Hydrogen is now at the heart of South Africa’s Sasol, as it today (14th April) unveiled two newly signed agreements that will see focus on the development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem and the production sustainable aviation fuels.
The integrated chemicals and energy company has had a foot in the clean energy door for quite some time now, having already formed previous partnerships with the likes of Haldor Topsoe and Air Liquide.
Today, its commitment once again progressed and it focus on hydrogen increased, with the mobility-focused agreements. One of the two vows marks a landmark moment for South Africa’s hydrogen economy, with the development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem, as part of a partnership with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM).
Unveiling contract details in a statement, the duo said they will develop a mobility corridor and expand the demonstration to a pilot project using one of South Africa’s main freight corridors, such as the N3 route between Durban and Johannesburg, for hydrogen-powered heavy-duty long-haul trucks.
In order to kick-start the project, the parties have committed to the introduction of fuel cell trucks in South Africa – a move that will support the available research on fuel cell technology being well suited to long-haul mobility applications.
As well as the truck introduction, the parties are evaluating the installation of a hydrogen refuelling station for the demonstration project. TSAM will lead investigation of the fuel cell truck introduction, and Sasol will support the provision of the required infrastructure expertise.
“To unlock green hydrogen opportunities, we are pursuing various demonstration opportunities and partnerships, as with Toyota, with the intent of enabling and taking advantage of technology developments and breakthroughs,” said Fleetwood Grobler, Sasol President and CEO.
“One of the focus areas for Sasol in South Africa is to provide a comprehensive and sustainable mobility solution. Hydrogen and electric vehicles with refuelling and charging infrastructure form part of this sustainable future.”
“We believe hydrogen mobility is a real opportunity for the country to decarbonise the sectors of long-haul and heavy-duty transport, mining and others and see the creation of hydrogen hubs, or ecosystems, as a practical and affordable way to scale the deployment of hydrogen in the transport sector.”
“Our partnership with Toyota, which will include other partners over time, aims to build a sustainable end-to-end infrastructure for hydrogen mobility, initially focused on piloting the concept.”
Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of TSAM, added, “We are therefore pleased to hear of Sasol’s aspirations and commitment to green hydrogen, as this fits in with Toyota’s global agenda towards a cleaner and greener future. It also made sense to partner with Sasol, given its commitment to develop hydrogen mobility infrastructure in South Africa, which is a much-needed enabler to introduce hydrogen products to the country.”
“Toyota envisages this partnership will also create the environment for others to get involved in the hydrogen mobility value chain thereby making sustainable contributions to the South African economy.’
Cleaner aviation with world-class partners
In addition to developing a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem, Sasol has also confirmed its commitment for the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), a move it’s made with a newly formed consortium.
Sasol, Linde, ENERTRAG and Navitas Holdings have joined forces on the effort to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) under the auspices of the German Federal Government’s H2Global auction platform.
Dubbed the LEN Consortium, the group will focus on SAF production which employs a power-to-liquid process which relies on the supply of a sustainable carbon feedstock and the production of green hydrogen through electrolysis using renewable energy.
As part of the process, the carbon and hydrogen are converted to synthesis gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which in turn is converted to longer chain hydrocarbons for the production of jet fuel or SAF.
The H2Global platform has developed a framework for double auction systems for required projects to produce green hydrogen and its derivatives, as well as the importation of the resulting products into Germany.
“Action on climate change is central to Sasol’s strategy, and we continue to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated in our production processes,” Grobler said.
“The decision to explore the creation of a SAF production demonstration facility at our Secunda Operations is aligned with our long-term decarbonisation strategy. Green hydrogen is one of the key transitional fuel sources that we are working with via various strategic demonstration opportunities and partnerships.”