Region gears for gas development

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Windhoek - The SADC Secretariat - in collaboration with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) - has completed its first report on the region’s gas potential.

The Regional Gas Master Plan (RGMP) report assesses the gas market within SADC and across Africa, and identifies value chains, potential off/takers, likely volumes and off-take profiles.

It also identifies potential key actors and stakeholders that must be involved, directly and indirectly, through the different stages of development of the RGMP.

Trends in the global natural gas industry were also taken into account.

Besides it’s private sector partners, the SADC Secretariat also worked with the bloc’s organs - the SADC Business Council and the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (DFRC) - in developing the report.

The report's key outcomes and recommendations were delivered in a recent webinar, which was organised to sensitise the business community, private sector, financing institutions and international co-operating partners on gas prospects in the region.

Development of the Regional Gas Master follows a resolution of the 2017 SADC Summit in Tshwane, South Africa, where the Heads of State and Government directed the Secretariat to advance the gas energy sector.

The first report on the RGMP is expected to provide a strategic framework and blueprint for development of the sector as part of the drive to promoting access to electricity across Southern Africa.

Director of Infrastructure at SADC, Mapolao Ruth Mokoena, underscored that energy played a critical role in the region’s economy and health services provision.

Kogan Pillay, sho heads the DFRC’s public-private partnerships unit, said natural gas had been one of the primary sources of energy in developed countries and SADC would do well to learn from this.

DBSA group executive Mohan Vivekanandan told webinar participants that the institution supported the RGMP Phase 1 study and had been working in gas infrastructure developments in Mozambique and South Africa for years. He said the DBSA was willing to partner with other state-backed development finance institutions and the private sector to support new and existing gas infrastructure projects.

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