VENTURES AFRICA – Construction at South Africa’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility will start early in 2013, according to a statement by the project director on Thursday.
He also indicated that the LPG plant will be operational in late 2014.
The LPG project is aimed at reducing perennial gas shortages in Africa’s largest economy and will cost about 1.2 billion rand ($142.2 million), with imports coming from the Middle East, Gulf of Guinea and Angola.
“We will be commissioning the facility at the end of December 2014,” said Barthlo Harmse of Sunrise Energy, the company developing the site next to the Saldanha Bay port on the west coast. Sunrise Energy is a joint venture between Ilitha Group and the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
South Africa is diversifying its energy mix away from electricity to alleviate pressure on state utility Eskom, which is operating on razor-thin capacity.
The project is part of Pretoria’s strategy to diversifying its energy mix away from electricity to alleviate pressure on state utility Eskom, which is currently operating under pressure.
An estimated 3 percent of the country’s 49 million people use LPG and the intention is to have an additional one million users over the next five years.