Gas to SA's rescue? - TechCentral

Gas to SA’s rescue?


Natural gas must play a major role in South Africa’s future energy mix, according to a new report from Econometrix.

“Gas is necessary for South Africa to meet its target growth rates and political, economic and social objectives,” said Econometrix MD Rob Jeffrey. “There should be a national plan to substantially increase the use of gas.”

The report comes a day before industry leaders receive clarity by the department of energy on its Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme to deliver 3,1GW of gas-fired power generation.

Stakeholders will meet in Cape Town this week at the SA Gas Options meeting, where they will engage with energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

Jeffrey said creating a natural gas sector would unlock billions of rands of investment, while stimulating new industries and skilled job creation.

Combined with the right policies, an additional 8,6GW of electricity from gas could see gross domestic product grow by R645bn, with the creation of up to 1,7m jobs, the report showed.

Gas is the cheapest alternative to coal and nuclear, offering security of supply at competitive prices, Econometrix said. It would supply reliable power for peak demand periods or when renewables are not generating electricity, and adds to the essential reserve capacity.

It was technically and commercially feasible to rapidly start gas-fuelled power generation at Coega in the Eastern Cape, and Saldanha Bay or Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. Other potential locations are Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, and Sishen in the Northern Cape. Mbombela in Mpumalanga has potential to be supplied by pipeline from Mozambique, the report showed.

“For each location, developing a natural gas industry with R15bn annual turnover could see downstream annual turnover up to R50bn, with R26bn total added economic value.

“Average upstream and downstream potential employment created could peak at 70 000 during the mature phase of the project’s life,” Econometrix said.

Other significant economic benefits include R2bn savings from diesel imports, increased tax revenue, and curtailment of future electricity price increases — all with a positive impact on the fiscus, it said.

“Gas must play an important role in the energy mix going forward if South Africa is to meet its economic, political and social objectives of reducing poverty, reducing inequality and raising the standard of living of all its citizens,” Jeffrey said.  — Fin24


  1. Well done Econometrix! I couldn’t agree more, this country should have been on the gas source of power years ago and thus prevented the Eskom nightmare from ever evolving.
    Now let’s get with the programme nationally and be aggressive in advancing the gas project.
    Here’s a first: Get all the municipal, state and taxi vehicles onto gas asap and watch the price of liquid fuel imports start dropping.
    Gas would also be a great help in creating both business and job opportunities for gas installation start-ups in the fields of house, business premises piping and vehicle conversion.
    I would imagine that fuel injected engines would be relatively easy to switch to gas.
    Would vehicles need new ‘computer boxes’ to convert? If so, then I’m sure that would be another field of endeavor and opportunity to be exploited by the new coding school in this country.
    To the doomsayers out there, yes gas has a lower punch power but it’s more than made up for in its lower cost power.

  2. Why are we working towards using natural resources which are unsustainable and not to sustainable resources? I can only assume that this article is trying to make fracking easier to implement. If that’s the case then the damage on the environment should also be considered.
    Further Mossgas had been running for years, yet very little financial benefits to locals? This article sounds to good to be true.

  3. Mozambique gas fields, where your local LPG cylinders get their refills from.
    Also, off the SA West Coast there are viable finds there.

  4. Varieties of LPG bought and sold include mixes that are primarily propane (C3H8), primarily butane (C4H10) and, most commonly, mixes including both propane and butane. (Wiki)
    Natural gas is predominantly methane, CH4.
    They are quite different fuels, like you cannot put diesel in your petrol car.
    LPG cookers have different jets as natural gas.

  5. I have been venting this idea of piping natural gas straight to businesses and residences in the vicinity of gas fields. Reserves must be giant and proven to pipe it over large distances.
    No doubt it must be more energy efficient to use gas directly for heating water and buildings and cooking, than only using it to produce electricity.
    A very large part of Europe uses piped gas for these purposes, hardly electricity.
    Natural gas, bio gas is about the cleanest fossil fuel around, and produces far less CO2 per Kw h produced than coal, and also less than LPG.

  6. Not to worry, human beings are very resourceful. That’s why you and I don’t live in caves any more.

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