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Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has secured more than 100,000 carbon offset credits from Bethlehem Hydro, a South African independent power producer (IPP), in fulfilment of its obligations under the new South African carbon tax regulations. 

The transaction is one of the first carbon offset transactions under the South African Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS) after it was launched earlier this year. Under the carbon tax regulations, South African companies are able to buy carbon credits from third parties to offset a portion of their carbon tax liability.

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Climate change

Sasol Vice President for climate change, Shamini Harrington, said the company is committed to reducing its operational greenhouse gas emissions profile through various mitigation activities, including carbon offsets. 

“Carbon offsetting is recognised as a necessary tool to meet and increase climate ambition. These projects are beneficial not only from a greenhouse gas reduction perspective but also from a socio-economic one as they bring multiple sustainability co-benefits to the communities and areas in which they are located,” Harrington explained. 

In operation since 2009, Bethlehem Hydro is a 7MW hydropower IPP, which has to date generated 383GWh of clean, emission-free electricity, thereby reducing South Africa’s emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by more than 350,000 tons.

“Bethlehem Hydro has in many ways been a pioneer in the South African power sector. It was not only the first IPP to be granted a generation licence in South Africa in 2005, but was also in the first batch of South African projects to be registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2009,” said Anton-Louis Olivier, MD of Bethlehem Hydro. 

“We are very pleased to be able to conclude this transaction with Sasol, another pioneering South African company.”