South Africa unveils blueprint for energy future

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C., USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. Become one of our members and help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

The South African cabinet in October 2019 approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019) that laid out the path for the nation’s generation technology mix to tackle the current energy crisis.

At Africa Oil Week, last week, South Africa Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, outlined the role that oil and gas will play going forwards.

According to him, hydrocarbons, particularly gas, will be an important part of the energy mix in the future.

“We intend to establish the first LNG hub in the Coega IDZ, in the Eastern Cape Province,” he says. “I have been talking to investors at this conference and they should take the opportunity to engage with our officials on this matter as it is an opportunity not only to invest, but to also help develop the gas industry in this country.”

Infrastructure plans to harness gas potential

The plan is that the first LNG import terminal at the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) site will lay the foundation for a breed of new gas to power plants as well as driving the conversion of existing power plants from diesel to gas. It is also intended as a base to import feedstock for the gas to liquids refinery in Mossel Bay. “The framework for supporting this major programme will be announced by my department in the near term,” Mantashe added “Linked to this is an amendment to the Gas Act of 2001, which will be tabled in Cabinet soon.”

Mantashe explained that South Africa gas to power technologies will provide the flexibility that is needed to back up the intermittent nature of renewable energy and meet peak demand during busy periods. “In the short term the opportunity is to pursue gas import options, in the future, local and regional gas resources will allow for scaling up within manageable risk levels,” he said. “Indigenous gas like coal-bed methane and, ultimately, local recoverable shale and coastal gas are options we are considering. On the Upstream, work is underway on a Petroleum Resources Development Bill, which will be before Cabinet soon.

“Our oil and gas needs to be harnessed to deliver modern energy services to all households and businesses. Our gas must power plants and other petrochemical facilities in our countries as it reaches for export markets.  This will ensure that we do not always import beneficiated hydrocarbons.”   

Upstream aspirations for South Africa

On the regional front, Mantashe said that they have noted with great interest and a sense of admiration, the major gas finds in the Eastern part of the continent, especially in Mozambique and Tanzania. “We remain patently aware that one of the oil companies in South Africa played a pivotal role in the monetisation of the earlier gas finds in Mozambique,” he said. “Earlier this year we also announced hydrocarbon finds by Total and its partners off the Mossel Bay coast.  We are confident that this find will spur further interest in the upstream potential of South Africa.

“We have taken note of global industry shifts and are encouraged that many countries in our continent have set themselves the vision to enter the global gas market and promote the development of a domestic and regional gas market.  Natural gas can improve the efficiencies of many industries currently using sub-optimal fuel sources in their production processes and resulting in a turnaround in the industrial capacity and demand in the region.”

A new energy future

Mantashe explained that the IRP reflects the fact that South Africa’s energy generation landscape is evolving. “Old assumptions should give way,” he added. “For example, demand is not captive to the national grid; costs are declining as a result of technology advancements and our national utility, Eskom, is being restructured into its regulated functions of generation, transmission and distribution.”  

Coal will continue to play a significant role in electricity generation for South Africa, but renewable energy is growing in importance. “We have a more than thirty-thousand-megawatt portfolio of existing coal power plants, and the abundance of the resource,” he explained. “New investments will be directed towards more efficient coal technologies, including underground coal gasification, and carbon capture and storage, to enable us to continue using our coal resources in an environmentally responsible way.

“The IRP 2019 continues to make provision for significant rollout of renewable energy and storage. Combined with storage, renewables offer an opportunity to produce distributed power closer to where demand is; and to provide off-grid electricity to far-flung areas of the country.” The next 12 months may well prove pivotal to the energy future for South Africa. As the government continues to balance the demands to lower carbon emissions with the need to supply power to its citizens, gas will certainly have a big part to play.

Read full article

TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now


U.S. coronavirus infections break record, hit nearly 46,000 in a single day

The United States recorded nearly 46,000 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic...

SEE IT: Certified true copy of the conviction of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in the United States for $25,000 theft

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila was convicted in the state of Georgia in the United States...

UPDATED: Wife of dead Nigerian Senator Bayo Osinowo recovering from COVID-19 as son beats the disease

Alhaja Mariam Osinowo, the wife of Senator Bayo Osinowo who passed away on Monday, is recovering from the novel coronavirus, family...

Followers of popular African prophet TB Joshua claim COVID-19 and global economic devastation confirm his prophecy on humility

The outbreak of COVID-19 has "brought this nation to its knees," Dr Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease...

A coronavirus vaccine from Africa by Africans and for Africans is being discussed at the African Union

A coronavirus vaccine from Africa, by Africans and for Africans and the world is being discussed at the African Union. On...
- Advertisement -


Daily coronavirus infections in U.S. surpass 50,000 for first time

New reported coronavirus infections in the United States surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday for the first time, with California reporting record 9,740 new...

African Development Bank names former President of Ireland and two legal experts to lead independent investigation into allegations of corruption against Akinwumi Adesina

The African Development Bank has named a former President of Ireland, a former attorney general in The Gambia and a Washington...

António Guterres warns the world is in turmoil

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres warned in an opinion piece on Wednesday that the world was in turmoil.

COVID-19 infections top 400k in Africa as death toll surpasses 10k and WHO warns pandemic accelerating dangerously

The number of people who have contracted COVID-19 in Africa surpassed 400,000 on Wednesday, as death toll exceeded 10,000, data from...

Human Rights Watch calls on new President Lazarus Chakwera to reset Malawi’s human rights record

Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, should use his electoral victory as an opportunity to reset the country’s human rights record, Human...


Read full article

error: Alert: Content is protected !!