Home » Sasol, led by Fleetwood Grobler, takes bold steps into energy transition

Sasol, led by Fleetwood Grobler, takes bold steps into energy transition

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Fleetwood Grobler

Sasol, a South African integrated energy and chemicals conglomerate led by businessman Fleetwood Grobler, has undertaken a bold mission to adopt clean and renewable energy transition strategies, positioning itself to emerge as one of Africa’s foremost purchasers of sustainable energy.

Despite operating as the nation’s second-largest polluter, Sasol has set its sights on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, a challenging objective given its robust operations that entail the production of synthetic fuel and chemicals sourced from coal.

In a recent interview, Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler, who also holds a minority stake in the company, acknowledged the substantial challenges that must be overcome to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, starting with coal which has been the lifeblood of the company since its inception in 1950.

Grobler indicated that the company is prioritizing coal quality and addressing operational issues, including the depletion of the richest coal deposits in its mines, as the remaining coal is less effective in the processes that convert it into fuel.

Sasol is committed to resolving these challenges as part of its broader efforts to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

Sasol’s plan to curtail emissions by 30 percent by 2030 involves replacing one fossil fuel with another.

To achieve its objective, the company must reduce its annual consumption of coal, which is its primary fuel source, by a quarter, requiring the acquisition of adequate natural gas, a more efficient and less polluting alternative. 

Grobler recognizes that shareholders want to see how the company will maintain profitability while adhering to its greenhouse gas reduction targets and remaining relevant beyond those objectives.

He concedes that the company entered the green transition later than some of its peers, but he assures investors that Sasol’s progress in achieving its objectives will be evident over the next five years.

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