Sasol Two (Pty) Ltd.
Secunda, South Africa

Sasol II Oil-from-Coal Complex - EPC

In 1975 Fluor was named as the managing contractor by Sasol Limited to provide engineering, procurement, and construction management for Sasol II, the complex and sprawling Oil from Coal Synthetic Fuels Plant in Secunda, South Africa.


Client's Challenge

Sasol Limited is a leading provider of liquid fuels in South Africa and a major international producer of chemicals, using a world-leading technology for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemical plants.

Sasol undertook this project in 1975 to help South Africa move towards greater independence from imported crude oil. Sasol II was the second project of this type to be constructed in South Africa. The first Sasol project built in 1952-1955 at Sasolburg remains a successful operation.

The Sasol II Plant's primary products include gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. In addition, out of each ton of coal processed through Sasol's two-step liquefaction process, several alcohols, a variety of phenols, ethylene, propylene, and ammonia are extracted.

Fluor's Solution

Sasol Limited selected Fluor as the managing contractor on Sasol II because of its experience in delivering mega projects and its expertise in synfuels technologies.

Sasol and Fluor also joined together to market Sasol's coal conversion technology in the U.S.

Fluor's scope involved construction management of all but two turnkey units, procurement of bulk materials, coordination of worldwide inspection, and expediting and transportation of equipment and materials to the field. In addition, Fluor executed detail engineering for the oil refining section and performed the facility engineering. The large complex includes coal mining, gasification, and coal gas processing into myriad hydrocarbon and petrochemical products.

The Sasol II program was so massive it was divided into six distinct projects. The project teams acted virtually as autonomous jobs, with their own administrative, management, and warehouse teams.

Fluor used its worldwide procurement network to identify and purchase equipment and materials for the project. At peak, the project employed 25,000 people.

Another element of Fluor's success on Sasol II was its training program. Sasol placed a great deal of emphasis on training local resources in the construction trades. Thousands of people were trained in the various crafts, and after the Sasol III contract award to Fluor, a majority of the trained construction workers transferred to the new project.



Fluor successfully completed Sasol II within three percent of the job's original budget.

During construction, Fluor achieved several outstanding safety records and trained thousands of South African craft workers, skills that would be transferable to future Sasol projects.

Before Sasol II was completed, Sasol Limited decided to build Sasol III and called on Fluor once again to program manage the project. By maintaining continuity with trained laborers and craft workers, it was possible to shorten the construction schedule on Sasol III by two months.

The Fluor-Sasol relationship continues today with Fluor as managing contractor for Sasol's Secunda Growth Programme.