South Africa hosted the joint meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for Energy and Water in, Johannesburg on Tuesday, 26 June 2018.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe and Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti.
During his ministerial address, Radebe had insights on regional gas infrastructure and market development.
Radebe also promised greater alignment between South Africa’s energy plans, including the new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, with a regional gas master plan, which is currently under development within the 16-country Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc.
The Minister is set to present the draft IRP to Cabinet, after which it would be released for public comment. He reiterated that the final IRP, which would guide future power generation investments, would be finalised by mid-August.
The plan would include gas-to-power projects, which Radebe said could complement South Africa’s variable renewable-energy plants. The country’s much-anticipated gas-to-power procurement programme would proceed once Cabinet had approved both the IRP and the gas master plan. The IRP would be approved first, but Radebe said the gas master plan would follow “shortly thereafter”.
“Exploitation of gas resources in the region needs to be complemented by financial resources. Attracting finance of the infrastructure and associated projects will require a good investment climate such as right regulatory framework, enforcement of contracts, no corruption to attract investors and secure capital,” he said.
The expanded integration of natural gas into Southern Africa’s energy mix, as well as its industrial and petrochemicals sectors, was strongly endorsed at the thirty-seventh summit of the SADC Heads of State and government, which took place in South Africa in August last year. By the next summit, which is scheduled for Windhoek, Namibia, this August, a report must be produced outlining SADC’s approach to the development of regional gas resources.