South African petrochemical colossus Sasol Ltd. has cut close to 1,500 jobs globally through early retirements and voluntary separations, with more to come, the company said Monday.
“The majority of those jobs are in South Africa, and there have been no layoffs in the United States at all,” Sasol spokeswoman Kim Cusimano said.
In fact, construction on Sasol’s ethane cracker and derivatives complex in the Lake Charles area is well underway, she said. Sasol company plans to hire 400 people for the $8 billion project, with most of the hires in southwest Louisiana. When complete, the project will create 500 full-time jobs.
A month ago, Sasol said it was shelving plans for a $14 billion natural-gas-to-liquids plant in the Lake Charles area. The jobs cuts are the latest to strike the industry in the wake of plummeting oil prices.
In January, oilfield services giant Schlumberger announced it was laying off 9,000 workers. In February, Weatherford International said it would lay off 8,000.
Sasol President and Chief Executive Officer David Constable said the cost-cutting is far from over. The company’s “30-month cash conservation target” is in the range of $2.5 billion to $4.2 billion.
Part of company’s efforts include leaving between 500 and 1,000 jobs vacant, and other layoffs are possible.