the letter and spirit of the BBBEE legislative and regulatory framework.
Sasol Inzalo share transaction
The Sasol Inzalo share transaction is one of the major broad-based black economic empowerment initiatives undertaken by Sasol. The share transaction was approved by Sasol shareholders in May 2008. Its components include employee trusts, the Sasol Inzalo Foundation, a transaction for selected participants, as well as a public offering targeted at black participants. It resulted in the transfer of beneficial ownership of 10% (63,1 million shares) of Sasol Limited's issued share capital before the implementation of this transaction to its employees and a wide spread of black South Africans (BEE participants).
It has a tenure of 10 years and the effective date of the transaction for the Employee Trusts and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation was 3 June 2008. The effective date of the transaction for the selected participants was 27 June 2008. The effective date for the black public invitations was 8 September 2008. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsSasol Inzalo share transaction".
The Mining Charter
In October 2002, the government and representatives of South African mining companies and mineworkers' unions reached broad agreement on the Mining Charter, which is designed to facilitate the participation of HDSAs in the country's mining industry.
The Mining Charter, together with a scorecard which was published on 18 February 2003 to facilitate the interpretation of and compliance with the Mining Charter (the scorecard), requires mining companies to ensure that HDSAs hold at least 15% ownership of mining assets or equity in South Africa within five calendar years and 26% ownership within 10 calendar years from the enactment of the new Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) which came into force on 1 May 2004.
The Mining Charter was revised after the initial five year period and the revised Mining Charter became effective on 13 September 2010. The revised Mining Charter stated objectives include the:
A number of uncertainties exist with regard to the interpretation of some of the elements of the revised Mining Charter. The scorecard reporting template released by the Department of Mineral Resources also added further elements, not contained in the revised Mining Charter.
On 11 October 2007, Sasol Mining announced the implementation of a BEE transaction valued at approximately R1,8 billion in terms whereof a black-woman controlled mining company called Ixia Coal (Pty) Ltd. (Ixia), acquired 20% of Sasol Mining's shareholding through the issue of new shares. The transaction increased Sasol Mining's BEE ownership component by 20%. The effective date of the Ixia Coal transaction was 29 September 2010, when the remaining conditions precedent were met. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsSasol Mining Ixia BEE transactions".
Various discussions took place with the Department of Mineral Resources to acknowledge the contribution of the Sasol Inzalo share transaction, more specifically Sasol Mining's contribution to the Sasol Inzalo Employee Share Option Programme (ESOP), towards Sasol Mining's BEE ownership status. On 11 May 2012, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Mineral Resources approved that the Sasol Inzalo Employee Share Option Programme may be included in the calculation of Sasol Mining's BEE ownership. The combined effect of the Sasol Inzalo Employee Share Option Programme and the Ixia Coal transaction brings the total BEE ownership of Sasol Mining to above 40%. Sasol Mining exceeds the Mining Charter's current requirements of 26% BEE ownership by 2014.
The Liquid Fuels Charter
In 2000, following a process of consultation, the Department of Minerals and Energy (now the Department of Energy) and a number of companies in the liquid fuels industry, including Sasol Oil,
signed the Liquid Fuels Charter (the Charter) which sets out the principles for the empowerment of HDSA's in the South African petroleum and liquid fuels industry.
The Charter requires liquid fuels companies, including Sasol Oil, inter alia, to ensure that HDSAs hold at least 25% equity ownership in the South African entity holding their operating assets by the end of a period of 10 years from the date of the signing of the Charter.
In order to meet the equity ownership objective of the Charter, Sasol Limited concluded a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction with an HDSA owned company, Tshwarisano LFB Investment (Pty) Ltd. (Tshwarisano) , with an effective date of 1 July 2006, in terms of which transaction Sasol Limited disposed of 25% of its shareholding in Sasol Oil to Tshwarisano. Refer to "Item 5AOperating resultsBroad-based Black Economic Empowerment transactions".
The Charter also requires liquid fuels companies to adopt policies to further the other empowerment objectives of the Charter, namely inter alia, employment equity, preferential procurement and skills development.
The Charter further provides for the evaluation by the Department of Energy, from time to time, of the industry's progress in achieving the objectives of the Charter. Given the fact that the aforementioned 10 year period had run its course, the Department of Energy initiated a compliance audit in respect of the Charter in the latter part of the 2010 calendar year. Sasol Oil's compliance with the Charter was audited during the first half of the 2011 calendar year and the final industry report, albeit that the written report has not yet been issued to industry, has been discussed with industry by the Department of Energy on an aggregated basis. Sasol Oil awaits the issuance of the final written report.
BEE policies and legislation
The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, underpinned by the scorecard setting out clear targets for broad-based BEE, was promulgated into law on 9 February 2003. The scorecard measures the following areas:
As from 1 July 2006, Sasol Oil has met the 25% BEE ownership target with Tshwarisano holding 25% of the shares in Sasol Oil in line with the Liquid Fuels Charter.
In keeping with the spirit of the Liquid Fuels Charter, as well as the Employment Equity Act, we have set employment equity targets. This requires that advantageous treatment be given to HDSAs in aspects of employment such as hiring and promotion. Employment Equity targets are set out and reviewed periodically to ensure that they are met. Special training and mentorship programmes are in place to create a work environment that is suited to the successful nurturing of HDSA staff.
Procurement is a crucial element of BEE as set out in the Liquid Fuels Charter, as well as in other industry charters and government policy. BEE procurement affords smaller industry players the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the sector. As prescribed in the Liquid Fuels Charter, HDSA owned companies are accorded preferred supplier status as far as possible.
Sasol Oil has established a BEE procurement policy; an enhanced procurement governance model and unique strategies to stimulate growth in its BEE spend.
Corporate social investment
We focus on facilitating the socio-economic development of the communities in which we operate, through partnerships with key stakeholders in these communities.
Social investment is presently channelled into five main areas:
The Restitution of Land Rights Act, 22 of 1994
Our privately held land could be subject to land restitution claims under the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 22 of 1994. Under this act, any person who was dispossessed of rights in land in South Africa as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is granted certain remedies, including, but not limited to:
The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act became law in February 2004. Under the original act, in the absence of a court order, the power of the Minister of Land Affairs to acquire or expropriate land for restitution purposes is limited to circumstances where an agreement has been reached between the interested parties. This act would entitle the minister to expropriate land in the absence of agreement. Such an expropriation could be for restitution or other land reform purposes. Compensation payable to the owner of the land would be subject to the provisions of the Expropriation Act 63 of 1975 and section 25(3) of the South African Constitution which provides, in general, that compensation must be just and equitable.
