sasol declares force majeure

Sasol has declared Force Majeure in respect of the supply of petroleum products following the shut down of the Natref refinery on the 15th of July 2022 caused by delays in the arrival of crude oil shipments.

“These delays have impacted the availability of crude oil feedstock for processing at Natref which necessitates
the shutdown of its Natref refinery. In the circumstances, Sasol declares Force Majeure in terms of the supply agreement with effect from the date hereof (15 July),” read part of a letter by Sasol to its clients.

The South African petroleum company said it was in the process of assessing the impact on Sasol’s supply obligations and would communicate the impact as soon as this has been established.

Freedom Front Plus’ Dr. Wynand Boshoff said Sasol’s force majeure declaration is yet another energy shock rooted on poor policy decisions over a long period of time.

“South African refineries, which even a decade ago could still export liquid fuel to neighboring states, have shrunk to such an extent that only about 40% of the country’s needs are refined locally, the rest is imported in the finished form,” said Boshoff.

“It highlights the vulnerability of the national economy to international uncertainty and even maritime conditions.

“Previously, a strategic emergency supply was stored at Ogies, precisely to prevent events of this nature.

According to the answer to a recent written question from the FF Plus to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr. Gwede Mantashe, there is no stock in this facility.

In his weekly review of electricity supply, the CEO of Eskom, Mr. André de Ruyter, repeated the dependence on diesel-powered open-cycle gas generators (the so-called OCGs).

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“Furthermore, the agricultural sector is approaching planting time, while the whole country is dependent on road transport. Due to cable theft, even rail transport is increasingly dependent on fuel.

“The only bright spot in this bleak picture is that Natref is run by the private sector, if the country were dependent on a state-owned enterprise, the consequences could be much more serious,” Boshoff added.

Role players indicate that they are doing everything possible to bring plants back online as soon as possible.

The FF Plus recently warned that the current energy crisis could turn into an economic disaster. Prospects now look even worse.