25 March 2023 | 12:52 PM

Listen: Susan Comrie speaks on gas on the John Perlman Show


In an interview with John Perlman on radio 702, Susan Comrie explains the SA gas tender following a story published by amaBhungane.

On the 28th of March, amaBhungane reported that Gazprombank, part-owned by Russia’s state-owned gas supplier has confirmed that they are considering bidding for what is potentially a multi-billion-rand contract to provide gas to South Africa.

Listen to the full interview here

The Central Energy Fund (CEF) released a tender last month, looking for a gas aggregator to help secure liquified natural gas (LNG) for various gas-to-power projects planned for the Coega special economic zone in the Eastern Cape.

A gas aggregator is a wholesaler who imports LNG in bulk and sells it to smaller customers.

The tender is potentially lucrative: “[T]he average Gas Demand could be more than [200 million cubic feet per day]. Such volumes can be managed through multi-billion rand contracts per annum,” the tender documents explain.

This translates to over 75-million MMBTU per year, the common unit of measure for natural gas when it is sold on the global market.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 1MMBTU was priced at roughly $26. At the beginning of March, 1MMBTU hit a record-high of $52. Even at pre-Ukraine prices, that would put the size of the potential contract at $2-billion (R29-billion) a year.

Also read: SA pursuing major gas deal — and Russia wants in

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Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha is a freelance science and health reporter. She is joining the amaB team to work on a project about water and sanitation. Aisha’s passion for long-form narrative and investigative journalism was sparked while doing her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. After graduating in 2018, she returned to South Africa and began working as a general beat reporter for the Daily Maverick. Aisha joined the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in 2020 to focus on science reporting. During her time there, she covered the COVID-19 pandemic extensively — from fact-checking harmful medical misinformation to unpacking the science behind vaccine development. Aisha’s special interests include analysing health systems and in-depth coverage of public health issues and infectious diseases. She also loves spreadsheets and digging through data.

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