Shale gas exploration will be a game changer, says Zuma

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pretoria - Shale gas exploration in the Karoo will be a game changer for the region, as well as for the South African economy, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

“The development of petroleum, especially shale gas, will be a game changer for the Karoo region and the South African economy. Having evaluated the risks and opportunities, the final regulations will be released soon and will be followed by the processing and granting of licences,” said President Zuma in his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Speaking at the Mining Indaba earlier this month, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu announced that the country will soon start fracking (a method of gas extraction) in the Karoo.

Shabungu’s department had published the technical regulations for the development of shale gas for public comment.

Delivering the SONA in a year in which the country celebrates 20 years of democracy, Zuma said that construction of new power stations, namely Medupi in Limpopo and Kusile in Mpumalanga, as well as Ingula near Ladysmith, was continuing.

“We continue to explore other sources of energy, in line with the Integrated Resource Plan for Energy,” said the President.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010), which is administered by the Department of Energy (DoE), is a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand.

Government is looking at the various aspects involved in the rolling out of nuclear energy, says the DoE.

South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was approved in 2008 and is further enhanced by the approval of the IRP 2010, which stipulates that nuclear will form part of the country’s energy mix to a level of 9 600 MW. -