South Africa is expressing more interest in gas projects within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Chief Operating Officer of the South African Gas Development Company,
also known as iGas, Mohsin Seedat, said in Windhoek recently.
Seedat said during a presentation at the SADC Industrialisation Week, which was held in Windhoek, that South Africa has plans to construct gas pipelines in phases based on confirmed gas supply and customer offtake.
He said the plans include a gas pipeline network around the coast of South Africa from Namibia (Kudu Gas) to Mozambique and from Richards Bay to Gauteng, South Africa’s economic hub.
Seedat also welcomed the plans to promote the inclusion of gas in the SADC regional energy mix.
Seedat said SADC currently has very high dependence on coal and oil fired power, but he said the shift in the power generation landscape means gas and renewables will be used to offset coal.
He added that SADC can’t remain dependant on oil imports and the region must consider developing regional gas to replace imported oil.
“With the risk of increasing global trade wars, SADC needs to ensure its own security of energy supply and use gas to improve our balance of trade,” he said.
SADC is endowed with huge gas reserves in Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.
“SADC is resource rich and can be a global economic super power. As SADC energy leaders, we are the key drivers of the SADC economy and have the power to leverage our individual resources for the collective benefit of regional economic growth. We need to find a balance between commercial opportunities and regional economic development and seek to put SADC first,” he said.
SADC’s Regional Gas Master Plan, which is expected to be adopted by the Heads of State when they meet in Windhoek later this month, will give the long delayed Kudu Gas Project more options for joint development with other regional gas projects as well as market options outside Namibia, Project Manager of Gas at the NEPAD Business Foundation in Johannesburg, John Rocha, told the Windhoek Observer last week.
Rocha said after the expected approval of the regional plan, a study will be conducted to determine the viability of gas projects in the region and which ones can be given priority for development. The study is expected to be completed in 12 months.
In April, the Windhoek Observer reported that Kudu Project Stakeholders have been forced to halve the Kudu Power Station after off-take agreements with Eskom from South Africa and Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation failed to materialize.
Instead of generating 885MW, the re-sized project will now be generating 442.5MW.
The power plant is now expected to cost an estimated N$9.4 billion, down from the previous estimate of N$15.6 billion.