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Draft Gas Amendment Bill on Track

October 12, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The Draft Gas Amendment Bill remains on track to be tabled in parliament.

Speaking at the Africa Oil Week, the mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, confirmed that government is re-positioning South Africa to be a serious player in the global gas market.

According to the minister, the draft bill aims to, among others, attract infrastructure investment for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports; increase exploration; create domestic gas feedstock; diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions.

The draft bill was published for comment in 2013.

The draft bill seeks to:

• Promote the orderly development of the gas industry;
• Improve the regulatory framework;
• Bring about socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development;
• Introduce new technologies into the gas sector;
• Facilitate gas infrastructure development and investment; and
• Ensure cooperation between the public and private sectors.

The mineral resources and energy department also plans to promote the development of a domestic and regional gas market.

The minister indicated that the department continues to advance South Africa’s Gas to Power projects with the Coega Special Economic Zone identified as the first LNG import terminal.

“This lays a foundation for Gas to Power plants and converting existing power plants from Diesel to Gas”, he said.

The minister announced that a Technical Working Group tasked with producing a commercial business plan for the development of the LNG import-export facilities across various ports has been set up.

The national Gas Master Plan 2020 is also being developed.

“This will consolidate our participation in the development of the SADC Regional Gas Master Plan aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in the creation of a regional gas market,” he said.

Mention was also made of the Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill published for comment in December 2019.

The minister confirmed that consultations with a broad range of stakeholders have taken place.

The department intends finalizing the bill in order to “attract investment and ensure synergy between oil and gas activities and our nation’s environment and water resources”.