Sasol update on Secunda Synfuels Operations

Sasol’s Secunda Synfuels Operations has made progress on rehabilitating the Secunda black products area and is in the early stages of closing the Medium Term Vanadium (MTV) landfill facility. Over the years, the company has prioritised the rehabilitation of the black product site to make additional space available for coarse ash stacking. This is nearing completion which will ensure that the progression of the coarse ash site will not be hindered.

Waste avoidance is one of the options Sasol is exploring, where the material is reprocessed back into the value chain to extract additional products. A good example is the progress in identifying alternative handling options for the Phenosolvan gas liquor sludge.

A waste management service provider supplied a centrifuge system to clean-out the tank online and separate the stream into various fractions, including fine coal, gas liquor and oily sludge. All material is then returned back into the process.

Previous cleanouts resulted in this stream being disposed of, or handled at alternative fuel facilities. This year, all 7 500 tons were returned back into the value chain adding value to Sasol as well as saving money on the cleanout and processing.

SSO spent R622 million this year on the project aiming to construct a new fine ash dam disposal site. The scope includes dam construction, water and runoff management as well as seepage prevention and leak detection system that is achieved via multi-layer HDPE and geo membranes.

Sasol SSO aims to bring the facility to beneficial operation in 2023.


Ash has now been excluded from the legal definition of waste when used for specific applications in South Africa. The ash exclusion regulation introduces a mechanism whereby ash users can access and use Sasol’s ash without a waste management licence.

This will enable Sasol to better support ash beneficiation business opportunities.

For the financial 2020 year 9 649 kilotons (kt) of ash was generated by SSO and 458 kt generated by SO. Further the volume of ash recycled at SO was 473 kt and at SSO 141 kt was re-used.

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