In terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (NEMAQA), Sasol’s Secunda Operations (SO) is required to comply with its atmospheric emissions license (AEL), which incorporates provisions of the Minimum Emission Standards (MES).
SO had been granted postponement from meeting the new plant standard for sulphur dioxide (SO2) for its boilers at the steam plants, governed under subcategory 1.1 of the MES, until 31 March 2025. SO deemed the applicable SO2 limit of 1 000 mg/Nm3, finally promulgated in March 2020, a reasonable standard which it could comply with, albeit through significant effort, and maintained that compliance by 1 April 2025 would remain a challenge.
As part of Sasol’s lower carbon ambitions and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets, there are synergies that can be realised through integrating reduction initiatives for GHG and boiler SO2. This integrated reduction roadmap involves the turning down of boilers to reduce SO2 emissions (with benefits to be realised already from 2025 and onwards), as well as to enable reducing GHGs and other pollutants emitted from the boilers. It supports Sasol’s long term ambition to be net zero by 2050, meet its 2030 GHG target, achieve its SO2 reduction target towards compliance and to reduce its overall environmental footprint.
To enable this transition through its integrated reduction roadmap, Sasol applies to the National Air Quality Officer to be regulated by a load-based emission limit (the mass and the rate of the pollutant emissions) instead of a concentration limit (the mass of pollutant per cubic meter of air emitted) as it is currently. Through this, Sasol will achieve a 30% reduction in SO2 by 2030, which is significantly more than what would be achieved under the current concentration limits in the MES.
Sasol has appointed Air Resource Management (Pty) Ltd (ARM), an independent environmental consultancy, to undertake the associated public participation process and assist in preparing the application, including the detailed motivation report providing reasons and justifications thereof. Airshed Planning Professionals (Pty) Ltd has been appointed to prepare the Atmospheric Impact Report (AIR ) in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements. The AIR will establish an independent and objective scientific analysis of the impact on ambient air quality of a load rather than a concertation limit for SO2 emissions from the boilers at the steam plant.
To enable meaningful public participation, interested and affected parties (I&AP) will be given access to the Background Information Document (BID), the motivation report supporting the clause 12A application, together with the AIR. The registration period for public participation will continue to run concurrently with the review and commenting period of the Draft AIR and Motivation Report which will be available for 30 calendar days (excluding public holidays) from 21 April – 24 May 2022 for I&AP review and comments. The documents are accessible from either ARM’s website at https://arm-air.co.za/documents/ or as hardcopies at the following public venues:
|Public Library||Laurens Muller Street, Secunda||Reception||(017) 620 6175|
|Goven Mbeki Local Municipality||Horwood Street, Secunda||Reception||(017) 620 6279|
|Sasol Charlie 1 - Main entrance||Frans du Toit Street, Secunda||Reception||(017) 610 1111|
Background information document (available from 6 April 2022) The Draft Atmospheric Impact Report and Motivation Report (available for review and comment from 21 April 2022).
An Open Day is also scheduled for the 6th of May 2022 from 10:00 to 16:00 at the Lilian Ngoyi Centre, Walter Sisulu Road, Secunda where information on the Draft Atmospheric Impact Report and Motivation report will be discussed with attendees. Community awareness on this event is raised also via radio advertisements and the distribution of flyers.
Contact Mr Anesu Shamu at ARM: Tel: 011 655 7170, email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to participate in the process.