Chemicals and energy group Sasol has indicated that it intends issuing a request for information (RFI) for the development and implementation of carbon-offset projects in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and has called on potential participants to register their interest by mid-November.
The JSE-listed company’s production processes for the manufacture of fuels and chemicals from coal are highly carbon-intensive and it is, thus, coming under increasing pressure to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts, beyond its current plan to reduce emissions by 10% by 2030.
Under its current plan Sasol has committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from the 63.9-million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emitted in 2017 to 57-million CO2e tons by 2030.
However, the group has indicated that it is working on a longer-term plan to 2050, which is scheduled to be released at its Capital Markets Day in 2021 and which will be embedded in its so-called ‘Future Sasol’ strategy, which is anticipated for release in November.
Sasol has already indicated that it intends pursuing wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW, after having received a strong response to a renewables RFI issued in May.
It has also initiated a process, through a separate RFI that closed on September 30, to identify potential partners for the development and demonstration of technologies that can utilise the CO2 produced at its South African operations.
Through the carbon-offset RFI, Sasol says it aims to determine the ability of the South African and SADC markets to generate and make available carbon credits.
Carbon offsets and markets are recognised under Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement, allowing those with low emissions to sell their exceeding allowance to larger emitters, but within an overall emissions cap. The mechanism should be pursued only once every effort has been made to first avoid and reduce direct emissions.
Sasol says it wants to identify partners that are involved in carbon-offset projects at any stage of the development process in the specified regions.
“Projects must focus on generating emission reductions in sectors that would otherwise not have been incentivised to do so; for example, in domestic energy efficiency, waste and agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors.”
The closing date for potential participants to express an interest in the offset programme has been set as November 13, after which Sasol will publish the actual RFI in the week that follows.