Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe during the Africa Oil Week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, November 05, 2019. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER / SUNDAY TIMES
Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe during the Africa Oil Week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, November 05, 2019. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER / SUNDAY TIMES

Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe says his department will table a framework plan shortly as well as legislative amendments to support the gas industry.

Mantashe has said that he sees gas as a “game changer” for SA’s energy landscape.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the long-term planning tool for energy, envisages a role for gas beginning 2024. The plan envisages new gas to power plants and the conversion of Eskom’s diesel turbines to gas in the future. Gas is viewed as an integral complement to renewable energy to provide base load and additional capacity in peak times.

Speaking at Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, Mantashe urged investors to pursue investment opportunities in the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub at the Coega industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape. He said the government wanted the hub completed as soon as possible.

“The framework for supporting this major programme will be announced by the department in the near term. Linked to this is an amendment to the Gas Act of 2001, which we will be tabling in cabinet soon. On the upstream industry, work is under way on the Petroleum Resources Development Bill,” he said.

The separation of oil and gas from mining in legislation would make sure that the industry gets the attention it needs, said Mantashe.

patonc@businesslive.co.za