Govt to focus on gas as part of power mix

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe released the draft Integrated Resources Plan on Monday, which envisages gas making up 16% of the country's energy mix by 2030.

Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says talks are underway with Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to realise government's plans to make gas the country's second-biggest source of energy.

The country has no gas pipeline, but Radebe says SADC nations have agreed to develop a gas master plan that will allow for the import of gas from Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia.

Radebe released the draft Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) on Monday, which envisages gas making up to 16% of the country's energy mix by 2030.

While renewable energy sources will take centre stage over the next 12 years, Radebe says there are no plans to reduce the country's reliance on coal.

Although some coal-fired power stations will be decommissioned in the coming years, new coal plants Medupi and Kusile will boost capacity to 46% followed by 16% coming from gas.

Only 2.5% of electricity will come from nuclear power generated at Koeberg.

“Coal still remains a strategic asset in South Africa. We can't wish it away. It is one of the issues around clean coal.”

Radebe says his department is working on legislation that will pave the way for fracking. He will be travelling to Mozambique soon to finalise contractual agreements for the import of gas.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)