All claims had to have been lodged with the Land Claims Commission by 31 December 1998. Although this was the final date for filing claims, many claims lodged before the deadline are still being reviewed and not all parties who are subject to claims have yet been notified. We have not been notified of any land claim that could have a material adverse effect on our rights to any of our significant properties. Sasol has however been notified of a potential land claim over a property that we believe belongs to Sasol Synfuels, namely the farm Goedehoop 301 IS. During the Land Claims Commission's last visit to the affected property/ies on 24 February 2012, measurements were taken to calculate the size of the land in respect of which the claimants were allegedly dispossessed for purposes of calculating the quantum of compensation payable. Although we have not received any written
confirmation in respect of the remedy that will be granted to the claimants in this matter, the Land Claims Commission did indicate verbally that they acknowledge that the land is not suitable for restoration of ownership and all indications are that compensation may be paid to the claimants by the government. Sasol recently received a further notification of a land claim instituted over the parts of the farm Grootvlein 293 IS. Sasol Mining is the owner of Portions 13 and 29 of the farm Grootvlein 293 IS. At this stage it is unclear which portions of the farm fall within the land claim and whether the claim has any merit.
Regulation of mining activities in South Africa
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA)
The fundamental principle of the MPRDA, which came into effect on 1 May 2004, is the recognition that the mineral resources of the country are the common heritage of all South Africans and therefore belong to all the people of South Africa. The MPRDA vests the right to prospect and mine, including the right to grant prospecting and mining rights on behalf of the nation, in the state, to be administered by the government of South Africa. Thus, the state is the guardian of all mineral rights and has the right to exercise full and permanent custodianship over mineral resources. However, it contained transitional arrangements for existing operations, to allow these operations to convert its old order rights into new order rights. This transitional period came to an end on 30 April 2009.
The MPRDA imposes significantly more stringent environmental obligations on mining activities than the repealed Minerals Act and also introduces extensive social and labour plan, mining work programme and prospecting work programme requirements.
The MPRDA adopts the environmental management principles and environmental impact assessment provisions of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). The MPRDA addresses the allocation of responsibilities for environmental damage, pollution and degradation and imposes rehabilitation obligations. It significantly extends the scope of liability of directors who may be jointly and severally liable for any unacceptable negative impact on the environment, advertently or inadvertently caused by the company. It also allows the state to take remedial action and claim costs. It contains the requirement for an environmental management programme/plan for all prospecting and mining operations and prohibits the carrying out of mining activities before the approval of the programme/plan. When rehabilitation is required, it is not limited to the land surface. We comply with the MPRDA. The South African government has also adopted the MPRDA Amendment Act, 49 of 2008, and the NEMA Amendment Act, 62 of 2008, in an effort to streamline environmental approvals. Even though the NEMA Amendment Act has taken effect, the full alignment is dependent on the MPRDA Amendment Act, which, as yet, has not come into effect. The Minister of Mineral Resources confirmed that the MPRDA is currently being revised and that the new MPRDA Amendment Bill will be published before the end of the 2012 calendar year, for comment and public participation. The purpose of the MPRDA Amendment Bill is to address the ambiguities and grey areas within the MPRDA and the issues that arise pertaining to the mining of associated minerals. In light of this, it is expected that the original MPRDA Amendment Act, will not come into effect at all.
Transitional provisions were included in the MPRDA, which phases out privately held mineral rights held under the repealed legislation. The transitional period came to an end on 30 April 2009, and we have complied with all requirements. All old order prospecting rights have been converted to new order prospecting rights and all our old order mining rights have been converted to new order mining rights. The mining rights in respect of the Mooikraal Operations have been granted for 30 years, while those in respect of the Secunda area have been granted for 10 years, after which both are capable of renewal. The mining rights in respect of the Secunda area were only granted for a
10 year period as Sasol Mining did not comply with the 26% BEE ownership requirement at the time of conversion. However, on 11 May 2012 the Department of Mineral Resources approved that the Sasol Inzalo Employee Share Option Programme contributes to Sasol Mining's BEE status, through Sasol Mining's participation in the Sasol Inzalo Employee Share Option Programme (ESOP). This will take Sasol Mining BEE ownership to above 40%, which will subsequently enable the Department of Mineral Resources to extend the validity period of the mining rights to 30 years. Sasol Mining exceeds the Mining Charter's current requirements of 26% BEE ownership by 2014. In this regard it should be noted that the holder of a mining right has the right to apply and be granted renewal of a mining right, subject to meeting specified requirements of the MPRDA and the Minister of Mineral Resources must grant renewal if these requirements have been met. Rights can be renewed for periods not exceeding 30 years at a time.
The Mining Titles Registration Amendment Act, 24 of 2003, and regulations have been implemented simultaneously with the implementation of the MPRDA and new amendments to this legislation are under consideration.
The approved social and labour plans and mining work programmes are now legally enforceable, and we have undertaken and will continue to undertake any appropriate action required to ensure retention of our converted mining rights under the MPRDA. To this effect, an external audit confirmed that Sasol Mining is complying with the Mining Charter and approved social and labour plans.
Furthermore, royalties from mining activities are payable to the state, as from 1 March 2010, under provisions contained in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, 28 of 2008, and the Mineral and Petroleum Royalty Administration Act, 29 of 2008. The most significant feature of the acts is that the royalty is determinable in accordance with a formula-based system. The impact on Sasol Mining for the year ended 30 June 2012 is a cost of R34,9 million (2011R29,9 million) and an estimated cost of R42,9 million for the year ending 30 June 2013 and R50,7 million for the year ending 30 June 2014. The royalty is deductible for normal income tax purposes.
Regulation of pipeline gas activities in South Africa
The Gas Act
The Gas Act, which is expected to be revised, came into effect on 1 November 2005. The Gas Act regulates matters relating to gas transmission, storage, distribution, liquefaction and re-gasification activities. Among its stated objectives are:
The Gas Act provides for the powers of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regarding pipeline gas, whose powers include the issuance of licences for a range of activities including:
NERSA has the authority to determine maximum prices for distributors, reticulators and all classes of consumers where there is inadequate competition as contemplated in the South African Competition Act. NERSA may impose fines not exceeding R2 million a day, if a licencee fails to comply with its
licence conditions or with any provisions of the Gas Act. The Piped Gas Regulations issued in terms of section 34(1) of the Gas Act were promulgated on 20 April 2007.
The Regulatory Reporting Manual (RRM) developed in accordance with NERSA's authority to determine the format for regulatory reporting by licenced entities was gazetted in September 2008, with immediate effect.
In terms of the RRM, licencees are required to submit six monthly financial reports to NERSA in compliance with the RRM requirements. The RRM obliges licencees to agree to an implementation plan with NERSA, which includes an agreement on a cost allocation manual which will enable the conversion of Sasol Gas' statutory financial statements to the format required by NERSA as well as the date for the submission of the relevant financial statements to NERSA. Sasol Gas submitted its implementation plan and engaged with NERSA in order to agree the process and schedule for implementation. Separate financial reports are required for the different regulated activities of a licencee. Compliance with the RRM requirements necessitates regulatory reporting and accounting activities in addition to the existing statutory accounting and reporting requirements of Sasol Gas and Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Pty) Ltd. (Rompco). Sasol Gas implemented substantial upgrades to its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in 2010 in order to enable compliance with the RRM requirements. In accordance with the RRM implementation plan agreed with NERSA, Sasol Gas is required to make its first regulatory report submission by the end of November 2013 in respect of the 2013 financial year. Rompco has submitted its first regulatory report in September 2011, for the 2010 financial year, and is expected to submit the 2011 regulatory report during the second half of the 2012 calendar year.
