Sasol - Synthetic Rubber Development Corporation
Sasolburg, South Africa

Sasol-Synthetic Rubber Development Styrene and Butadiene Complex - EPC

Following Fluor's successful experience building butadiene plants in Australia, the company was awarded a $14 million contract in South Africa to perform the country's first synthetic rubber installation.

The project was divided into two $7 million contracts. One was a total-responsibility contract awarded to Fluor by South African Coal, Oil, and Gas Corporation, Limited (Sasol), for a plant to produce 10,000 long tons per year of styrene and 20,000 long tons per year of butadiene. Under the other contract, Fluor and Polysar International S.A. built the SBR installation for the Synthetic Rubber Corporation of South Africa.

Client's Challenge

Sasol was to produce the styrene and butadiene monomer for the rubber plant. The chemical units received feedstocks from SASOL's nearby oil-from-coal installation (which also produced about 10 percent of the nation's gasoline).

The petrochemical intermediates were used to produce 30,000 long tons per year of synthetic rubber.

The Synthetic Rubber Corporation plant would supply all of South Africa's domestic needs for general-purpose rubber.

Fluor's Solution

The butadiene project for Sasol in 1962 was Fluor's first in South Africa. The butadiene complex produced 10,000 long tons per year of styrene and 20,000 long tons per year of butadiene. For the project awarded by Synthetic Rubber Development, Fluor worked with Polysar International S.A. to engineer and construct the rubber-producing plant.

The complex was built about 50 miles south of Johannesburg at Sasolburg, adjacent to Sasol's oil-from-coal installation.

The project was the first of many for Fluor South Africa and established the company as one of the leaders in providing engineering and construction services to energy and chemicals clients throughout the country and region.



Completed in 1964, these projects were closely followed by two more in South Africa, for the engineering and construction of refineries.

The company's commitment to hiring and training local craft employees to support Fluor's business, as well as the country's transformation, helped to sustain and build its presence within the government and business communities in South Africa.

In addition, Fluor began its long tradition of community service, giving back to the communities in which it works and lives.