South African petrochemical major Sasol will announce partnerships over the next few weeks with local mining companies to supply green hydrogen for their mining operations, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.
A major part of the South African government’s aim to cut climate-warming gas emissions is tied to the private sector’s use of green hydrogen for buses, taxis and heavy-duty vehicles such as hauling truck and forklifts in the mines.
“There are a few mining partners that we are talking to that we will announce shortly to supply green hydrogen for mining vehicles,” Sarushen Pillay, Vice President: Environment Sustainability at Sasol, told Reuters.
Green hydrogen is produced when renewable electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen produced using coal or natural gas produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
The company expects to sign memorandums of understanding to initially supply green hydrogen for forklift trucks at the site of mining companies, he said, and the gas could be used to transition their worker bus fleet and hauling trucks for minerals.
Sasol will start producing 3.5 tonnes per day of green hydrogen from its Sasolburg plant in South Africa in the second half of 2023, rising to six tonnes a day depending on the demand. All of it will be consumed locally, Pillay said.
Sasol plans to export almost 400,000 tonnes of green hydrogen by 2028-29. The company is in the process of signing power purchase agreements with independent renewable power producers instead of depending on grid-based renewable supply, Sasol said in its climate change report published last month.