Mega-mess: The huge promise Sasol couldn’t keep
The cost of its US chemicals project has ballooned alarmingly - but this isn't the biggest disappointment
When Sasol said its ambitious Lake Charles Chemicals Project in the US had run $1.1bn over budget, it took shareholders by surprise, causing the share to plunge as much as 15%.
But the market’s deep disappointment ought to be less about the price – even though it has now ballooned over 45% of its original cost estimate – and more about how management continued to promise something they could not deliver.
Sasol’s final investment decision in 2014 pegged the project cost at $8.9bn and said it would start operating in 2018...