CT gets R12.7m grant for gas network feasibility study

Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille and US Consul General Virginia Blaser sign the USTDA’s grant. Source: USTDA

Thanks to a grant of just over R12.7 million awarded by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) last week, the City of Cape Town will launch a study into the feasibility of a natural gas distribution network.

According to the USTDA, the network would take advantage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will become available in the province through an LNG importation project currently being pursued by the Western Cape government, for which USTDA is also providing assistance.

The city will undertake the study in order to assess the technical, economic and financial viability of a natural gas network along with usage options such as the repowering of existing power plants in Cape Town.

Cape Town executive mayor, Patricia de Lille, said that the study would make it possible for the city to broaden its energy usage options, diversify its energy mix and reduce its over-reliance on coal.

“It is our intention to play a greater role in fostering a dynamic energy market and this study will help us understand the role that gas can play in supporting such a market,” she said. “It is clear that gas can play a complementary role to renewables in helping us balance the load and reduce our carbon emissions.”

The study forms part of the city’s energy and climate change action plan which has set a target of at least 300 megawatts to be procured from natural gas or cleaner supply options for electricity generation by 2020, with at least 20% of the city’s energy mix coming from renewables.

“”This project will create new business opportunities for US companies in a growing sector in South Africa,” said USTDA regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, Lida Fitts.

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