CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest

WYOMING, Illinois and Montana could be targets for South African fuel giant Sasol to set up coal-to-liquid plants.
CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest CTL heats up as Sasol shows US interest


Angie Tomlinson

Sasol spokesperson Johann van Rheede told South Africa’s Business Report that the company expects 80,000 barrels a day from its international CTL plants, equating to 60,000 tons of coal a day.

The attractiveness of the US for Sasol to invest also depends on government subsidies.

The Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 was reintroduced to the Senate in January. The Bill will enable the Department of Energy to provide loan guarantees for construction and direct loans for the planning and permitting of CTL plants.

Loan guarantees will encourage private investment and planning loans will help companies prepare a plant for construction.

The legislation will also expand investment tax credits and expensing provisions to include coal-to-liquids plants, extend the Fuel Excise Tax credit, and expand the credit for equipment used to capture and sequester carbon emissions.

The tax incentives build on the loans and loan guarantees by offering tax breaks during the multiple-year construction phase and during initial production at the plant.

Sasol is not the only company eying off major CTL plants. Earlier this year Consol Energy and Headwaters Incorporated formed an alliance to investigate development of coal-based liquid fuels refineries using Consol's eastern and western coal reserves.

Last year Arch Coal struck a deal with DKRW Advanced Fuels that will see the two companies work together to secure coal reserves for two additional CTL projects.

After acquiring a 25% equity interest in DKRW, Arch agreed to invest $US25 million in the company, which is the principal developer of the Medicine Bow Fuel and Power coal-to-liquids project in the Carbon Basin of southern Wyoming.

Also last year, Peabody Energy and Rentech entered a joint development agreement to evaluate sites in America's Midwest and Montana for coal-to-liquids projects that would turn coal into diesel and jet fuel.

CTL is being touted as part of the answer to wean the US off foreign oil imports.

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