South Africa Accused of Ignoring Mozambican Gas

Maputo — Johan de Vos, chief executive officer of the Pretoria-based energy firm Gigajoule, has accused the South African government of ignoring the huge natural gas reserves in Mozambique, according to a report in the 20 January issue of the South African daily Business Day.

De Vos found it “shocking” that South Africa's revised 20-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) ignores the gas discoveries in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of northern Mozambique. He pointed out that this is the world's fourth-largest known natural gas deposit.

If South Africa were to plan to import Rovuma Basin gas, he said, this would solve the energy crisis faced by the South African electricity company Eskom, and would avoid the need to build further coal-fired power stations.

Gigajoule operates the natural gas transmission and distribution network in Maputo and Matola, drawing on the gas fields in Inhambane province.

Gigajoule has also completed technical and feasibility studies which have demonstrated the economic viability of a 2,450km pipeline from the Rovuma Basin to Richards Bay in South Africa.

De Vos says such a pipeline would cost five billion US dollars. The study which Gigajoule commissioned from consultants VGI, says that two anchor clients in the form of gas-fired power stations could be built: one in Maputo and one in Richards Bay, with a combined electricity generation capacity of 5,000 megawatts. They would cost a further five billion dollars.

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