Sasol has just shown it is possible to deliver a mega capital investment project exactly as planned. Late in October 2014 the company made the final decision to proceed to build an $8.1bn ethane cracker and derivatives complex at Lake Charles, Louisiana. The cost of the project, which will produce ethylene, polymers and propylene and fertilisers, was revised once, in December 2016. The plant will also convert gas to vehicle fuel, which added another $3bn to the cost. This week Sasol said the plant was 88% complete and would start producing as planned later this year. Governments and the utilities they control can only dream of this kind of clinical execution. In many countries, and certainly in SA, it has almost become normal that mega investment projects, particularly those paid for with tax money, will be seriously delayed and cost a few times more than initially budgeted. The British government is desperately hoping the 3,260MW Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which it has ...

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