South Africa: Mbeki, Mozambique gas can solve energy crisis

(AGI) - Maputo, 2 dic. - The former president of South Africa,Thabo Mbeki, defended in Maputo that the natural gas fromneighboring Mozambique could help mitigate the energy crisisfacing his country as well as boost the economic development ofMozambique. Mbeki, who is in Maputo to attend the firsteconomic and social forum under the motto "A Challenge to theFuture" that Mozambique is hosting since Wednesday, stressedthat his country already has technology that converts coal intogas and could do the same with gas from Mozambique. "Conversion of gas from Mozambique would help solve theenergy

(AGI) - Maputo, 2 dic. - The former president of South Africa,Thabo Mbeki, defended in Maputo that the natural gas fromneighboring Mozambique could help mitigate the energy crisisfacing his country as well as boost the economic development ofMozambique. Mbeki, who is in Maputo to attend the firsteconomic and social forum under the motto "A Challenge to theFuture" that Mozambique is hosting since Wednesday, stressedthat his country already has technology that converts coal intogas and could do the same with gas from Mozambique. "Conversion of gas from Mozambique would help solve theenergy problems we have, as well as reduce high energy prices.And, on the other hand, South Africa, would provide the marketfor marketing the Mozambican gas," Mbeki said. To a question onwhether the gas exports would result in an inclusive economicgrowth, Mbeki replied that "we can call inclusive or not" butwould help solve the problem that the two countries face atpresent, energy shortfall. South Africa and Mozambique are thetwo largest energy producers within the Development Communityof Southern Africa(SADC), which consists of 14 states ofsouthern and eastern Africa. According to estimates, the region has a shortfall stood at8,247 megawatts (MW) ? (the region has an estimated installedgeneration capacity of 62MW) - which has compromisedindustrialization and economic development within SADC. "WhenMozambique found large amounts of natural gas gave theoperating license to the [US already bankrupt] ENRON but thecompany did not know where to sell gas. They had license butwhat to do with the license? It took a long time until ENRONcould leave. What impact had that for Mozambique? "Mbeki askedand then added that cooperation in this field between the twocountries would help Mozambique to face another challenge, theability to use its gas domestically. The former South Africanstatesman further argued that the Government of his country hadcame to the conclusion that the daily deportations Mozambicanscrossing illegally in search of employment did not solve theproblem. So our country should help level the development inMozambique so that Mozambicans have jobs in their own country.Mozambique has the potential to become part of the top 10 gassuppliers in world after the discovery of gas reserves in theRovuma basin, estimated at 50 to 70 trillion cubic feet(TcF) ofrecoverable natural gas. (AGI).