Lake Charles delays, costs batter Sasol share price
Analyst warns the update is a major mark against the Sasol management’s credibility
Sasol’s share price recorded its biggest one-day drop in nearly three years after the group announced yet another delay and cost increase at its chemicals project in Louisiana. Less than four months after telling investors that its new Lake Charles chemical plant is on track to cost $11.13bn, the company warned on Friday that it was now expected to cost between $11.6bn and $11.8bn. The start-up of the project’s first unit was also delayed by two months. In response, the Sasol share price closed 6.5% lower on Friday at R384.78, reflecting its biggest one-day drop since September 2017. More than R15bn in market value was wiped out by the time trading closed. The share is down 27% over the last six months, driven largely by the decline in the oil price. The project — an ethane cracker and derivatives complex — has already faced a number of cost overruns and delays. On inception in 2014 it was expected to cost $8.9bn and to be in operation by 2018. Lake Charles is Sasol’s biggest projec...