Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde on Wednesday said the provincial government was disappointed that Saldanha Bay was not identified as a port for the importation of natural gas.
The Department of Energy last month selected Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, and Coega, in the Eastern Cape, for the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) under Phase 1 of the LNG Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (IPPPP).
Winde lamented the fact that there were no details provided on the DoE’s plans for the 600 MW allocation for natural gas that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson gazetted in May.
“There are many good technical reasons why Saldanha Bay should have been chosen for Phase 1, and the economic benefits for the West Coast region are enormous. Natural gas will drive industrialisation in the Western Cape and put the region and the country as a whole on a greener path,” he stated.
Further, Winde noted that he had written to Joemat-Pettersson to request further engagement on a number of matters, including the Western Cape government not being afforded an opportunity to engage on the decision to exclude Saldanha Bay from Phase 1 of the LNG IPPPP.
He also called on the Minister to allow investors to tender for any of the three ports in the request for qualification process, as well as share her plans to give effect to the 600 MW determination and suggestions for how the governing bodies can partner to collaborate on this issue and other West Coast opportunities.
“We look forward to working with national government to achieve a sustainable and affordable energy supply, including the opportunities which can be delivered by the Western Cape,” Winde noted.