Sasol says operational instabilities at its Secondary Operations (SO) have largely been resolved as it has witnessed significant improvements in gasifier and boiler availability at Synfuels facilities over the past three months.
The company says it saw some measured improvements in coal quality in September, but from late October onwards it found three major production impacts in Mining that resulted in more than 1 million tons of lost coal production.
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“The most significant safety incidents that occurred since October 2021 include a fire at our Shondoni mine (no fatalities), an incident at a groundwater reservoir at our Bosjesspruit mine (three fatalities), and a high wall failure at our Syferfontein mine (no fatalities). Together these incidents contributed to just over 50% of the coal production deficit, ”Sasol said in a trade statement Tuesday.
Read: Sasol Special Report Part 2: How do you solve a problem like Secunda?
“Aside from these security incidents, our operations were also adversely affected by adverse weather conditions and some significant operational challenges. Also, Fulco’s acceleration is still slower than expected.
“As a result, production rates fell below 1,000 t / cm / s and we had to use the coal reserve which, as a result, fell below our target stock level. The external supply of coal from our long-standing commercial supplier was also interrupted as a result of the humid weather, significantly affecting the supplier’s ability to provide us with our contracted purchase quantity. ”
According to Sasol, the lower availability of coal hampered its ability to mix coal effectively, resulting in lower throughput rates in the SO gasification process.
Despite efforts to improve operations, the power company says it has reduced SO production rates until such time as mining productivity rates rise, and has rebuilt its coal reserve well above the requirements of the threshold.
“We are committed to gradually raising production rates as coal availability improves, while carefully monitoring the balance of supply and demand,” he added.
Sasol says it will also supplement its production shortfall by purchasing coal on the open market, however it is not possible to determine the shortfall at this time.
“As a consequence, we have revised our forecast SO production volumes to 6.7 – 6.8 million tonnes for fiscal 2022. Based on actual performance and our coal purchase strategy, we expect operations to mining companies achieve an average productivity rate of between 950 and 1040 t / cm / s for fiscal year 2022 ”, he pointed out.
“Our first objective is to ensure that we restore the integrity of the reserve to a level greater than ~ 1.2 million tons by the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2022. After this, we plan to gradually increase the pure gas loads through increased supply of coal to SO in an effort to improve execution speed.
“Our target is a storage level of ~ 1.5 million tonnes and we will further improve SO gas loads by the second quarter of calendar year 2022. Improving the quality of coal will take some time and we will update the market on our progress. during the following months. ”
Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.