Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane has welcomed the discovery of gas reserves in the province saying it will boost energy security supply in the country.
This comes after the national Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced the discovery of gas reserves in Mpumalanga.
Mtshweni-Tsipane said it was believed the gas project will be crucial in adding more megawatts to the grid.
She said it is estimated that in the first phase the gas project will produce 50MW, but in the second phase of the project this will be increased to 500MW.
The premier said the discovery of gas reserves showed Mpumalanga was the central location of the grid.
Most of the power stations are in Mpumalanga.
“The gas discovery is evidence to our assertion that Mpumalanga is the home of the energy grid. It positions our province right at the centre of the just energy transition and as a source of reference for the country’s emission-reduction targets,” said Mtshweni-Tsipane.
The department of mineral resources and energy said they support gas infrastructure projects that would boost the country’s energy generation capacity.
Government has been pushing for various sources of energy in a bid to deal with lack of energy security supply.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said they will this week release the Integrated Resource Plan for 2023.
The last IRP was released in 2019.
Mantashe said in the IRP they are calling for energy mix and this includes gas, coal, hydro, wind, solar, nuclear, battery storage and other forms of energy.
South Africa has been battling load shedding for the last few years.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said it welcomed the discovery of gas reserves by an Australian company.
“The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has welcomed the discovery of 3.1 cubic feet (6.4 BCF Gross) of maiden gas reserves and a 20 percent increase in 2C (best estimates) contingent resources to 3.0 trillion cubit feet (6.0 TCF Gross) in Amersfoot, Mpumalanga province,” said the department.
It added that this will be a major boost in electricity generation capacity as the country was looking at different sources of energy.
“Natural gas forms of energy mix envisaged in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019), South Africa’s blueprint policy for electricity generation. It is considered a transition fuel globally and provides the flexibility necessary to run our current electricity generation system in a cost-effective manner.
“In this regard, the (department of mineral resources and energy) promotes exploration and production of gas, and supports the development of gas infrastructure that would augment the country’s generation capacity,” said the department.
“Gas is one of resources needed for baseload energy required to strengthen South Africa’s energy security and propel the quest for industrialisation that will bring about growth and development.”
A few years ago Total announced it had discovered gas condensate and oil on the Brulpadda prospects.
The company drilled the exploration well in the Outeniqua Basin, off the coast of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape.
At the time the government said the discovery of oil and gas in on the Brulpadda block was going to be a game-changer.
The government had said this was be going to be crucial for the country’s energy security.