Sasol mulls US$8 bln investment in coal-to-liquids plant in India

Sasol is considering construction of at least one coal-to-liquid (CTL) plant at an investment of US$6-8 bln, in India - the world's second-fastest growing economy after China. India has recently ammended its Coal Act, and the enabling fiscal framework and access to appropriate coal blocks may encourage further investment. Sasol, which commercialised the CTL process, is believed to be conducting a feasibility study on a proposed 80,000 bpd plant and is seeking firm assurance from New Delhi on the allocation of coal blocks for the purpose. India has 248 bln tons of coal reserves, of which 93 bln are proven reserves. Sasol is also scouting coal mines in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh for suitable quality coal. A CTL plant typically consumes up to 30 mln tpa of extractable coal reserves, depending on the quality of coal. This means the project would only be feasible if Sasol can secure the up to 1.5 bln tons of coal required to feed the plant over its 25-year life. A CTL plant could produce 500-1000MW of export electricity, and five such plants could replace 20% of India's fuel imports by 2020. Sasol is already negotiating the construction of at least two coal-to-liquids(CTL) plants in China.
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