Energy Minister to develop gas policy

Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson - []

According to The announcement by the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, to develop a gas policy will guide the country towards a sustainable natural gas economy, says Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Minister Jeff Radebe.

“The introduction of gas as an additional source of power in South Africa’s energy mix will lessen the dependence of coal and ensure sufficient, diverse and secure energy availability to citizens and the economy, now and into the future.

“This will also increase the country’s trajectory of realising a re-industrialised economy, a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation,” said the Minister in Cape Town on Thursday.

He was briefing media on the Cabinet meeting held yesterday.

Minister Radebe said in the interim, the Department of Energy is undertaking a gas-to-power programme, which will deliver 3,726MW of electricity and also serve as a catalyst for the development of a local gas industry which will encourage upstream exploration in an investor friendly enabling environment.

Employment opportunities associated directly and indirectly with this industry development will amount to 1, 25 million full time equivalent job opportunities over a 25 year period.

“In the shorter term, the gas-to-power programme will contribute to buffer economic output decreases and help prevent job losses,” said the Minister.

At its meeting, Cabinet further noted the Africa Energy Inward Buying Mission hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Electrotechnical Export Council.

South African companies with manufacturing and engineering service competencies were exposed to representatives of power utilities from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Nigeria.

“This better positioned South African companies to participate in the investment opportunities of the power infrastructure roll-out for Africa, estimated at between US$20 billion and US$42 billion a year over the next 10 years,” said Minister Radebe.

During the 2016 African Utility Week conference earlier in May, the national ‘Save Energy’ campaign was launched. This builds on the government Energy Savings campaign launched by President Jacob Zuma in 2015.

Minister Radebe said an Appliance Check campaign is expected to be launched, an energy efficiency measure that will give consumers a choice when purchasing appliances.

A label will be fixed to all appliances to indicate how they perform in relation to the Minimum Energy Performance Standard.