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Sasol produced first green hydrogen from Sasolburg electrolyser in June

JSE-listed energy group Sasol reports that it produced its first green hydrogen in Sasolburg in June, during the commissioning phase of a project to repurpose an operational electrolyser to use renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Sasol has set aside R350-million for the pilot Free State project, which is expected to produce up to 5 t of green hydrogen daily. CEO Fleetwood Grobler reports that the first green hydrogen was produced using electricity from a 3 MW solar photovoltaic facility built in Sasolburg.

However, consistent production is anticipated only in early 2024 once the 69 MW Msenge Emoyeni Wind Farm, in the Eastern Cape, begins supplying the facility. “Once operational, the Msenge wind farm together with the Sasolburg solar farm will provide sufficient renewable power to commercialise green hydrogen in South Africa.

“This is a huge step forward in the energy transition, not just for Sasol but also for South Africa,” Grobler said during a presentation of the group’s 2023 results. The green hydrogen produced in Sasolburg will be used in mobility applications and Grobler told Engineering News in an interview that formal partnership announcements would be made later in the year.

“There is a demand for green hydrogen to decarbonise the mining industry, and in other mobility applications.” Separately, Sasol’s hydrogen-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) HySHiFT joint venture in Secunda, Mpumalanga, which is being pursued in partnership with Linde, ENERGTRAG and Hydregen, has been short-listed to bid for an offtake agreement under Germany’s H2Global platform.

Through H2Global, long-term purchase agreements are extended to projects outside of Germany that offer competitively priced green-hydrogen derivatives, such as ammonia, methanol and SAF. The products are then sold, under short-term contracts, to European consumers, with public funding used to compensate for any difference in pricing.

Sasol energy business VP Priscillah Mabelane indicated that the bid should be submitted before the end of the calendar year. Mabelane also reported that a master plan had been finalised and handed over for a mega-hydrogen project in the Northern Cape and Sasol was closely monitoring progress on the development of the new port in Boegoebaai, which is seen as key to further progress.

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