Not just another power plant being developed in South Africa, with the huge need for energy generation, a liquid natural gas (LNG) power plant is being planned for Port Elizabeth which is expected to be South Africa’s most efficient and safest energy capacity expansion.
This liquid natural gas project is led by the Coega Development Corporation, an operation which falls under the ‘Operation Phakisa’, a governmental results-driven approach that involves clear plans and rapidly achievable targets. It comprises of the on-going monitoring of progress to quickly unlock economic growth and development.
Natural gas is considered the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel as it has the lowest CO2 emissions per unit of energy and is fit for use in high efficiency combined cycle power stations. Burning the natural gas produces about 30% less carbon dioxide than petroleum and 45% less than burning coal.
With low CO2 emissions, environmentally friendly and cost-efficiency means the industry is an attractive option for South Africa and bargains a boost for the country’s energy security.
“According to the US’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas production is expected to hit 10% of the global crude production by 2020. Leading LNG exporters include Qatar, Italy, France and Japan.”
Combined cycle gas turbine
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is the operator of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in Nelson Mandela Bay while the IDZ is South Africa’s primary location for new industrial investments. ‘The CDC aims to provide a competitive investment location and a total business solution for its customers, as well as ensuring sustainable economic development in the region’.
The CDC has issued a tender notice for an environmental impact assessment for a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power facility at the Coega IDZ. The CCGT will link to the LNG terminal at the Port of Ngqura, a deep-water seaport neighbouring the zone.
Sandisiwe Ncemane, the CDC energy sector manager, explained that the new stage in the Port Elizabeth project would support the government’s Integrated Resource Plan and a 2012 ministerial determination allocation of 2 652MW for energy from natural gas between 2021 and 2025.
“Up to [now], [Coega] and various state organs undertook a lot of valuable preparatory work. The technical feasibility and financial viability of the project had been broadly established,” Ncemane said.