While South Africa’s BioFuel industry has yet to make an impression on local fuel supplies, plans are afoot to establish a manufacturing plant in the Free State which will make diesel from disused tyres. BuaNews reports that the Department of Energy has received an application for a new manufacturing facility while Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, speaking at the recent Oil and Gas Indaba in Bloemfontein, called on the petroleum industry to ensure readiness to make the necessary changes to their refineries for local manufacturing of petroleum products. Adding to this Motlanthe said environmental challenges provided prospective new entrants with an opportunity to develop environmentally friendly fuels and fuel efficiency.
Energy remains the “engine room” of South Africa’s economy without which the wheels of economic development and growth would grind to a halt. “While oil and gas are only a portion of the entire energy spectrum, the role played by these energy resources in the socio-economic development of the country could not be underestimated. “A positive aspect to emerge out of electricity and liquid fuels shortages in the recent past is that they served to awaken us and to strengthen the resolve with which we address challenges of energy security,” he said.
Motlanthe called on all role players in the sector to work with government in a sustainable partnership to ensure security of energy supply.”Our starting point, therefore, is to promote discourse on energy-related matters. We cannot experience the kind of growth and development that we aspire to achieve without energy security.” Motlanthe said further that the Department of Energy, in conjunction with other government departments, has commenced with the development of a biofuels pricing mechanism which will assist in the implementation of the Biofuels Industrial Strategy.