The National Energy Regulator Act
The National Energy Regulator Act came into operation on 15 September 2005. The National Energy Regulator Act provides for the establishment of a single regulator to regulate the piped gas, petroleum pipeline and electricity industries and for the functions and composition of the energy regulator. A draft National Energy Regulator Amendment Bill has been published for comment and Sasol has subsequently commented on the proposed changes.
On 1 November 2005, NERSA, pursuant to the National Energy Regulator Act, came into existence by the appointment of the four full-time regulators, of which one is the designated chief executive officer of NERSA. The Regulator consists of nine members, including four full-time members and five part-time members. Although the full-time members of NERSA are appointed for specific portfolios (gas, electricity and petroleum pipelines), NERSA operates as a collective and decisions are made on a collective basis. With effect from 1 April 2011, the existing four full-time regulators were re-appointed for another period of five years. A new chief executive officer was also appointed for NERSA for this same period.
According to Section 35 of the Gas Act, licence applications for existing business activities had to be submitted to NERSA within six months from the effective date of the Gas Act (2 May 2006) by any person owning or operating gas facilities or trading in gas. Accordingly, Rompco submitted an application for the operation of a gas transmission facility in respect of the Mozambique to Secunda pipeline. This licence to operate a transmission facility was issued to Rompco on 21 February 2007. After completion of the Rompco compressor station in Komatipoort, South Africa, this operating licence was amended to also include the operation of the compressor station. Sasol Gas submitted licence applications for the operation of distribution and transmission facilities as well as for trading in gas.
All the licence applications have been compiled in accordance with the Gas Act and the rules published by NERSA. On 27 October 2008, Sasol Gas was granted 29 distribution and trading licences in respect of its operations in the Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State and North West provinces in
South Africa and on 23 March 2009, was granted seven distribution and trading licences in the KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. On 12 November 2010, Sasol Gas was granted operating licences in respect of all its inland transmission facilities.
The licence applications in respect of the Sasol Gas' transmission operations in the KwaZulu-Natal province were approved on 15 December 2011. All construction activities relating to the distribution and transmission pipeline networks of Sasol Gas are undertaken subject to the relevant construction licences as prescribed by the Gas Act.
The Mozambique Gas Pipeline Agreement (Regulatory Agreement)
This agreement entered into between Sasol Limited and the South African Government, represented by the Minister of Minerals and Energy, and the Minister of Trade and Industry in connection with the introduction of natural gas by pipeline from Mozambique into South Africa is incorporated into the Gas Act through the reference thereto in Section 36 of the act. The Gas Act provides that the terms of the agreement bind the Gas Regulator for a period until 10 years after natural gas is first received from Mozambique (26 March 2004). From the date of the conclusion of the agreement, the terms of the agreement relating to the following matters constitute conditions of the licences to be issued to Sasol Gas and Rompco under the Gas Act:
At the conclusion of the 10 year period provided for in the Regulatory Agreement, the transmission and storage tariffs for piped gas and gas prices charged by Sasol Gas will be subject to regulation by NERSA in terms of the regulatory powers of NERSA established by the Gas Act. In this regard, NERSA has promulgated the tariff methodology that will apply to gas transmission and storage operations and NERSA has published the methodology that will apply to the approval of maximum prices in terms of the Gas Act.
As part of the Gas Act, the Regulatory Agreement forms part of the legislation and, as such, the same legislative processes generally applicable to changes in legislation would apply to it.
Although we negotiated a 10 year regulatory dispensation (two years remaining until 2014) with the South African government covering the supply of Mozambican natural gas to the South African market, we cannot assure that the enactment of the Gas Act and the appointment of the NERSA will not have a material impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The Gas Regulator Levies Act
The Gas Regulator Levies Act came into effect on 1 November 2005. It provides for the imposition of levies by the Gas Regulator on the amount of gas delivered by importers and producers to inlet flanges of transmission or distribution pipelines. These levies will be used to meet the general administrative and other costs of the gas regulation activities of NERSA and the functions performed by NERSA in this regard. In terms of the Act, NERSA has to submit a budget to the Minister of Mineral Resources, which after approval by the minister in conjunction with the Minister of Finance, will be relayed into a levy charged as a per gigajoule levy on the volumes of gas transported. The collection of levies commenced in September 2006. During the NERSA financial year which ended on 31 March 2012, Sasol Gas paid a total amount of R42,3 million in levies under this Act. For the NERSA financial year ending on 31 March 2013, the levies have been confirmed to be R0,3498/GJ (2011R0,2872/GJ). The levies have yet to receive required ministerial approval. It is anticipated that approximately R55,5 million will be paid in levies during this period.
Regulation of petroleum-related activities in South Africa
The Petroleum Products Amendment Act (Amendment Act)
The Amendment Act, which amends the Petroleum Products Act and became effective in 2006, prescribes that a person may not be involved in the activities of manufacturing, wholesaling, holding or development of retail sites and retail sale of petroleum products without the appropriate licence having been issued in terms of the Amendment Act. The Amendment Act deems any person, who was, at the time of commencement of an act amending the Petroleum Products Act in 2003, involved in the aforementioned activities, to be a holder of a licence for that activity, provided such person has applied for such licence. With the exception of licences for new retail site developments, applications for which are approved on an ongoing basis on a per site basis, Sasol Oil is not at risk from a licensing perspective.
The Amendment Act entitles the Minister of Energy to regulate the prices, specifications and stock holding of petroleum products and the status in this regard is as follows:
We cannot assure you that the application of these regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The Petroleum Products Act authorises the Minister of Energy to promulgate regulations and we cannot assure you that the application of these provisions of the Act, or the promulgation of regulations in terms thereof, will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
The Petroleum Pipelines Act
The Petroleum Pipelines Act (the Act), which became effective in 2005, establishes a petroleum pipelines authority, namely NERSA, as custodian and enforcer of the regulatory framework applicable to petroleum pipelines, storage facilities and loading facilities.
The Act provides that no person may construct, or operate, a petroleum pipeline, loading facility or storage facility without a licence issued by NERSA. It enables NERSA to impose conditions on such licences including the setting and approval of petroleum pipeline, storage facility and loading facility tariffs for third party access.
We have been granted licences for our regulated facilities. Applications for tariffs have been submitted in terms of the NERSA rules. The applications are of an interim nature, as Sasol Oil is not
yet in a position to fully comply with the applicable regulatory information request from NERSA. Sasol Oil has agreed a process with NERSA to implement the NERSA prescribed RRM that will enable NERSA to fully execute its regulatory mandate in this regard.
It is unlikely that the tariffs, once approved, will have a material financial impact on Sasol Oil.
The Act authorises the South African Minister of Energy to promulgate regulations and we cannot assure you that the application of these provisions of the Act, or the promulgation of regulations in terms thereof, will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.
Safety, health and environment
We are committed to operating under safe working practices, eliminating incidents and avoiding harm to people, facilities and the environment. Our safety, health and environment (SHE) performance is driven by the quest for continuous improvement that will help us achieve our vision of being a world class company.
We focus on our safety, health and environmental responsibilities through our SHE policy, strategy and essential requirements. These essential requirements are also extended to joint ventures in which we participate, subject to specific provisions in the joint venture agreements.
