OREANDA-NEWS. June 14, 2012. Sasol Limited's Olefins & Surfactants Division (headquarters in Hamburg, Germany) announced today it will expand in a first step its capacity to produce ultra-high purity aluminas (UHPA) by at least 3000 metric tons per year.

Construction will begin immediately at Brunsbuettel, the company's Germany manufacturing site on a process to supply Sasol North America's Ceralox alumina production facility in Tucson, Arizona with ultrahigh purity alumina precursor.

Sasol Olefins & Surfactants, a recognized leader in ultra-high purity alumina materials for sapphire and other applications for more than 20 years, will then convert the Brunsbuettel alumina precursor into tailored products for customer specific applications. Of particular focus to Sasol are the increasing raw material requirements of single crystal sapphire producers due to rapidly growing LED applications.

Sasols new UHPA product platform will include an expanded portfolio of calcined ultrahigh purity aluminas with tailored particle sizes, densities, and chemistries to meet the product demands of all major sapphire growing technologies.

New ultra-high purity calcined aluminas for structural ceramics, lighting, and new emerging battery applications will also be produced using the new ultra-high purity alumina feedstock from the Brunsbuettel facility. Project completion is estimated for the third quarter of 2013.

Sasol is the worlds largest producer of specialty aluminas via our proprietary aluminum alkoxide process, said Fleetwood Grobler, Managing Director Olefins & Surfactants. Being able to take advantage of our high purity knowledge base and significant existing infrastructure are key to our expansion plans. This investment will strengthen Sasols ability to supply existing and future customers with ultra pure aluminum oxides, Grobler added.

This expansion is the direct result of a true global team effort, contributed Dr. Klaus Diblitz, Olefins & Surfactants Inorganics Division General Manager. With our more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing high purity aluminas via aluminum alkoxide technology, innovations from our research and technology team and our sales & marketing knowledge of market requirements, together with the support of our customer base, allows us to move forward with confidence on this significant investment. Combining all these components with our established market reputation for ultrahigh purity aluminas was key for deciding to expand. The successful implementation of these investments sets the stage for additional future expansions of our ultra pure alumina production capabilities, Diblitz summarized.