In a live studio interview at African Utility Week, Kribs Govender, Vice President Business Development: Power, Sasol, discusses South Africa’s very first large scale gas to power project. The project was launched in 2010 when the 200MW gas-to-power turbines were brought into the country. Subsequent to that, two 175MW gas engines were introduced.
Balanced approach to gas
According to Govender, the focus with gas to power is cleaner electricity generation which is quicker and more modular. Gas produces half the amount of emissions when compared to coal and space heating using gas provides a more effective energy usage when compared to electricity. However, he points out that there should be a balanced approach where electricity and gas coexist.
Govender says that it has taken time to develop the substantial gas resources in Sub-Saharan Africa because the market had to develop and financial viability has to be proven.
Gas providing sustainability for locals
While gas exports play a critical role, domestication of gas supplies will be at the forefront in terms of developing the local market. Govender, who presented a case study around domestic gas usage in Mozambique, says that it is important to monetize the local resources and develop skills through training. Added to this, sustainable solutions should be developed for the local community.
When asked what a low carbon economy means for Sasol, Govender says that it is the move towards better efficiencies through the use of cleaner fuels such as gas to lower the carbon footprint. It is also about using the gas effectively so that it makes a sustainable economic contribution especially from a local perspective.