Sasol delivered an uninspiring set of annual results on Monday, but investors live in hope that the synfuels company will deliver something spectacular in 2019 and beyond. A lift in oil prices was a boon for Sasol, which produces fuel from coal at a break-even price of $40 a barrel, but a range of issues — many of them one-off items — caused earnings to more than halve for the year ended on June 30. Next year will be a defining year for the company, or at least that’s the mantra for Sasol executives.Sasol’s investment in the Lake Charles Chemicals Project in Louisiana is expected to begin to pay off in 2019. The R11.1bn mega-project, which incurred delays and cost overruns — thanks in part to Hurricane Harvey — and proved a bugbear for Sasol investors, is expected to contribute $250m to $300m to company cash flows. Chemical and sales volumes, which had been hit by interrupted electricity supply and slow economic growth in 2018, are expected to rise in 2019, despite a planned shutdow...

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