Draft Gas Master Plan has been drawn up

master plan
30 Apr 2024

The Draft Gas Master Plan has been drawn up.

The mineral resources and energy department published the Draft Master Plan in Government Gazette 50569 for comment.

Cabinet gave the green light to the Draft Master Plan in March 2024 for publication for comment.

In a statement, cabinet pointed out that the Draft Master Plan will be used as a policy instrument to guide the gas industry investment in the country and ensure its growth and potential contribution to the economy.

It will also enable a natural gas economy favourable to investors and that can provide an alternative source of energy for the country’s electricity sector.

Cabinet added that the Draft Master Plan also supports South Africa’s commitment to diversify its energy mix away from coal-fired power plants.

The Draft Master Plan outlines the role of natural gas within the context of energy mix and provides policy direction to industry.

It considers the critical role that natural gas can play in the country’s entire economy and projects the anticipated infrastructure necessary for the provision of gas, on a least cost basis, to the power, industrial and transport sectors.

The Draft Master Plan serves as a “policy instrument, providing a roadmap for strategic, political, and institutional decisions, which will guide gas industry investment planning and coordinated implementation”.

The Draft Master Plan recommends that government should continue to “diversify the country’s energy sources with the intention of reducing its heavy reliance on unabated coal and realise an effective energy mix while improving the country’s security of energy supply and reducing emissions in the long-term”.

South Africa needs to “strike a balance between domestic/indigenous gas, piped import and LNG import to ensure diversification of supply sources and reduced risks to security of supply”.

According to the conclusion, gas demand far exceeds supply and the shortage is expected to worsen in the near future as demand is projected to grow.

“To satisfy the country’s limited and declining natural gas resources, the development of the gas market as an alternative source of energy should therefore be urgently explored.”

Comments are invited until 15 June 2024.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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