Energy and chemical firm Sasol is preparing to divest the world’s largest oxygen (O2) production complex to French industrial gases firm Air Liquide in a €440 million (about $518 million) transaction. The site, located in Secunda, South Africa, encompasses 16 air separation units (ASUs) that have a combined capacity of 42,000 tn/day.
Once it becomes the owner of the complex, Air Liquide plans to conduct a multi-year modernization project in coordination with Sasol to lower the amount of CO2 emitted by oxygen production at the site by 30% to 40% over the next decade. Air Liquide currently operates one ASU at the Secunda complex.
“The acquisition and operation of all the oxygen production units of the Sasol Secunda site represents a key step in the long-term relationship we have had with Sasol for 40 years, and we are pleased to be able to reinforce it for the years to come. It will enable new teams to join those of the group already present on site,” said Benoit Potier, chairman and chief executive officer of Air Liquide, in a statement. “In line with our strategy and know-how, this operation illustrates our intent to act as of now in favor of the climate and local ecosystems.”
Sasol and Air Liquide intend achieve the CO2 reductions through sourcing 600MW of renewable energy for the complex and investments in technologies and capabilities to lower energy consumption in the facilities.
“This transaction is more than a business transaction. We welcome Air Liquide as one of our partners in our decarbonization journey and we are pleased to continue and strengthen our longstanding association with them,” Fleetwood Grobler, president and CEO of Sasol, said in the release.
The companies expect to complete negotiation of the final agreements over the next several months.