Our combined mining, fuels and chemical operations are subject to numerous local, national and regional safety, health and environmental laws and regulations in Southern Africa, Europe, the US, Canada, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Our global operations, including marketing and logistics, are also affected by international environmental and chemical conventions.
Safety, health and environment policy and management systems
We have adopted a systems approach to the management of SHE risks. We have a single corporate SHE policy, supplemented by individual business unit policy declarations. Matters of safety, health and environment are treated as critical business issues. Management of safety, health and environmental matters includes the setting of targets, performance measurement, reporting, review and audit.
In order to ensure that our safety, health and environmental performance is aligned with our group targets and objectives, SHE internal audits and external verification audits are carried out regularly. All of our businesses are required to track their SHE performance and quarterly reports are submitted to operating boards, the group executive safety, health and environment committee (acting as a sub committee of the group executive committee (GEC) and to the group risk and safety, health and environment committee. At the highest level, the risk and safety, health and environment committee of the Sasol Limited board considers the major risks and liabilities, progress on our internal indicators of performance and any major incidents and events of non-compliance. Specific governance structures were developed to address greenhouse gas challenges facing the group. In September 2010, Project Everest was constituted as a group strategic project, managed by Sasol's group strategy department. Project Everest is, amongst other things, managing the group response to the South African government's publication of a white paper on a climate change response policy and carbon tax discussion documents. In 2012, Project Mars was also constituted. The objective of this strategic project is to resolve uncertainties and ensure the implementation of proper strategies and programs to address the current air quality legislative challenges and concerns. Eventually, this project will also cover waste legislation. We have established an internal carbon credit management committee, which is governed within our Sasol New Energy business unit, to facilitate the governance of carbon credits obtained through, amongst others, the clean development mechanism (CDM). We support the voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord championed by the South African Department of Energy.
Our businesses are required to manage their safety, health and environmental risks in line with internationally accredited management systems. On safety, health and environmental management systems, our operating businesses have achieved International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001 certification and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Service (OHSAS) 18001 certification, as well as Responsible Care® verification.
Health and safety management
Occupational safety. Tragically four people lost their lives in work-related incidents in 2012 and, while this is a significant improvement in comparison to the previous year's performance, it is a major concern and challenge for Sasol. The Safety Improvement Plan, developed in 2010, has progressed well and remains the group framework for more specific safety programmes in the business units. Preventing fatalities and repeat incidents is a top business priority.
Fires, explosions and releases. The manufacture of Sasol products involves using flammable and toxic substances, often at high pressures and temperatures. Hence, managing the risk of fires, explosions and releases of hazardous substances is essential for us. Fires, explosions and releases are reported and investigated and efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of these events are managed through the Sasol Incident Investigation Standard, which is part of the Process Safety Management System.
The Process Safety Management System is based on the requirements of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Process Safety Management and US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Risk Management Program regulations. Through the application of these standards, the risks of releases of hazardous substances are minimised. These standards apply to all Sasol operations worldwide, including those in the US.
Sasol North America (Sasol NA) has also adopted a Security Code of Management Practice, which requires that we conduct a security vulnerability analysis to identify areas in which additional security measures are necessary, and have a management system in place for other aspects of plant, distribution and cyber security. We have also submitted all of the required security information to the Department of Homeland Security for compliance with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).
All Sasol sites have identified and quantified their major risks with regards to major fire, explosion or releases, through a systematic Process Hazard Analysis process. Risk mitigation plans are in place. We maintain a comprehensive insurance programme to address identified risks. It is our policy to procure property damage and business interruption insurance cover for our production facilities above acceptable deductible levels at acceptable commercial premiums. However, full cover for all scenarios of maximum losses may in some years not be available at acceptable commercial rates and we cannot give any assurance that the insurance procured for any particular year would cover all potential risks sufficiently or that the insurers will have the financial ability to pay claims.
Health. Although Sasol has strong pro-active measures for managing occupational health, work related illnesses continue to be diagnosed specifically in our Sasol Mining operations. Most of these can be attributed to historic exposures. The specific illness recordings is exacerbated by an increasing age profile of our employees in mining and the prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which diminishes the immune system and increases likelihood of contracting tuberculosis as a secondary disease.
Emissions. Because of the nature of some of our processes, including coal gasification for the production of petrochemical products, our operations generate relatively high carbon dioxide emissions. Our coal gasification operations are situated in South Africa, which is classified as a developing country in terms of the Kyoto Protocol and though we are largely exempt from the emissions reduction targets required under the Protocol, we have implemented a successful project to replace coal as a feedstock
with natural gas at our Sasolburg chemical operations. It is important to note that South Africa has submitted voluntary emission reduction pledges for the Copenhagen Accord, which were captured in the Climate Change Response White Paper. Refer also to "Item 3.DRisk factorsChanges in safety, health and environmental regulations and legislation and public opinion may adversely affect our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition".
In recent years, global understanding and awareness regarding climate change have increased significantly. Potential CTL technology providers are experiencing an increasing number of questions regarding their CTL technology and how the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted will be addressed to combat climate change. We have initiated a focused and coordinated approach to understanding and providing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions from our CTL and other ventures. We regularly review our greenhouse gas (GHG) policy and GHG targets as developments in the international carbon negotiations take place. We have set targets for reducing GHG emissions intensity by 15% by 2020 on the 2005 baseline. In addition, new CTL plants commissioned before 2020 have a target emissions reduction of 20%, increasing to 30% reduction for new CTL plants commissioned by 2030 (with the 2005 designs as the baseline) as a precautionary measure. The Sasol New Energy business is pursuing opportunities in renewable energy, low carbon electricity, energy efficiency, clean coal which includes underground gasification and carbon capture and storage. Some of these potential solutions are not yet proven on a large scale and face regulatory, economic, technical, geological and geographical challenges.
We monitor and measure ambient air quality around our South African plants. Our operations in the US have reduced reported emissions under the Toxic Release Inventory by over 92% since reporting began in 1987. Significant efforts are being made to reduce hydrogen sulphide and volatile organic compound emissions emanating from our Secunda operations, the former mainly brought about by the commissioning of a sulphuric acid plant. Moreover, the implementation of a leak detection and repair programme will result in significant decreases in fugitive emissions from our operations. Several interventions aimed at reducing high risk volatile organic compound releases have been identified which could realise absolute reductions.
Water. Water use is increasingly becoming a source of concern, not only in mining, but in all our operations, in particular in South Africa, Qatar and other arid countries. A series of water treatment and saving programmes and projects were introduced or are currently under way to address challenges in all of our operations. Current initiatives in South Africa include water offsetting projects in collaboration with local authorities. We have also set internal targets for water efficiency. Sasol endorsed the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate which presents a comprehensive approach to water management. It is a voluntary initiative developed to inspire business to positively contribute to sustainable water resource management.
Land remediation and rehabilitation. As a result of our chemicals and fuels processes, we have particular legacy and current risks that we have addressed or are currently addressing. A group wide strategy towards land remediation is adopted in order to ensure that all areas of potential liabilities are adequately addressed.
