11/10/2009 Archived Entry: "CAER's Don Challman Travels to South Africa on Ky. World Trade Center Trip"

don_south_africa (43k image)

The Kentucky Coal and Mining Trade Mission, led by the Kentucky World Trade Center, recently returned from a successful 10-day trip to South Africa. During the visit, the delegation met with representatives of the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Cape Town; US Department of Commerce (Johannesburg); the South Africa Department of Mineral and Energy and the South Africa Trade and Investment Department (Pretoria); and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (Johannesburg).

Delegates also visited Sasol (South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation), which introduced the group to private sector coal operations on the African continent. Sasol is a South African company involved in mining, energy, chemicals and synfuels. In particular, Sasol produces petrol and diesel from coal and natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. Delegates visited SASOL's underground Syferfontein mine and coal-to-liquid (CTL) operations in Secunda. Sasolís primary business is based on CTL and gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology, which differentiates the firm from other petrochemical companies.

One of the highlights of the trade mission was a tour of the coal terminal at Richards Bay. Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) is one of the largest export coal terminals in the world. Opened in 1976 with an original capacity of 12 million tons per annum, it has grown into an advanced 24-hour operation with a design capacity of 76 million tons per annum.

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