Sasol Limited Sustainability Report 2021 - Book - Page 45
SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE AGAINST OUR FOCUS AREAS: MINIMISING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT (CONTINUED)
Air quality management
We acknowledge the link between our
activities and air quality and the need
to act responsibly in managing our
impacts. We have a holistic air quality
management approach, which is informed
by internationally accepted practices.
We are committed to complying with all applicable
regulatory requirements and monitor and report on our
activities diligently. Our air quality management system
enables us to develop and implement feasible and
sustainable emission-reduction strategies to mitigate
our atmospheric footprint.
We adopted a robust abatement technology approach,
informed by in-depth engineering studies and in-situ
piloting of plausible solutions, aimed at identifying
feasible abatement solutions.
We have a risk-based approach to managing air quality.
This is aligned with our safety and health approach and
considers the complexity of our operations. We are
committed to working with all stakeholders on our air
quality improvement journey. We participate in policy
and regulatory developments as well as in community
initiatives to improve air quality.
Managing air quality compliance
Our air quality landscape
Our Southern African operations remain dependent on coal
and gas as primary feedstocks, while our Natref facility in
Sasolburg refines crude oil. Outside Africa, our international
operations depend on natural gas and feedstocks derived
from crude oil.
In South Africa, our coal feedstock technologies make up the
greatest portion of our contribution to the relevant airsheds.
These include the gasification of coal at Secunda and the
associated downstream clean-up and coal-derived production
units, as well as coal-fired boilers required for the generation
of electricity and process steam, of which a portion is used
by neighbouring non-Sasol industries.
Historically, the contribution to overall Group emissions of
our gas and crude oil processing units has been minimal
compared to that of our coal processes. However, in 2020
this emission contribution increased with the addition of
seven operating units at the Lake Charles Chemicals Project in
the United States. Meanwhile, the contribution to emissions
of our Eurasian and Mozambique operations remains
negligible compared to that of our coal-to-liquid activities.
By 1 April 2020, our existing plants in South Africa were
required to meet the point source standards applicable to
newly commissioned plants. Sasol has been able to meet
the prescribed minimum emission standards for 98% of
our emissions sources*. Details on all the efforts which
contributed to this including the achievements for PMs,
NOx, sulphur dioxide (SO2), incinerators and total volatile
organic compounds (TVOCs) are included, per operations,
on page 45. We have been provided extension on compliance
for the remaining sources via postponements granted by
the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
(DFFE) until 1 April 2025. We are on track with our air quality
compliance roadmaps to achieve this milestone for all point
sources except for our steam plant operations in Secunda.
During 2020, we applied for further postponement for four
additonal sources at our Secunda Operations following the
inclusion of these point sources in the Secunda Atmospheric
Emissions Licence upon review thereof. These sources require
postponement to meet the volatile organic limits contained in
the applicable standard. We recently concluded the required
public participation and await the decision of the authorities.
We aim to also achieve compliance for these sources by
1 April 2025.
We remain resolute in our intent to achieve our commitments
and complete our air quality compliance roadmaps in the
last stretch of our compliance journey to ensure that our
mature plants meet the prescribed standards for newly
commissioned plants along the extended compliance
timeframes we obtained through lawful postponements
by 1 April 2025.
We are advancing the boiler SO2 compliance roadmap for
our steam plant operations in Secunda to meet the recently
promulgated limit of 1 000 mg/Nm³. Our compliance
efforts include the development of coal beneficiation as
an abatement option while also assessing alternative
pathways linked to our GHG emission reduction strategy.
Coal beneficiation has the potential to reduce SO2 emissions
to achieve the promulgated standard of 1 000 mg/Nm³.
However, due to the magnitude and complexity of the
implementation, execution will likely extend beyond
1 April 2025. Coal beneficiation, however, is not aligned
to Sasol’s sustainability objectives and long-term vision of
moving away from coal. Feasibility work on coal beneficiation
continues while we are exploring synergies with GHG
reduction initiatives considering Sasol’s long-term ambition
to transform our operations to low-carbon options.
We also continue to contribute to achieving the goals set
out in the Vaal and Highveld priority area improvement plans
and have been involved in the recent revision of these plans.
All our activities are regulated through a licensing system
issued by the authorities in the different geographies where
we operate. These licences require that we report frequently
on our emissions to authorities as well as the timeous
submission of comprehensive annual air quality compliance
reports in South Africa.
In July 2020, we revised and resubmitted our offset
implementation plan, which needed to be submitted as a
postponement condition to reduce PMs and SO2. The update
made provision for changes to our implementation schedule
because of restrictions on regulatory activity related to
While we await approval from the DFFE, we remain committed
to implementing these plans which have so far resulted in
the avoidance of emissions of more than 207 tons of PM10,
194 tons of PM2,5 and 80 tons of SO2 in the surrounding
Sasol Sustainability Report 2021
*Emission sources include point and area emission sources for Secunda and
point emission sources for Sasolburg and Natref.