Sasol to host public meeting on plans to mitigate environmental impact

By By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Southwest Louisiana residents will have an opportunity Wednesday to learn about how Sasol plans to mitigate the environmental

impact of its proposed ethane cracker and gas-to-liquids complex.

At the request of the U.S. Army Corps

of Engineers, Sasol officials will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. in

the Lake Charles

Civic Center’s Contraband Room to answer questions on their plans

to increase “the quantity and quality of wetlands” in the

Calcasieu Watershed prior to constructing their

multi-billion-dollar facilities in Westlake. Sasol has applied for a

wetlands

modification permit with the Corps, which is still under

consideration.

Officials from the Corps are expected to attend the meeting.

“This meeting is part of the approval process,” said Michael Hayes, Sasol’s public affairs manager for U.S. megaprojects.

“So, if people have concerns or issues or want to ask questions, this is their opportunity to do so.”

Hayes said Sasol executives will have

displays and handouts for residents to review. The company’s projects

will disturb wetlands

on their property and off site along the southeast side of

Calcasieu Lake.

Sasol’s proposed $7 billion ethane

cracker will produce ethylene, which, in turn, will be used to make

products such as synthetic

fibers, detergents, paints and fragrances. The facility is

expected to produce an estimated 1.5 million tons of ethylene a

year.

The company’s GTL complex, touted as a

“game changer for America’s energy future,” is expected to produce more

than 96,000

barrels of diesel fuels and chemicals each day. The complex will

also house Sasol’s second linear alkyl benzene unit, which

will increase the company’s production of detergent alkylates. The

project’s estimated cost is between $11 billion and $14

billion.

Sasol’s 161-page “Permittee Responsible

Mitigation Plan,” which was submitted to the Corps in September, is

available online

in pdf form at www.sasollouisianaprojects.com. Browsers should

click the heading “Commitments” and then the subhead “Safety

& Environment.”

Hayes said Sasol hopes to receive approval from the Corps by spring 2014.