(Adds Toyota partnership on pilot project)
JOHANNESBURG, April 14 (Reuters) - South Africa's Sasol has formed a consortium with companies including chemicals multinational Linde, to bid for production of sustainable aviation fuel under Germany's H2Global auction platform, it said on Wednesday.
The consortium, which also includes German renewables player Enertrag and South African construction and investment company Navitas Holdings, has notified the German government of its intention to bid via the double auction mechanism, Sasol said.
The H2Global carbon auction rounds are expected to launch towards the end of 2021.
Petrochemicals company Sasol said it was exploring feasibility of producing carbon neutral jet fuel at its Secunda Synfuels plant in Mpumalanga Province.
The universe’s most abundant element, hydrogen has been touted for decades as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels.
Hydrogen which is mostly produced from fossil fuels and natural emits carbon emissions into the atmosphere is known as grey hydrogen, with cleaner so-called blue hydrogen not releasing carbon emissions from its production.
However, as governments seek to lower greenhouse gas emissions interest is growing in green hydrogen which is extracted from water using electrolysis powered by renewable energy.
"Sasol’s expertise in hydrogen and our extensive R&D capabilities, combined with our specialist knowledge of Fischer-Tropsch technology, supports our ambition to play a key role in creating South Africa’s hydrogen economy,” said Sasol President and CEO Fleetwood Grobler.
Sasol said the consortium would allow it to work with partners to produce liquid fuels and chemicals with Fischer-Tropsch technology, which is a process of chemical reactions that converts carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid fuels.
Sasol also announced a partnership with Toyota South Africa Motors, a subsidiary of Japan's Toyota, on a pilot project which aims to install a refuelling station for hydrogen powered heavy-duty long-haul trucks on one of South Africa’s main freight corridors between Durban and Johannesburg.
Toyota is currently developing a prototype fuel cell truck in Japan. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg. Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)