Sasol partners with Emerald to accelerate its fossil-free future

Zürich, Switzerland / Johannesburg, South Africa: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures announced today that it will serve as the exclusive investment advisor for Sasol Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of South African chemicals and energy company Sasol. The €50 million partnership, which includes investment into Emerald’s energy transformation fund, is meant to help Sasol advance its transition away from fossil fuels via collaboration with innovative startups. It is Emerald’s first tie-up in Africa and its second “CVC-as-a-service” mandate, under which it manages all of its corporate partner’s CVC activity.  

Sasol is a world leader in the synthesis of liquid fuels and chemicals from coal and gas. It is pursuing a transition to non-fossil feedstocks and cleaner processes as part of its mission to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Along the way it intends to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions from its energy and chemicals businesses by 30%, by 2030. 

Sasol’s significant presence in its home country means that its shift will help South Africa as a whole reach net-zero emissions, a goal its government has set for 2050. It could also help foster the worldwide market for low-carbon alternatives to petroleum-based fuels for hard-to-decarbonize sectors like aviation and shipping. 

Emerald counts several of the world’s largest fuels and chemicals companies, including Chevron, SABIC and Mitsubishi Chemical Group, among its limited partners. It will manage the entirety of Sasol’s CVC activity via its unique CVC-as-a-service model, which it pioneered with Japanese industrial firm Nabtesco. In particular, it will hunt for deals appropriate for Sasol in emergent fields like industrial process electrification, renewable hydrogen production and other enabling technologies to sustainably produce chemical and energy products. Relevant startups in which Emerald has invested include Pemeas, HyRadix, Spear Power Systems and Eologix. 

“We are very excited at the prospect of Sasol Ventures working with Emerald to play a key role in our decarbonisation ambitions. As the world accelerates its energy systems towards sustainability through emerging and disruptive technologies, Sasol Ventures places us in a position to access technology opportunities that will contribute to transforming our business,” said Fleetwood Grobler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sasol. 

“We applaud Sasol’s commitment to innovation as a major pillar of its decarbonization goals,” says Christoph Frei, Partner at Emerald. “We look forward to working with Sasol on advancing their energy transformation goals and to providing end-to-end investment services, including rich deal flow and ambitious investments into the most promising cutting-edge companies in Sasol’s sectors.” 

About Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm founded in 2000, that manages and advises assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto and Singapore. The firm invests in start-ups that tackle big challenges in climate change and sustainability, with 4 current funds, hundreds of venture transactions and four third-party investment mandates, including loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups.

This is Emerald.

Bold Ideas. Bright Future.


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About Sasol 

Sasol is a global chemicals and energy company. We harness our knowledge and expertise to integrate sophisticated technologies and processes into world-scale operating facilities. 

We strive to safely and sustainably source, produce and market a range of high-quality products globally. 

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