Sasol, through its wholly owned subsidiary Sasol New Energy, has entered into an operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Wärtsilä for a 180MW gas engine power plant project in Sasolburg, South Africa.

The three-year agreement will see Wärtsilä operate and maintain the facility on behalf of Sasol New Energy..

Sasol New Energy general manager of low carbon electricity Kribs Govender said the gas engine power plant employs a cleaner fossil fuel based technology and will reduce the CO2 emissions by about 1 million tonnes per annum.

"In addition, it also generates electricity at a higher efficiency," said Govender.

The Sasol New Energy plant is expected to start producing electricity towards the end of 2012.

The plant will provide the energy needed to power the company’s major new production facilities, such as the Sasol Wax Expansion and Ethylene Purification Unit 5 projects, that are currently under construction..

Wärtsilä Solutions general manager for support services AP Singh said the plant is designed with a high operating efficiency, low generating costs, and a minimal carbon footprint.