The United States has given the Western Cape government R10-million, which will contribute to the province’s efforts to produce cleaner energy.
The funding, which comes from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), will spearhead a campaign to produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), among others.
“LNG is a key component of a lowest cost energy scenario for the country. This USTDA grant will further develop the opportunity for LNG in the province through a feasibility study on the demand and potential impact of LNG importation at Saldanha Bay,” said MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.
“The study will also provide a preferred model for the importation of LNG for gas-to-power electricity generation capacity and for industrial, transportation, commercial, and domestic uses. The grant will be administered through GreenCape who will select a US firm (as required by USTDA) to complete the study,” added Winde.
The MEC said the development had been a major step for the Western Cape government, commending the USTDA for its involvement in the programme. He explained there was a desperate need for South Africa to reduce its reliance on coal for energy production, adding that important decisions needed to be taken in the interests of the environment.
“Natural gas has the potential to play a key role in our plan to grow our alternative energy sources and this study supports the Western Cape’s objective to secure a reliable and affordable energy supply,” said Winde.
“This is also why we are prioritising the growth of our oil and gas sector as part of our Project Khulisa strategy. We are also immensely proud of GreenCape for securing this vital piece of work. Their reputation as South Africa’s leading energy advisory and support body is growing from strength to strength.”
The USTDA’s Regional Director, Lida Fitts, said the involvement in South Africa was merely the beginning of what would eventually become a continental campaign. Plans are already afoot for some aggressive expansion.
“USTDA is pleased to support this project, which will help increase access to affordable, reliable energy in South Africa. At the same time, this project will create opportunities for U.S. businesses in one of South Africa’s growing sectors,” said Fitts.