South Africa's Possible Solution to Energy Woes
South Africa has dealt with chronic energy issues over the years but appears poised to solve them with its first LNG import terminal. The $1.4 billion facility would be located at the west coast port of Saldanha Bay, which is South Africa’s deepest natural port and an emerging oil and gas hub.
Shell, Mitsubishi and Sasol, the South African energy giant based in Johannesburg, are expected to be among the companies placing bids for the 3,126 MW gas-to-power project in 2016’s first quarter. If the plan comes to fruition, South Africa will look into the possibility of using so-called power barges or power ships, vessels modified for power generation, as well as gas-fired power plants to generate electricity.
South Africa’s ultimate aim is to diversify its resources away from coal and bring an end to power outages.
South Africa currently uses rolling power outages to deal with its energy shortages. The strategy is known as “load shedding,” and its objective is to ease the pressure on the power grid to prevent its collapse. Load shedding is implemented whenever there is a discrepancy between energy supply and demand.