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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Nov 2010

POWER SUPPLY: Cape's Gas Going To Waste


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THE Cape Chamber of Commerce says it has been shocked to learn that the national Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) made no provision to use natural gas to generate electricity before 2019.

This was said by Mr Joe Emeran, the retiring President of the Chamber at the organisation’s AGM in Cape Town yesterday.

He said that Forest Oil had gas available and that a 750MW power station could be built and working on the West Coast to supply electricity at competitive rates within three years.

What was even more important was that once the gas was ashore it could be used by major industries for process heat and this would also save electricity. “In other words, gas gives us a double whammy – it can both produce electricity and save electricity,” Mr Emeran said.

He pointed out that the capital cost of gas power stations were relatively low, especially when compared to Nuclear power stations and this would mean less money leaving the country for imported components.

In addition, gas was a clean fuel that would earn carbon credits while the development of a gas industry would create many new jobs.

He said Forest Oil was reasonably confident that their drilling programme would produce enough gas for a 1 500MW power station to produce almost as much electricity as Koeberg.

If there were any doubts about the viability of gas power they should be dispelled by the fact that SASOL had chosen to generate its own electricity from gas which it was piping down from Mozambique.

You will understand, therefore, why we are completely baffled by the omission of natural gas from the IRP strategy before 2019.”

Mr Emeran referred to the crisis in the Companies and Intellectual Properties Registration Office (CIPRO) and the damage that had been done to the country’s reputation. He was confident that Minister Rob Davies would successfully restore order in CIPRO but warned that it would take longer to restore the credibility of the office.

The crisis underlined the importance of protecting the credibility of the instruments of Government. “Without credible instruments there can be no trust and we are likely to find ourselves living in a world where doing business is like playing cricket without rules.

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