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South Africa to explore gas-to-power route

In South Africa, the minister of energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has stated that her department, in Q2 of the 2015/16 fiscal year, had solicited market information to assist in designing the gas-to-power programme.

[quote]In addition, Joemat-Pettersson said the market information would also help in the development of documentation required to procure gas-fired power.

According to the minister, “There was an overwhelming interest in the programme. We hosted a successful international gas options conference at the end of September 2015 to solicit inputs from the market in developing the SA gas-to-power programme.”

She said the exploitation of the country’s indigenous gas (coal bed methane and shale gas) as well as the regional natural gas resources must be seen in the broader context of regional integration.

Joemat-Pettersson highlighted that the trade-off between South Africa and its neighbouring countries in a synergistic manner will improve the county’s ability to secure those clean energy resources that South Africa currently does not possess, including hydropower.

“We believe that the trade-off can be achieved by supporting and collaborating on the interconnection projects including transmission lines and gas pipelines.

“Mozambique and the DRC are strategic partner countries that possess complimentary clean energy resources that fit our energy strategy. Therefore there is logic for supporting the development of gas pipeline infrastructure from Mozambique into South Africa,” she said.

Gas-to-power programme

Joemat-Pettersson stated that she has directed the department of energy to undertake more upfront development work for the procurement of imported gas to ensure bankability of the gas-to-power programme for investors, affordability for gas users and the minimum fiscal exposure for government.

The minister said: “We will make a preliminary information memorandum on the 3,125MW gas-to-power programme available to the market in the second quarter of the 2016/17 financial year, prior to commencing with the formal procurement process later in the year. This will be an important development to stimulate our economy and promote investor confidence.”

She added that through the IPP office, there will be a call for Expressions of Interest from the private sector to partner with state-owned entities for the development of a 600MW additional gas determination.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.