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SA not exploring full benefits of natural gas, say experts

Experts said that with only 24% of the continent's 1.2 billion people having access to electricity, gas power must play a more prominent role.

FILE: Equipment used for the extraction of natural gas is viewed at a hydraulic fracturing site on June 19, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Gas energy experts said that the benefits of natural gas were not being fully explored.

Delegates gathered in Cape Town for the 5th Africa Gas Forum, a side event of the Africa Energy Indaba officially starting on Tuesday.

Experts said that with only 24% of the continent's 1.2 billion people having access to electricity, gas power must play a more prominent role.

Government's integrated resource plan aimed for gas-driven power generation up to 3,000MW by 2030.

The South African Gas Development Company's chairperson, Linda Lintle, said that plans to roll out gas exploration as an energy source needed to be better executed.

"It has definitely been explored in other countries, we are behind the curve as South Africa. We've had lots of studies and preparation towards it but I believe now is the time to act on it and execute what it there and draw on best practice of the countries around us."

The National Energy Regulator was considering draft ministerial determinations relating to independent power producers.

This would give direction with regard to the type of energy sources from which electricity must be generated.