Stefano Marani, CEO of Renergen at the Tetra4 gas plant in Virginia, Free State. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA/FINANCIAL MAIL
Stefano Marani, CEO of Renergen at the Tetra4 gas plant in Virginia, Free State. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA/FINANCIAL MAIL

Total SA and emerging domestic natural gas producer Renergen have joined forces to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) available at Total’s service stations.

The first route targeted under the agreement will be the N3 between Johannesburg and Durban. The LNG will be provided by JSE-listed Renergen, the producer of SA’s only onshore natural gas from the Tetra4 site in the Free State.

“This agreement is intended to provide ideal filling locations for our customers along strategic routes across the country, and the union will create a powerful first-mover advantage in this exciting space in SA,” said Renergen CEO Stefano Marani.

The customer base for the LNG will predominantly be logistics companies operating trucks, which have been converted to use gas, along the main routes across the country, with a significant portion of the initial production already allocated to customers.

The LNG displaces diesel usage, reducing operating costs and helping customers to meet their sustainability targets due to the significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas over diesel, Renergen said in a statement.

Renergen is constructing the commercial LNG plant, SA’s first, which it expects will be up and running in the third quarter of 2021.

About R690m in the funding for the project has been provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), a US government development financier, with a primary aim to help Renergen develop a rich helium resource at Tetra4.

Beyond establishing LNG filling facilities on the Johannesburg to Durban route, the intention is to provide LNG filling on corridors leading to the other major cities once the second phase of Renergen’s project comes into production in years to come.

Phase 1 of the project will produce the equivalent of about 75,000l of diesel equivalent in LNG and in phase 2 will produce up to 300,000l of diesel equivalent in LNG.

“Total has a big focus on sustainability and a proven track record in the LNG space, which was clearly an advantage,” said Marani.

Total, a French multinational, has an established track record in running LNG filling stations and operates 500 gas sites for trucks in the US, and in Europe operates another 500 sites for trucks and 200 for passenger vehicles.

 “It is a proud moment for Total SA as it is yet another first for our company,” said Mariam Kane-Garcia, MD of Total SA. “Total is committed to better energy and with this partnership we are taking another step towards providing affordable, reliable and clean energy in line with our climate ambition to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 together with society.”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.