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Marjo Louw

QATAR - Energy & Mining

Well Of Experience

President, Sasol Qatar


An executive with 35 years’ corporate leadership experience across the globe, Marjo Louw serves as President of Sasol Qatar. Prior to taking the reigns of the Qatar operation, he was General Manager of Sasol New Energy in Johannesburg, and Managing Director of Sasol Chemicals Pacific in Singapore. He has lived and worked internationally for 25 years in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe. During his career, he has managed, advised, and served on boards of various international companies and advisory councils, and has been an active member of business chambers and associations in the regions he has worked. His professional experience spans research and development, human resources, project management, marketing and sales, business development, market development, joint venture management, and general management.

TBY talks to Marjo Louw, President of Sasol Qatar, on the company's international strategy, collaboration with the community, and demand for GLT products.

Sasol’s experiences in Qatar have been important to the international strategy of Sasol as a whole. What are the particular lessons learned, and how has it impacted projects abroad?

Sasol’s experience in Qatar has proven the low temperature natural gas conversion to liquid fuels and chemicals process at a commercial scale. ORYX GTL is the first commercial business of its kind in the world. We have taken the operational and safety teachings that have made ORYX GTL such a success and adapted and integrated into the way we approach our projects in other markets. On the basis of the success that Sasol has been enjoying here in Qatar, we are exploring and pursuing other opportunities around the world.

A way in which Sasol reaches out to the community is through collaborations with the education sector in Qatar. What is the importance of these partnerships to Sasol?

Academia plays an important role in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030 along with industry and civil society. Educational institutions are critical, providing the training and innovative research opportunities that drive forward new technologies and methods in our opinion. From supporting scholarships to offering opportunities post-graduation, we at Sasol are proud supporters of higher learning institutions in Qatar and abroad. Our mobile application, Qatar e-Nature, in partnership with the Friends of the Environment Center in Qatar, is also a unique and powerful learning e-tool for all students in Qatar and to the public as well. In 2013, we also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar University to establish a project that will advance research in the area of carbon dioxide recovery from flue gas. The three-year project will be conducted through Qatar University’s Gas Processing Center.

In Qatar, Sasol is mainly focused on the production of several GTL products. How do you foresee the position of GTL in the global energy mix?

Currently, GTL plants supply less than 1% of the world’s total need for liquid fuels. Even if another two or three substantial facilities come online, the total relative capacity would still be small. Global forecasts suggest that by 2030 there will be a 6% replacement of conventional fuels by biofuels, but that is not going to be enough to take up the additional demand for fuels. Conservative forecasts predict a 24% increase in fossil fuel demand by 2030. Qatar is well positioned on the GTL map, as the world’s hub thanks to abundant gas reserves, proven capacity and infrastructure, and a stable, supportive government in place. Further helping the positioning of GTL, fuels created by gas conversion are inherently more environmentally friendly than conventional fuels created from crude oil. Market demand for GTL diesel is driven by the fact that GTL fuels are low in sulfur, have a lower carbon footprint, and offer a high octane number.

By moving to a new office in 2013, Sasol demonstrated its commitment to Qatar. What are the pillars of your future strategy in Qatar?

We were honored to have had His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, with us for the inauguration of our new office in Qatar. After more than five years in our previous office, it was time to expand. Looking ahead, we hope to have future opportunities in Qatar for collaboration. We see a country with strong leadership, a clear vision and the human and natural resources to lead in the energy and chemical sectors long into the future. The energy sector is doing well and the Qatari Government is continuously evaluating diversification of the use of carbon molecules to maximize value. At Sasol, we look forward to continuing to be part of Qatar’s story as the world’s GTL hub.



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