Sasol Declares Force Majeure on Exports as Flood Fallout Hits Hard


Global petrochemical and energy company, Sasol has declared force majeure on the export of certain chemical products following the heavy rainfall and floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

The company said on Monday it is evaluating the flood’s impact on its business. Force majeure is a natural and unavoidable catastrophe that interrupts the expected course of outcomes and absolves contracting parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event occurs.

Sasol warned that its quarterly volume outlook could also be affected by the floods, but this is subject to the extent of infrastructure damage and the timing of the recovery and restoration of key infrastructure and utilities.

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said last week, that the Port of Durban suspended operations after the deadly floods but have slowly restarted. 

The floods claimed more than 448 lives in KwaZulu-Natal and about 40,000 people were displaced as a result of the heavy rains.

Last week, Sasol donated R7.5-million to support emergency relief efforts in the affected areas.

Many of its employees in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered bereavements and damage to their homes.

In its production update released yesterday for the nine months ended in March, Sasol said its financial performance for the period was premised on favourable macroeconomic environment, with a higher crude oil price, refining margins and chemicals prices against a backdrop of heightened geopolitical tensions.

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Sasol however said, the outlook is not so bright because of Russia’s war in Ukraine and resulting energy price volatility, rising inflation and the Covid-19 lockdowns in China, which may jeopardise sales volumes and margins in the last four months.

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