South Africa-based Sasol has chosen southwestern Louisiana as the site for a gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. The project is slated to be the first plant in the United States to produce GTL transportation fuels and other products.

“We believe Sasol’s proprietary GTL technology can help unlock the potential of Louisiana’s clean and abundant natural gas resources and contribute to an affordable, reliable and high quality fuel supply for the United States,” said Ernst Oberholster, Sasol managing director for new business development.

“GTL fuels are an important part of the energy mix because they can advance energy independence in a way that is both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.” Unlike other proposed alternatives to conventional petroleum-based fuels, GTL fuel is used in existing vehicles and fuel delivery infrastructure without modifications, Sasol said.

GTL transportation fuel is cleaner burning than conventional diesel with a comparable, and potentially lower, greenhouse gas profile, according to Sasol.

The company said it will evaluate the viability of a GTL venture in Calcasieu Parish, LA, over the next 18 months. The feasibility study will consider two options: a two million ton per year and a four million ton per year facility.

Last June a Foster Wheeler AG subsidiary conducting a feasibility study of a GTL project in Western Canada, which is under consideration by Talisman Energy Inc. and Sasol (see Shale Daily, Dec. 21, 2010), said it expected to complete the work during the fourth quarter (see Shale Daily, June 24).

Last December Sasol announced what it claims to be the world’s first ethylene tetramerization unit, also to be built in Calcasieu Parish.

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