Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has outlined the contents of the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Cabinet has approved the promulgation of the plan, which provides a blueprint for the envisaged energy mix for the country until 2030.

There’s interest in the role nuclear and coal-sourced energy will play in the plan.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Mantashe said a team would soon be appointed to oversee the plan which proposes nine interventions to ensure that the country responds to the energy needs for the next decade.

“And that team is going to be put together soon. It is globally accepted that nuclear as a clean source of energy can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse emissions. There is a global move towards the development of more modular reactors that are considered more manageable investment compared to large filter proof.”

South African petroleum company, Astron Energy, has been awarded Level 1 BBBEE status. The company has reached several milestones in its workforce.

88% of the board’s directors are black South Africans and 38% are black women, while 85% of its workforce is black and 29% black women. Almost half of the company’s crude oil is procured from black-owned trading companies, 35% of those are owned by black women.

Chairperson of the board, Mpho Scott, says it’s important for them to support transformation.

“Astron Energy is the only fully integrated oil company to reach level one. We are as passionate about transformation as we are about growth.”

Mantashe has cautioned investors against thinking that the IRP will completely get rid of coal-powered stations. He says coal will remain dominant in the energy sector and contribute almost 60%, although its capacity will decline.

Mantashe says nuclear will contribute 5%, hydro 8%, wind 18% and gas 2%. He highlighted the importance of gas in the energy mix.

“Actually, our own prediction as a department is that gas will become a game changer in South Africa. Signs of the presence of gas are quite clear; you have the Karoo basin. The discovery of Total also adds to the potential of gas and there is a lot of exploration happening at the deep sea and that is why the IRP 2019 makes provisions for Gas until 2024.”

This story was modified on the 22nd of October, and “the discovery by Astron” removed from the quote by Gwede Mantashe.

 

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