Wednesday, 23 May 2012

South African minister: Coal will continue to play critical role in SA´s energy landscape

The government of South Africa deserves praise for saying this, loud and clear: 
Despite stated plans to rebalance its energy mix, South Africa's minister of mineral resources, Susan Shabangu, Tuesday, outlined coal's importance to the country's future.
"There can be no doubt of the critical role coal will continue to play in our country's energy landscape - long into our nation's future" said Shabangu at the inauguration of Sasol Mining's first major replacement mine since starting operations over six decades ago.

Here are some basic facts about the role of coal in South Africa´s energy production:

About 77% of the country's primary energy needs are provided by coal. South Africa produces an average of 224 million tons (Mt) of marketable coal annually, making it the fifth-largest coal-producing country in the world.

About 25% of the production is exported internationally, making South Africa the third-largest coal-exporting country. The remainder of South Africa's coal production feeds the various local industries, with 53% used for electricity generation.

The key role played by coal reserves in the economy is illustrated by the fact that Eskom is the seventh-largest electricity generator in the world, and Sasol the largest coal-to-chemicals producer.

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