Being all over the map is just fine with a company like Sasol North America, which is a part of South African diversified chemical giant Sasol Limited's Olefins and Surfactants unit (which itself is based in Germany). The North American division produces a number of commodity and specialty chemicals from its manufacturing sites and an R&D center in the US. Among the products made by Sasol North America are alcohols, alumina, paraffins, specialty surfactants, and fatty acid esters. Sasol North America has built its operations on what was once ConocoPhillips' chemicals unit.
Sasol North America's manufacturing operations produce a range of applications, including cleaners and detergents, cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceutical, food, textile, leather processing, and heat transfer fluids.
Its plants are located in Baltimore, Maryland, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Tucson, Arizona; its Research & Development center is at the complex in Louisiana; and its operational headquarter is in Houston.
North American operations accounted for 10% of Sasol's global business revenues in 2011.
Responding to the growth in the North American shale gas liquids market (and subsequent expansion of available ethane), in 2011 Sasol announced a feasibility study for a major ethylene cracker and derivatives complex at Sasol North America's complex in Southwest Louisiana. The cracker unit, if built, could produce between 1 million tons and 1.4 million tons of ethylene per year and would cost between $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion to build. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by July, 2013.
Sasol North America traces its origins to ConocoPhillips' chemicals unit, which was spun off as a private company (Vista Chemical) in 1984. It went public two years later, was purchased by RWE in 1991, and was sold to Sasol in 2001. – less