Waste. Potential risks associated with waste are a priority for us. Historical legacies are addressed in accordance with relevant legal requirements, and cleaner production techniques are implemented to address future risks. Where we acquire new plants, the attendant risks are identified and the necessary indemnities sought from the sellers. Where we have not secured such indemnities, we rely on the relevant assessment information to manage the associated liabilities of the non-material risks.
Asbestos. We have a strategy for the risk-based phase-out of asbestos, which is being implemented by our operations. We have implemented a policy to ensure that new sources of asbestos are not procured in the construction of new facilities worldwide. Remaining asbestos on some of our older
facilities is managed according to a set of Sasol requirements in the absence of statutory phase out requirements. Asbestos is removed and disposed of under strict regulatory requirements as plant modifications are made or as necessary for maintenance.
Product Stewardship. We have a product stewardship implementation plan according to the requirements of the International Council of Chemicals Associations (ICCA) global product strategy (GPS). The implementation of the GPS requires a new, more structured and far wider process for chemical products management within the chemical industry and with customers and other stakeholders.
We are following all changes in product registration requirements in regions such as the US and Asia-Pacific (e.g. China) in order to ensure compliance to these requirements and maintaining the ability to trade our products lawfully.
This includes the European Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulations that came into effect on 1 June 2007, aiming to improve the protection of human health and the environment while maintaining competitive trade. We acknowledge the requirements of REACH and will ensure that these substances that constitute our products and that are subject to REACH will meet these requirements.
Regions in which Sasol operates and their applicable legislation
In South Africa, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the manufacture, storage, processing and transportation of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides the framework for the environmental legislation in South Africa. Section 24 of the constitution enshrines the right of all citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being and provides individuals with a right to the protection of the environment. It further provides that these rights can be enforced through reasonable legislative and other measures to prevent pollution and degradation, to promote conservation and to secure ecologically sustainable development. Below is an analysis of some of these laws, which may be relevant to our operations.
National Environmental Management Act. The National Environmental Management Act (the Act) provides for co-operative environmental governance and coordination of the environmental functions of the government. The Act regulates environmental authorisation requirements, compliance and provides for enforcement measures including provision for fines of up to R10 million. These governance and enforcement measures also extend to special environmental management acts, such as the Waste Act, the Water Act and the Air Quality Act. The Act principally imposes a duty of care on persons who have or may pollute or degrade the environment and other responsible parties to take reasonable measures to prevent and remediate environmental damage, protects workers refusing to undertake environmentally hazardous work and provides for control over emergency incidents. Non-compliances with provisions on, amongst other things, the duty of care and reporting of incidents, is now regarded as offences under the Act.
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act. This act deals with various issues relating to biological diversity including its management and conservation.
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Environmental governance with respect to mining, prospecting, production and exploration is still regulated under the MPRDA. This act makes
provision for the effective management of impacts associated with mining activities. An environmental management programme or plan (EMP) must be compiled and approved by the Department of Mineral Resources, and regularly reviewed. The EMP is required to cover potential environmental as well as socio-economic impacts. This act further requires the making of financial provision for the rehabilitation or management of negative environmental impacts.
The National Water Act (the Act) provides for the equitable allocation of water for beneficial use, sustainable water resource management and the protection of the quality of water resources. The Act establishes water management procedures and protects water resources through the licensing of various uses of water. It also includes provisions for pollution prevention, remediation requirements and emergency incident management. The Department of Water Affairs is implementing a pricing strategy (in future to include a Waste Discharge Charge System) aimed at allocating the appropriate price for the use of water, which may have a significant impact on operational costs.
A significant part of our operations, including mining, chemical processing and others, require use of large volumes of water. South Africa is generally an arid country and prolonged periods of drought or significant changes to current water laws could increase the cost of our water supplies or otherwise impact our operations.
Air quality protection
The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. This act came into full effect on 1 April 2010. In terms of this act, the Department of Environmental Affairs (the Department) imposes stricter standards on air quality management in South Africa, through the adoption of internationally accepted ambient and minimum point source emission standards. The minimum point source emission standards impose different standards for new and existing facilities effective from 1 April 2010. New facilities must comply with the standards immediately. Existing facilities have five years within which to comply with standards imposed thereon and must comply with the standards imposed for new facilities within 10 years. Compliance with the minimum point source emission standards will result in significant capital and operational costs.
The Department has declared the Vaal Triangle (where the Sasolburg plant is situated) and the Highveld area (where our Secunda operations are situated) as Priority Areas. The Vaal Triangle and Highveld Priority Area Air Quality Improvement Plans are being finalised and implemented. Compliance with the provisions of these plans will have significant cost implications. Some of our processes in South Africa, especially coal gasification, result in relatively high carbon dioxide emissions. South Africa is considered a developing country in terms of the Kyoto Protocol and, accordingly, it is largely exempt from the emissions reductions required. Government has committed to emission reduction pledges under the voluntary Copenhagen accord which are now incorporated in the National Climate Change Response White Paper.
The National Environmental Management: Waste Act. This act took effect on 1 July 2009. The act introduces new legislative requirements on all aspects of waste management in a comprehensive manner. The act also regulates on contaminated land management, but this section of the act is not in effect yet and is dependent on the finalisation of regulations and standards on contaminated land which is expected in the 2013 calendar year. The act imposes various duties on holders of waste (being any person who stores, accumulates, transports, processes, treats and disposes of waste). These duties are potentially far reaching as waste is broadly defined. The act also requires licences to be obtained for
the commencement, undertaking or conducting of waste management activities. The act further regulates waste information systems and provides for specific regulation of priority wastes.
Hazardous Substances Act. This act provides for the control and licensing of substances that may cause injury, ill-health or death to human beings by reason of their toxic, corrosive, irritant, strongly sensitising or flammable nature.
Occupational Health and Safety Act. Regulations have also been proposed by the Department of Labour for inclusion in this act, providing for the adoption of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System for the classification and labelling of chemicals. This will facilitate alignment with existing international practices.
The National Road Traffic Act. This act and its regulations regulate the road transportation of dangerous goods and substances. This act provides specifications for road tankers, classification of dangerous goods, labelling, duties of responsible persons, compatibility of multi-loads, driver training and dangerous substance documentation.
The National Railway Safety Regulator Act. This act provides for similar regulation in respect of rail transport.
The Explosives Act. This act consolidates the laws relating to the manufacture, storage, sale, transport, importation, exportation and the use of explosives and imposes an authorisation requirement for the manufacture and storage, as well as for the import, export and sale of explosives.
The Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act. This act regulates the registration, importation, sale, acquisition, disposal or use of fertilisers, among other products.
Health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act. This act covers a number of areas of employment activity and use of machinery in South Africa, excluding mining activities. This act imposes various obligations on employers and others to maintain a safe workplace and minimise the exposure of employees and the public to workplace hazards and establishes penalties and a system of administrative fines for non-compliance.
Mine Health and Safety Act. This act is to protect the health and safety of persons at mines by requiring that employers and others ensure that their operating and non-operating mines provide a safe and healthy working environment, determining penalties and a system of administrative fines for non-compliance and giving the Minister of Mineral Resources the right to restrict or stop work at any mine and require an employer to take steps to minimise health and safety risks at any mine.
