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Sasol planning CTL plants in Indonesia

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2 -- Sasol Ltd. is planning several coal liquefaction projects to produce gasoline and other oil products in Indonesia.

Sasol plans to invest $10 billion by 2015 to build coal liquefaction plants in Sumatra and eastern Kalimantan, according to Indonesia's Department of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Sasol will work with several local raw materials firms, including coal miner PT Bumi Resources Tbk., Jakarta, and state-owned oil firm PT Pertamina, to produce oil products from coal.

Initial output is projected at 80,000 b/d, eventually rising to 1 million b/d, according to the Department of Energy.

Officials said the liquefaction plants will use low-priced lignite. "There will be no profitability problems so long as crude oil prices remain above $35/bbl."

Indonesia has an estimated 36 billion tons of lignite or about 60% of the country's coal deposits.

Last month, Sasol Synfuels International Ltd. and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Ltd. hired subsidiaries of Foster Wheeler Ltd. to conduct a feasibility study to determine the cost of building an 80,000 b/d coal-to-liquids plant in western China (OGJ Online, Nov. 5, 2008).

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