Sasol shuts down Lake Charles due to hurricane damage

On 27 August 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Sasol’s Lake Charles Chemicals Complex in Southwest Louisiana. Sasol activated its inclement weather protocols ahead of the storm at all affected Gulf Coast locations in preparation for Hurricane Laura, with the primary concern being the safety of its workforce, the protection of the environment and the integrity of its facilities.

Part of the response was to temporarily shut down facilities at Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as Greens Bayou and Winnie, Texas. Sasol is supporting its employees in the impacted areas, assisting with temporary housing, transportation and basic amenities for those affected by the storm.

The storm resulted in widespread electrical blackouts and other damage, preventing Sasol from operating most utility systems. High voltage transmission line corridors into the Lake Charles area are damaged, and the full assessment is still in progress by a local power company. Sasol’s manufacturing facilities in Lake Charles remain shut down.

Operations recovery crews at the Lake Charles site have started the damage assessment process, and early reports indicate no apparent damage to process equipment and no flooding damage experienced as a result of storm surge. The high wind speeds caused damage to the cooling towers at the Lake Charles Chemicals Complex.

Other Sasol manufacturing operations in the United States in Greens Bayou and Winnie, Texas, were not impacted by the storm.

Start-up of the plants will depend on the availability of electricity, industrial gases, other feedstocks and the restoration process. Sasol is engaging with its customers and suppliers regularly regarding the impacts on production.

Sasol has Atlantic Named Wind Storm (ANWS) insurance coverage for units under construction as well as operating units.

Sasol will update the market as more certainty on the situation in Lake Charles is obtained. The company does not envisage that the hurricane will have an adverse impact on any potential divestment transaction related to Sasol’s base chemical portfolio in the United States.

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