Huge gas boost touted for Coega
Eastern and Southern Cape ideally sited for part of R645bn potential
NATURAL gas should play a R645-billion role in South Africa’s future energy mix‚ according to a new report from analysts Econometrix.
It would add that amount to gross domestic product and create 1.7 million jobs, some of them at Coega, a study shows.
“Gas is necessary for South Africa to meet its target growth rates and political‚ economic and social objec- tives‚” Econometrix managing director Rob Jeffrey said yesterday. “There should be a national plan to increase the use of gas substantially.”
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 600MW of electricity from gas could be added, according to the report titled “The future role of gas in SA’s power and industrial development mix”.
Gas was the cheapest alter- native to coal and nuclear power‚ offering security of supply at competitive prices‚ Econometrix said.
It would supply reliable power for peak demand periods or when renewables were not generating electricity‚ and would add to the essential reserve capacity.
It was technically and commercially feasible to start gas-fuelled power generation at Coega in the Eastern Cape‚ and Saldanha Bay or Mossel Bay in the Western Cape.
Other potential locations were Richards Bay in Kwa- Zulu-Natal and Sishen in the Northern Cape. Mbombela in Mpumalanga also had the potential to be supplied by pipeline from Mozambique.
For each location‚ developing a natural gas industry with R15-billion annual turnover could see downstream annual turnover up to R50-billion‚ with R26-billion 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 included R2-billion savings in diesel imports‚ increased tax revenue and curtailment of future electricity price increases, all with a positive impact on the fiscus.
The study was commissioned by Delta Natural Gas‚ started by South African industrialist Aldworth Mbalati last year. –
‘ Gas must play an important role if South Africa is to meet its economic‚ political and social objectives of reducing poverty