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APO International

EnerGeo Alliance Champions Gas as South Africa’s Transition Fuel of Choice

todayJuly 3, 2024 6

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In its latest natural gas policy brief, global trade association EnerGeo Alliance has positioned natural gas as the premier transition fuel for South Africa, citing its reduced carbon emissions, scalability and cost competitiveness. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org)– as the voice of the African energy sector – supports these data-driven findings and calls for greater foreign investment in Africa’s natural gas prospects.

South Africa’s power supply remains in urgent need of diversification away from aging coal- and diesel-powered plants. While the country is looking to renewables to diversify its power mix and alleviate load shedding, the brief identifies natural gas as the ideal transition fuel to achieving a low-carbon future and meeting the demands of South Africa’s rapidly growing population and economy. According to the report, countries that use gas as a source for power generation have seen their electricity supply grow approximately three times faster in the past decade than those without gas. The Chamber has long advocated for the exploration and development of Africa’s natural gas resources – of which the continent holds over 620 trillion cubic feet – and commends EnerGeo Alliance for championing its expanded role in the energy mix.

With member companies spanning more than 50 countries, EnerGeo Alliance brings together the global geoscience industry to discover, develop and deliver alternative energy and low-carbon energy solutions that meet growing energy demand. Natural gas emits 50-60% less carbon dioxide, rendering it a relatively clean energy source able to meet power demand reliably and at scale. Gas also serves as a critical feedstock for the production of fertilizers and petrochemicals, as well as a source of process heat in energy-intensive industries, creating the potential to decarbonize heavy industry. According to the World Economic Forum, a tripling of sub-Saharan Africa’s power consumption using natural gas would only correspond to a one percent increase in global carbon emissions.

Natural gas also represents the most cost-effective pathway to energy security for South Africa and the continent at-large. It can provide both base load and backup power – whereas solar and wind power present intermittency problems – and is more cost-competitive as a base load supply than nuclear. According to the policy brief, large-scale discoveries like Brulpadda-Luiperd, the offshore Orange Basin and shale reserve prospects in the Karoo Basin suggest that South Africa could not only meet its power demand through domestic gas resources, but also stimulate broader economic development through regional gas exports.

EnerGeo Alliance highlights South Africa’s promising reserves in Mossel Bay and the Orange River Basin, as well as shale gas in the Karoo Basin, for further upstream investment. Through advanced seismic survey, upstream geoscience and data generation activities play a key role in identifying potential gas reserves, de-risking exploration and reducing the environmental footprint associated with gas exploration and extraction. Major investment is also needed across South Africa’s midstream and downstream sectors, including regional transmission pipelines, gas storage facilities and gas-to-liquids, regasification and LNG plants. While the construction of gas-fired power plants is already underway at Coega, Richards Bay and Saldanha Bay, new projects are needed to boost South Africa’s gas availability and reliability.

“The AEC supports the EnerGeo Alliance in positioning gas as critical to South Africa’s energy independence and low-carbon future. The science confirms this, and the bottom line confirms this. More capital must flow to African upstream and integrated gas projects, and we must support the geoscience community so that natural gas exploration is no longer seen as a risk, but as a given,” says NJ Ayuk, AEC Executive Chairman. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

    

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