JOHANNESBURG (Reuters)- Sasol, the world\'s leading coal-vehicle fuel producer, plans to reduce its carbon footprint by capturing emissions, producing solar energy and improving plant efficiency. Henry Luber, project director of the company\'s new energy department, said the public Private partnerships between Sasol, other energy companies and South African universities will begin at 2-1/2 years. \"We are still talking about two and a half years before the facility is actually put into use,\" Loubser told reporters on Friday . \". The team of South African scientists invented the design of solar panels, which consist of micro-components Metal film- Only 5 microns thick It converts light into energy at a fraction of the cost of traditional panels. Thin film solar technology (TFST) The joint venture will build a power plant to produce 40 MW using the film, he said. Sasol ranked second after Eskom, the country\'s largest polluters power company, reporting total carbon emissions in South Africa as of this fiscal year 200 million tons in June 6. The company has been criticized by environmental activists for doing little to simplify its operations in the direction of carbon emissions. The free economy says it has set a target to reduce the emission intensity by 15% from a baseline of 2005 by 2020 throughout its operations. It also plans to produce new coal. to-liquids (CTL) Plant more effective of emission reduction construction 2030 2020 20% and built-in before of 30%. The production of energy from solar energy will be the focus of the company, Loubser said, with South Africa rich in solar energy. Sasol plans to choose which centralized solar technology by next June. Loubser said Sasol also plans to make its power generation units cleaner by converting natural gas into electricity or building nuclear power plants to power its operations. \"We will consider such technical steps (in nuclear). . . It\'s a mature technology, \"he said. The company says the shift from coal to natural gas has reduced emissions from factories by 40%. In the long run, it will also invest in producing electricity from hydropower sources, preferably from countries around South Africa. Sasol wants to store emissions from its power plants. It currently captures 20- Emissions of 30 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the Secunda CTL plant, but since a suitable storage site has not yet been found, it will emit carbon into the air. Sasol plans to produce half of the electricity demand by 2012 to beat rising electricity prices and reduce reliance on the state grid, in particular, as Eskom utilities strive to meet the rapidly growing needs of industrial and residential users.