Mar 29, 2012
‘Controlled' shale gas exploitation may yield energy, economic benefits - ManuelBack
Johannesburg|Africa|CoAL|Exploration|Gas|Namibia|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|SECURITY|Water|Africa|Mozambique|South Africa|United States|Broader Energy Policy|Electricity|Electricity Mix|Energy|Energy Mix|Imported Natural Gas|Indicated Shale Gas Resources|Power Generation|Power-generation|Renewable Energy|Shale Gas Exploration Licences|Shale Gas Resources|Dipuo Peters|Manuel|Power
© Reuse this
Speaking at the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) colloquial in Johannesburg, Manuel and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said that gas could play an important role in helping the country transition to a lower-carbon economy and in ensuring that the cost of that transition could be borne by the economy and its citizens.
Shale gas could also play a role, along with imported natural gas from Mozambique and Namibia, in diversifying South Africa's electricity mix, which was still dominated by coal, which formed the primary energy for more than 90% of the country's power generation.
A task team had been established by the Department of Mineral Resources to assess the potential costs and benefits of the exploitation of South Africa’s indicated shale gas resources in the Karoo basin, which have been estimated by the US Energy Information Agency as being 485-trillion cubic feet.
In the meantime, a moratorium had been put in place on the issuance of shale gas exploration licences and the prohibition would only be lifted once Cabinet had applied its mind to that report.
Manuel noted that the National Development Report, which had been drafted by the 25-member National Planning Commission, said that the country should factor more gas into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, which set out a framework for the development of power generation capacity for the period 2010 to 2030. The IRP would be reviewed in 2012, but was only expected to be revised during 2013 once the IEP processes had been completed – the IEP2012 is a multifaceted plan that will guide South Africa’s broader energy policy and guide its electricity and liquid fuels investments over a 20-year horizon.
“The capital costs of gas are cheaper and in a capital-scarce country, this is an important consideration,” Manuel said, noting that gas could also complement renewable energy and improve the economics of renewable facilities.
He, thus, appealed for a “rational” and “informed” discussion on the potential exploitation of South Africa’s unconventional gas resources. “We want to raise the quality of the debate, not the volume.”
But Manuel also indicated that South Africa was unlikely to pursue the unregulated model deployed in the US, referring in particularly to the country’s relative water stresses as a key constraint.
“But it can’t be all or nothing,” he said.
Peters added that South Africa’s shale gas potential “cannot be ignored”, as it could bolster supply-side security, contribute to economic growth and development and help the country in meeting its emission commitments.
“We are cognisant of the controversies associated with shale gas extraction processes, such as ground water and soil contamination. However, with the ongoing developments I am confident that these challenges will, in the not too distant future, come to pass,” Peters said.
Proposed amendment to the Gas Act would also serve before Cabinet soon, which could help facilitate greater gas importation and might also facilitate the development of unconventional gas resources.
However, Peters refused to elaborate on the possible amendments saying that she would do so only once Cabinet had deliberated on the matter, which would be soon.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Updated 7 hours ago Voluntary quantity surveying association the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) is formulating plans to accelerate not only its own but also the general construction industry’s understanding and increased use of sustainable construction...
Updated 7 hours ago While there are several opportunities for the construction industry to integrate sustainable materials use in a project – from the design phase to the construction phase – there is still significant scope for the industry to be more innovative, says consulting...
Updated 7 hours ago Precast concrete products company Rocla earlier this year supplied precast concrete inverted culverts, lids and bases to use as cooling channels to the R2.24-billion, 100 MW natural gas-fired Gigawatt power station, near Ressano Garcia, in Mozambique.
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 6 hours ago At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
Updated 6 hours ago The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
Updated 6 hours ago The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
Updated 6 hours ago As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
Updated 6 hours ago International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...