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    The reliability of LNG supply in South Africa

    September 23, 2022 - Cape Business News


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      THERE are two key considerations when moving away from coal-powered energy. Firstly, what is the safety track record of the alternatives, and secondly can these alternatives reduce supply risk?

      Switching from coal is not just about the environment. Commercial and mining interests cannot afford to move to an alternative energy source that in the long run cannot guarantee continuous supply or compromised delivery through domestic unrest.

      Alternatives - is the grass greener?

      Ideally, alternatives should tick all the boxes, and this has contributed to a slow uptake in moving away from coal-powered energy and essentially moving off-grid. There is a lot at stake, very little localised data, coupled with the variety on offer industrial and mining clients have long considered the switch with little or no commitment.

      To drive the move away from coal-powered energy, companies like LNG Hub have introduced a consultancy service, offering potential industrial and mining companies the opportunity to carefully plan the switch to an environmentally suitable energy mix. LNG Hub provides Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to a variety of industries using 3 key onsite solutions coupled with consistent supply (sourced locally) essentially ticking all the boxes with minimised risk.

      The application of LNG

      Furthermore, LNG is available in South Africa for various sized industries through long-term contracts with supply sources. With a 2050 vision for a sustainable energy mix, LNG is a front runner in the race to replace coal-powered energy. Applied to mining and manufacturing LNG can be a direct energy source with a high-efficiency level, especially for furnaces, burners, ovens, etc. whilst supplying backup power and a hybrid power solution whereby an operation uses a mix of solar, wind and gas as primary energy sources. In addition, an LNG Facility onsite can provide heat recovery and fuel for vehicles.

      Liquefied Natural Gas - a placeholder or permanent solution?

      LNG plants have supplied alternative energy worldwide since the early 1900s. The United States alone relies on 38% of its electricity from LNG. The core benefits of natural gas are flexibility of use and efficiency. Reducing environmental impact and maintenance requirements while limiting the risk, LNG on-site plants can integrate with renewables, supporting peak power demand or substitute energy needs, directly tapping into the power grid. This affects the small to medium industries as well, with LNG being an ideal energy provider through ease of access and supply.

      For LNG Hub, shifting to alternatives is a no-brainer. With long-term savings, reliability of supply and environmentally friendly, LNG is a product to rely on. The key is now for private and public players to take the step forward and embrace alternatives in the same way other countries have done for the last 20 years. Data may be light locally, but internationally the facts and figures speak for themselves.

      (Coupled to realizing a 'Reimagined TNPA [Transnet National Ports Authority] through port infrastructure development is the execution of special projects, which saw the issuing of a Request for Information (RFI) in February 2022 for LNG at the Port of Richards Bay. Following a response from 19 major operators of gas infrastructure from across the globe, TNPA will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in July 2022. Ed.)

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