Sod-turning ahead of energy centre launch

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pretoria - PetroSA executives on Friday performed a sod-turning ceremony ahead of the launch of a multi-million rand energy services centre in Qamata, Eastern Cape.

“This initiative is not only a commercial decision to introduce our energy products to this market, but it is also a corporate responsibility response by making energy services accessible to all communities, creating job opportunities, as well as empowering communities to have the means to change for the better,” PetroSA  Group  CEO Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo said.

The national oil company was living up to its mandate of securing fuel supplies for all with the decision to establish a multi-million rand Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) in Qamata.

The planning, design, engineering and procurement phase of the project to establish the Qamata IeC is expected to finish in December this year, while the construction phase is planned to start in January 2014.

When the centre is completed, it will sell petrol, diesel, paraffin, candles and LPG among other products.

Its construction will lead to jobs being created in the area, while it will provide support Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in the energy sector through the provision of wholesale products.

The completed IeC will be owned and managed by a community cooperative that expects to plough back profits into development initiatives. The centre will serve communities within a 30km radius of the IeC.

An IeC is a one-stop centre offering energy services to rural communities. It aims to provide access to affordable and quality energy services to impoverished rural communities.

The concept is the brainchild of the Department of Energy. Last November, PetroSA launched a multi-million rand IeC at Mbizana, in the northern section of the Eastern Cape.

The Mbizana IeC houses an information centre, a convenience store, a car wash, an energy shop, ablution facilities and a fuels forecourt. It employs 15 people from the community of Mbizana.

A feasibility study had indicated that the Qamata IeC site along the R61 would be viable, as the road is accessible to other surrounding villages and adequate traffic volumes.

Nokwe-Macamo said PetroSA has a mandate to ensure all South Africans have access to energy services and a security of fuel supply.

“There is a dire need for affordable and quality energy products in the proposed IeC location and the surrounding villages,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za

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