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. The purpose of this act is to provide for compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases. This act is administered by the Minister of Labour, through a Director-General who manages a compensation fund to which employers contribute, directly or indirectly. Where indirect contributions are made, these contributions are made to a mutual association, which acts as the insurer in respect of claims against the employers. All employers, with the exception of those in national, provincial and local government, are required either to register under the act or to be fully insured against related liabilities.
Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act. This act relates to the payment of compensation in respect of certain diseases contracted by persons employed in mines or at locations where activities ancillary to mining are conducted. Any mine (including the Sasol Mining operations) at which risk work takes place is deemed to be a controlled mine in respect of the employees for whom the employer is required to make payments to the fund for occupational diseases, in order to meet relevant claims. Persons who are employed in controlled mines are required to have a certificate of fitness, which must be renewed from time to time. Recent case law on the interpretation of the act now provides for civil claims to be instituted against employers in addition to compensation claimed and awarded under this act.
For further information, refer to "Item 6.CBoard PracticesThe risk and safety, health and environment committee".
In Germany, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the manufacture, storage, processing and transportation of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
General environmental care
The lack of a general environmental code in Germany means that no guideline legislation is available for general environmental care. In terms of the act regulating on the Assessment of Environmental Impacts, the environment impact assessment (EIA) is an instrument of preventative environmental care that is legally binding. This has been introduced in existing public procedures for the licensing of, or considerable amendment to, certain projects of relevance to the environment, including chemical facilities. Issues relating to general environmental care are addressed by the environmental provisions of the Regional Planning Act and other specific and planning law. The Environmental Liability Act provides for liability where human life or health is disturbed and where emissions have entered the soil, water or the air, the owner of a facility is liable on a fault basis and irrespective of whether the damage was caused as a result of a hazardous incident or during normal operations. Installations that pose a particular risk to the environment must have provisions for sufficient cover, an obligation which may be met by arranging liability insurance.
Criminal law provisions are included in the act to combat environmental crime, which targets a range of polluting activities, including water, soil and air pollution, environmentally damaging waste disposal and noise. It also addresses licensing of the operation of installations and the handling of hazardous substances and goods and particularly serious environmental offences.
Specific environmental protection legislation
Emission control. The guideline legislation to protect humans and the environment from air pollution and noise pollution is the Federal Emission Control Act. This act and the ordinances promulgated under it provide the framework for environmental protection and the technical safety of installations. It provides for licensing for installations that are particularly susceptible to causing harmful environmental impacts, including chemical facilities or mineral oil refineries.
Chemicals Act. This act is complemented by the Plant Protection Act and the Fertilisers Act, as well as by legislation on animal feedstuffs and human foodstuffs and by substance-related provisions in other areas of care of the environment. This also includes the provisions concerning the environmental impacts of genetic technology under the Genetic Technology Act.
Avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. The Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act regulates the avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. The aim of this act is to promote an
economy based on closed substance cycles, thus conserving resources, and to guarantee the environmentally sound disposal of waste. Wherever waste cannot be avoided, recovered or used to produce energy, it must be removed from the cycle and, as a matter of principle, be disposed of within Germany in a way that is not detrimental to the common good.
Waste Transportation Act. This act regulates the transport of waste into, out of or through the area of application of the act and creates the basis for the establishment of a solidarity fund to finance the return of waste exported illegally.
Water protection. The guideline legislation in the field of water protection is the Federal Water Act. This requires everyone to exercise adequate care when carrying out measures which may have an impact on a water body so that water pollution or any other negative effect on water is prevented. Surface waters and groundwater are, as public utilities, subject to a public management and utilisation code, which leaves the allocation of users' rights at official discretion.
The Waste Water Charges Act complements the Water Management Act and authorises an annually rising waste water charge linked to the toxicity of the discharged waste water.
Soil protection. The protection and care of soil as an environmental medium and part of the ecosystem is promoted by a range of environmental provisions, primarily the Federal Soil Protection Act. Soil protection measures, preventative or remedial, aim at avoiding or reducing substance inputs into the soil, or removing already existing soil damage, and at addressing the extensive land consumption caused by soil sealing.
Regulation of hazardous substances. Provisions for the protection of humans and the environment against the harmful effects of hazardous substances and preparations are provided in the Chemicals Act, the related ordinances on the Prohibition of Certain Chemicals and the Hazardous Incidents Ordinance. All hazardous substances, as per the scope identified in the EU REACH Regulation, are subject, to a registration and notification obligation before they can be brought onto the market. Hazardous substances and mixtures must be classified, labelled and packed in accordance with the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation in line with their hazardous properties. Further regulations prohibiting and limiting manufacture, marketing and use also apply.
Health and safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act provides for protection of the health and safety of employees. It places the employer under a duty to assess hazards at the workplace, to take appropriate preventive measures, and to instruct employees about measures used. The employer must take precautions for especially hazardous areas and situations and provide preventive occupational healthcare. This act is complemented by the Safety at Work Act, which places employers under a duty to appoint appropriately qualified officers to support them in occupational health and safety matters, including ergonomic workplace design.
In Italy, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the storage and processing of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
General environmental care
The Environmental Decree (Legislative Decree 152/2006) came into force in 2006, regulating the most important environmental matters, including authorisations, emissions, water management, wastes and remediation and environmental damages. Several decrees were issued detailing different aspects of the law.
European Directive 96/61/CE (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) provides that companies must obtain an integrated authorisation for all environmental impact.
Specific environmental protection legislation
Emission control. Environmental protection and the technical requirements for the licensing of all installations from which emissions emanate is regulated by Legislative Decree 152/06, section 5.
Avoidance, recovery and disposal of waste. Legislative Decree 152/06, Part 4, incorporates the principle of 'polluters pay' and further provides for cradle to grave liability for waste. Legislative Decree 4/2008 introduced some requirements about Waste Water Treatment and Risks analysis compliance for underground water contamination.
Water protection. Legislative Decree 152/2006, Part 3, defines the authorisation procedure and discharge limits, in order to protect surface and underground water. Surface water and groundwater are, as public utilities, subject to a public management and utilisation regulation which leaves the allocation of users' rights at official discretion.
Soil protection. The protection and care of soil as an environmental medium and part of the ecosystem is promoted by Legislative Decree 152/06, which essentially follows the Ministerial decree 471/1999 with some simplification as far as documentation is concerned. Soil protection measures, preventative or remedial; aim at avoiding or reducing substance inputs into the soil, or removing already existing soil damage. The Legislative Decree sets forth both the acceptable limits and the rules for monitoring communication and reclamation.
Regulation of hazardous substances. Legislative Decree 52/1997, implemented in Italy, the EU Directive, relevant to classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances. Legislative Decree 65/2003 implemented the EU Directives relevant to classification, packaging and labelling or dangerous preparations. All hazardous substances, as per the scope identified in the EU REACH Regulation, are subject, to a registration and notification process before they can be brought onto the market. Hazardous substances and mixtures must be classified in accordance with the EU CLP Regulation in line with their hazardous properties. Further regulations prohibiting and limiting manufacture, marketing and use also apply.
