Power & Energy

South Africa Electricity Target Paves Way for Gas Import

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and the office of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) have declared separately that the country expects to generate close to 8,000MW of gas fired electricity by 2019.
This quantum of power will require at least two billion cubic feet of gas per day, which with the country’s current gas reserves status, will have to be imported.
“Given the high cost of diesel“, the president told the country’s Parliament, “Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy for the utility’s generators”.
Later in the state of the nation address, Zuma declared that the “procurement process for 2,400 megawatts of new gas-fired generation will commence in the first quarter of the new financial year that starts April 1, 2015”.
The February 13 speech officially ended the tone of anxiety in the public discussion about gas imports to South Africa. The country has little proven gas resource, but until now had dithered about gas imports; preferring to spend billions of dollars on diesel to fuel four of Eskom’s 27 operating power plants: Acacia, Ankerlig, Gourikwa (in the Western Cape Province) and Port Rex (Eastern Cape), all of which were designed to utilise natural gas.
At a gas conference after Zuma’s address, the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office announced it would release a request for information (RFI) in March 2015 for domestic gas to power projects, to preface a possible 3,000 MW tender that should arise before end of 2015.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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