Wed. May 29th, 2024

Sasol, the petrochemical company listed on the New York and Johannesburg stock exchanges, has said in a report that its business benefited from the increase in basic fuel prices, as well as improved refining margins at the end of the nine months ending in March, which helped to offset operational headwinds at the Secunda mines (a town built between the coal mines in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province).

According to an article published on Tuesday 23 April on the Mining Weekly news portal, based on a company report, Sasol recorded an 8% increase in gas production in Mozambique in the period under review, due to the commissioning of four additional wells during 2023.

However, explains the website, production in the first quarter was down 3 per cent on the previous year, due to lower demand from the oil company’s downstream operations. The company expects to reach the upper limit of its gas target for the year, which is between 113 and 119 billion cubic feet, after producing 89.7 billion cubic feet in the nine months under review.

Mining performance
In this sector, the report explains that Sasol’s productivity was 4% higher in the nine months ending in March. In addition, the company completed a series of improvements at the Thubelisha and Shondoni mines, and the final phase of equipping the Impumelelo mine is underway.

The document also explains that the company produced 22.6 million tonnes of coal in the nine months under review, compared to 22.9 million tonnes in the previous period.

Fuels
In this sector, production volumes in Secunda were 3 per cent higher compared to the previous year, affected by a decrease in volumes in the first quarter, due to a reduction in the overall availability of equipment and operational instability, the report details.

Sasol expects its production volumes for the full year to be between 6.9 and 7.1 million tonnes, lower than its initial guidance of between 7 million and 7.3 million tonnes.

The firm’s report, quoted by the website, clarifies that sales of liquid fuels remained stable compared to the same period last year, despite the continued oversupply in the South African diesel market. The sales outlook for the year remains in line with Sasol’s previous guidance of between 51 and 54 million barrels.

In general, fuel demand is expected to remain at similar levels in the last quarter of the year, and Sasol says it is proactively managing the risk of oversupply in the market, trusting that prices and demand for chemical products will slowly recover in the main markets, partly due to rising oil prices.

By Joy

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