Health and safety
Legislative Decree (LD) 81/08, governs Safety and Occupational Health (including construction work) with the exclusion of Major Hazards (Seveso). This Decree imposes obligations on an employer with regards to workplace health and safety and also provides for liability related to health and safety incidents.
In the US, we operate a number of plants and facilities for the storage and processing of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
Sasol North America (Sasol NA), Sasol Wax and Merisol are subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations that regulate the discharge of materials into the environment or that otherwise relate to the protection of human health and the environment. As with the chemical industry, generally, compliance with existing and anticipated environmental, health, safety, and process safety laws and regulations increases the overall cost of business, including capital costs to construct, maintain, and upgrade equipment and facilities. These laws and regulations have required, and are expected to continue to require Sasol NA, Sasol Wax and Merisol to make significant expenditures of both a capital and expense nature. Environmental compliance expenditures for Sasol NA and Merisol's manufacturing sites for the next five years are estimated to range from US$2 million to US$6 million per year.
Sasol NA's total estimated liability at 30 June 2012 for its 10% share of Bayou Verdine and the Calcasieu Estuary CERCLA Site is about US$1,2 million. Under the agreement for the acquisition of Sasol Chemie, 80% of Sasol NA's estuary related remediation costs are expected to be indemnified by RWE-DEA AG, and will continue to be indemnified until at least 1 March 2023.
In 2011, Sasol acquired various interests in natural oil and gas properties in British Columbia through a joint venture partnership with Talisman Energy Inc. These properties are governed by numerous Canadian provincial (and to a lesser degree, federal) requirements.
Oil and natural gas production
The provincial Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNGA) and Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA) are the primary sources of regulatory controls over Sasol's interests in oil and gas producing areas in Canada. These statutes include a wide array of tenure, operational and public review requirements. A common theme of the requirements is that producers must hold applicable licences, leases, permits and other approvals.
Substantial volumes of water are needed for British Columbia oil and gas production. For example, large volumes of water are used to fracture shale gas formations. Extractions of water from ground and surface sources are regulated by the OGAA and the provincial Water Act. Water extraction wells are subject to requirements governing well tenure and location, construction and aquifer management. The piping of water to exploration or production sites is governed by special approval requirements (covering fisheries, pipeline construction, tenure and surface rights issues).
British Columbia's Environmental Management Act (EMA) prohibits emissions, discharges and the like into the environment without prescribed permits. Several permits apply to activities at the British Columbia subject properties, covering releases to air and water.
Soil and groundwater contamination in the British Columbia oilpatch is regulated primarily by the contaminated sites regime in the EMA and its supporting Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR). The EMA and CSR are highly prescriptive, and are further supported by detailed protocols and guidance documents published by the Ministry of Environment (MOE). Liability can be triggered in two ways: (a) a statutory cause of action enables parties who incur "remediation costs" at a "contaminated site" to recover those costs in a civil action from "responsible persons" (in addition to common law tort remedies available to a plaintiff); and (b) the MOE regulator may issue a remediation order against persons responsible for a "contaminated site".
The federal Fisheries Act is the primary source of requirements to protect fish and fish habitat. This act prohibits, subject to applicable authorisations, the destruction or alteration of fish habitat and the release of "deleterious substances" in fish-bearing water bodies. The Fisheries Act is a prominent consideration in the construction of pipelines and roadways and extractions of surface water.
Further development of the British Columbia properties might trigger one or both of provincial and federal environmental assessment (EAs) requirements. EAs commonly will require substantive public review and aboriginal (or First Nations) consultation. To date, none of the activities undertaken in relation to the Canadian operations have triggered an EA.
First Nation consultations
A unique and prominent factor in Canadian safety, health and environmental law (SHE law) is the recognition of First Nations rights and the reconciliation of those rights with those held by government or private individuals. In the case of British Columbia, the constitutional recognition of First Nations rights stems from Treaty 8, signed in 1899 between the Crown and First Nations. Government regulators, as a result must often discharge a constitutional duty to "consult and accommodate" First Nations in the course of their regulatory functions. Many aspects of consultation and accommodation have been formalised in the British Columbia oilpatch in the form of agreements and procedures, which continue to evolve in response to judicial guidance. These agreements and procedures often delegate consultation duties to private operating entities. An overview of the First Nation engagement activities carried out of the joint venture indicated a comprehensive and proactive program in line with best practices for the industry.
Occupational and workplace safety
The provincial government's Workers Compensation Act and supporting regulations and policies set out detailed rules respecting workplace safety. Special rules (found in this act's regulations) apply to the petroleum sector.
In Mozambique, Sasol operates a processing plant and associated facilities for the extraction and processing of natural gas and condensate and transportation of natural gas. The Central Processing Facility (CPF) has been in operation since February 2004. These operations are subject to numerous Mozambican laws and regulations as well as World Bank Group requirements and best practice standards.
Environmental, health and safety regulations. The Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) coordinates environmental affairs in Mozambique. A National Environmental Management Programme is the policy document outlining the priorities for environmental management and sustainable development in Mozambique. This programme contains a National Environmental Policy, a proposal for Framework Environmental Legislation and Environmental Legislation and an Environmental Strategy.
The Framework Environmental Law (20/97) provides a legal framework for the use and correct management of the environment and its components and to assure sustainable development in Mozambique. This law is applicable to all public or private activities that may directly or indirectly influence the environment. It requires licensing of activities that are liable to cause significant environmental impacts. The granting of an environmental licence is subject to the preparation and approval of an appropriate level of environmental impact study and management plan. The body of environmental legislation is growing and comprises the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (45/2004 of 29 September), the Regulation on Environmental Quality and Effluent Emissions Standards (18/2004), the Regulation on Environmental Auditing (32/2003), the Regulation on Environmental Inspections (11/2006), the Regulation on Waste Management (13/2006), General Directives for Environmental Impact Studies (129/2006), the Public Participation Process (130/2006) and a Decree (56/2010) on Environmental Regulation for Petroleum Operations.
In terms of environmental protection and safety, the Petroleum Act (3/2001) and the Petroleum Operations Regulations (24/2004) require holders of exploration and production rights to conduct petroleum operations in compliance with environmental and other applicable legislation.
Mineral Rights. Petroleum activities are regulated by the Petroleum Act and Regulation (Law 3/2001, of 21 February and Decree 24/2004, of 20 August, respectively). The National Petroleum Institute administers and regulates petroleum operations on behalf of the Mozambique Government. The Mozambique government encourages the exploration and development of the country's hydrocarbon potential within a certain project framework.
In accordance with the constitution of Mozambique, the land and the natural resources of the soil and the subsoil of the territorial waters and continental shelf are the property of the state, which determines the conditions for their development and use, through the Land Act (19/97, of 1 October) and Regulation of Land Act (Decree 66/98 of 8 December).
In Qatar, we participate in a joint venture involving a number of plants and facilities for the storage and processing of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
Environmental regulation. All public or private development plans, including industrial, agricultural and infrastructure projects are required to follow the Environmental Protection Law and obtain an environmental authorisation permit from the Ministry of Environment (MOE). The MOE is also responsible for environmental protection and conservation in the State of Qatar.
