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South Africa Looks to Gas for Power

As South Africa scrambles to stabilize and diversify its energy resources while continuing to be heavily reliant on an ailing Eskom and its coal, which is causing devastating pollution, the country is now strongly looking at liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil as alternatives.

Industry experts say heavy coal consumption and unreliable power generation make natural gas an attractive solution to diversify its power generation base.

Next month, South Africa will host the three-day Africa Oil and Power Exhibition conference in Cape Town. Representatives from many African countries and about 1,000 global leaders in the petroleum and power industry will attend.

Themed “Make Energy Work,” the conference will discuss the future of natural gas on the continent.

The conference embraces the entire African value chain, from upstream oil and gas operators, service providers, finance, and energy infrastructure to power generation, transmission and distribution.

South Africa is one of the focus countries as it readily presents petroleum and power opportunities, and has been identified as an influential market. Various countries will present their projects with the hope of getting funding deals signed and sealed.

Next year, Transnet is putting out a tender for the development of an LNG import terminal in Richards Bay, and the World Bank, through its International Finance Corporation, has already committed $2 million (R30.6 million) to fund the project.

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