SA will continue to diversify its energy supply

Image: Wikimedia

Pretoria – South Africa will continue its efforts to diversify its energy supply, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said.

Motlanthe was responding to a question in the National Assembly on whether his visit to Ghana in April was in pursuit of finding alternative oil resources. This was in view of the US-European Union crude oil sanctions on Iran.

At the end of last year, US President Barack Obama signed a bill expanding US sanctions against Iran to cover its central bank and financial sector — a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank.

“These sanctions are particularly stringent with regard to petroleum-related banking transactions,” added Motlanthe on Wednesday.

He said the visit to Ghana focused on energy, which included both oil and gas.

“We have always and we will continue our efforts to diversify our energy supply. In fact, every country in the world whose economy depends on oil will continuously seek to diversify its energy supply with the view to ensuring security of supply in the long term,” said the Deputy President.

South Africa sources about 30% of crude oil from Iran.

Recently the Department of Energy awarded 47 bids for the participation in the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPP) programme. The programme also seeks to make provision for local content in the provision of alternative energy sources.

The country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) places specific emphasis on broadening electricity supply technologies to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, renewables (wind, solar and hydro), in response to both the country’s future electricity needs as well as reduce its CO2 emissions.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Carter said in a statement that South Africa and six other economies had significantly reduced their crude oil imports from Iran and have been exempted from the sanctions.

South Africa together with India; Malaysia; Republic of Korea; Sri Lanka; Turkey and Taiwan had significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran.

“They join the 11 countries for which I made this determination in March. As a result, I will report to the Congress that sanctions pursuant to Section 1245(d)(1) of the National Defence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 will not apply to their financial institutions for a potentially renewable period of 180 days,” she said in a statement.

Source: BuaNews – Press Release – 14 June 2012