The Environmental Protection Law, Decree-Law No. (30) of 2002 is aimed at protection of the environment, prevention of pollution (short-and long-term) and sustainable development by providing for development of natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations, the protection of society, human health and other living creatures, and protection of the environment from the damaging effect of activities outside of the State of Qatar.
The Executive By-Law for the Environmental Protection Law, issued vide the Decree Law No. 30 for the Year 2002 (the By-Law) stipulates specific standards and regulations to meet the objectives of The Environmental Protection Law. This includes regulations on determining the environmental impact
of projects (requirements to conduct an EIA), emergency response plans for environmental disasters, hazardous wastes and materials, air pollution, water pollution, protection of marine environment. It also includes annexure regulations on:
Consent to Operate (CTO). This is ORYX GTL's operating permit issued under the Authority of Law, 30 of 2002, and its By-Law No. 4 of 2005 and is renewable on an annual basis. This permit stipulates general monitoring requirements, waste water quality standards, point source air emission standards, overall noise level limit, handling and storage of hazardous wastes, chemical use, records and emergency response programmes.
The State of Qatar has implemented CDM, an initiative to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Gas flaring mitigation and the reduction of carbon emissions were among the two key areas focused on by the State of Qatar as part of its commitment towards CDM.
The Environmental Design Basis (EDB) stipulates the environmental standards that should be followed during the project phase.
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). There is no regulatory authority for safety or health in Qatar and therefore ORYX GTL used the internationally recognised OSHA standards as guidelines where applicable.
In Iran, we participate in a joint venture involving a number of plants and facilities for the storage and processing of chemical feedstock, products and wastes. These operations are subject to numerous laws and ordinances relating to safety, health and the protection of the environment.
Environmental regulation. All public or private development plants, including industrial, agricultural and infrastructure projects, are required to follow the Environmental Protection Law and obtain an environmental authorisation permit from the Department of Environment (DOE). The DOE is also responsible for environmental protection and conservation in Iran.
The Environmental Protection Law, Decree-Law No. 50 (1979), aims to meet the following objectives:
The Iranian Environment Supreme Council Decree No. 138 (1994), stipulates specific standards and regulations to meet The Environmental Protection Laws. This includes projects to do environmental impact assessments before construction and to obtain all approvals and implement
necessary proactive measures before the issuing of a certificate to operate. Important executive regulations and by-laws used in Iran include the following:
Permit to operate (PTO). As per Iranian laws, a permit is issued by the DOE and Ministry of Industries and Mines (MIM). This permit stipulates general monitoring requirements, waste water quality standards, point source air emission standards, overall noise level limits, handling and storage of hazardous waste, chemical use, records, and emergency response programmes.
Iran recently implemented a CDM, an initiative to work on a plan to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by reduction of flow gas flaring at the petrochemical complexes.
In a number of other countries we are engaged in various activities that are regulated by local and international laws, regulations and treaties. In Malaysia, China and other countries, we operate plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of chemical substances, including feedstock, products and waste. In the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Gabon and other countries, we are involved, or are in the process of being involved, in exploration, extraction, processing or storage and transportation activities in connection with feedstock, products and waste relating to natural oil and gas, petroleum and chemical substances. Our operations in the respective jurisdictions are subject to numerous laws and regulations relating to exploration and mining rights and the protection of safety, health and the environment.
Sasol Limited is the ultimate parent of the Sasol group of companies. Our wholly owned subsidiary, Sasol Investment Company (Pty) Ltd., a company incorporated in the Republic of South Africa, holds primarily our interests in companies incorporated outside South Africa. The following table presents each of Sasol's significant subsidiaries (including direct and indirect holdings), the nature of business, percentage of shares of each subsidiary owned and the country of incorporation at 30 June 2012.
Plants and facilities
We operate coal mines and a number of plants and facilities for the storage, processing and transportation of oil, chemicals and gas related raw materials, products and wastes. For a detailed discussion regarding the use, capacity and products of these facilities provided for each business refer to "Item 4.BBusiness Overview".
Coal mining facilities
Our main coal mining facilities are located at the Secunda Mining Complex, consisting of underground mines (Bosjesspruit, Brandspruit, Middelbult, Syferfontein and Twistdraai export mine) and Sigma: Mooikraal near Sasolburg.
Pages M-1 to M-5 include maps showing the location of our coal properties and major manufacturing plants in South Africa.
Our Secunda facilities
Our main manufacturing facilities are located at Secunda, and they are the base for our Synfuels operations and a range of our chemical industries operations, including explosives, fertilisers, monomers and polymers, solvents and tar. The approximate size of this property is 82,5 square kilometres (km2) with operating plants accounting for 8,35 km2.
Our Sasolburg facilities
Our facilities at Sasolburg are the base for a number of our chemical industries operations, including ammonia, explosives, fertilisers, mining chemicals, phenols, solvents, polymers, tars and wax operations. The approximate total size of these properties is 51,4 km2.
The size of the Natref refinery, also based in Sasolburg, is approximately 1,1 km2.
Our Mozambican facilities
In Mozambique, natural gas and condensate is produced from the Pande-Temane PPA asset which is operated by Sasol Petroleum Temane Limitada, a subsidiary of Sasol Petroleum International (Pty) Ltd. (SPI). Production from the Temane and Pande fields is processed through a central processing facility (CPF) on a site of approximately 400 000 m2. The CPF is located some 700 km north of the Mozambican capital, Maputo.
The processed gas is supplied to local markets in Mozambique and the South African gas market via the pipeline owned by the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Pty) Ltd., which is 50% Sasol owned.
Our Gabon facilities
In Gabon, oil is produced from the Etame Marin Permit asset which is operated by VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc. The facilities are located some 35 km offshore southern Gabon. Production from the Etame field is by means of subsea wells and through a floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel contracted from Tinworth and which is moored offshore at the field location. Production from the Avouma and Ebouri fields is through minimum facilities fixed platforms which are tied back by pipelines to the FPSO. The processed oil is stored in tanks on the FPSO and is exported monthly by tanker.
Our Canadian facilities
In Canada, natural gas and condensate are produced from the unconventional (shale/tight gas) Farrell Creek and Cypress A assets which is operated by Talisman Energy Inc. Production is via a number of wells, gathering lines and processing facilities located in British Columbia. The approximate total gross size of the properties is 54 274 acres for Farrell Creek and 57 255 acres for Cypress A.
Our facilities in Germany
Sasol Solvents has manufacturing sites based at two locations in Germany, the most significant of these facilities is Moers (site size approximately 808 000 m2; plant size 400 000 m2).
After the disposal of the Witten site in February 2012, the operations of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are based at two locations in Germany, namely at Brunsbüttel (site size approximately 2,0 million m2; plant size 500 000 m2) and Marl (site size approximately 160 000 m2; plant size 75 000 m2).
Sasol Wax facilities are based in Hamburg (site size approximately 160 000 m2; plant size 100 000 m2).
Our facilities in Italy
The operations of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants are based at three locations in Italy. The primary facilities are at Augusta (site size approximately 1,36 million m2; plant size 510 000 m2) and Terranova (site size approximately 330 000 m2; plant size 160 000 m2).
Our facilities in the United States