South Africa’s energy minister calls for “paradigm shift” in LPG
London, 19 September 2014
South African energy minister Tina Joemat Pettersson told delegates at the first Argus Africa LPG conference in Cape Town this week that the South African LPG industry needs to promote itself as a source of “renewable energy”.
Ms Joemat Pettersson urged the LPG industry to follow the example of the country’s emerging solar and wind power industries, where projects have started commercial operation after securing key government financing and regulatory backing.
LPG has struggled to gain market share in South Africa, where many industrial and residential consumers use it only when electricity supplies are disrupted. Most people in rural areas without electricity use wood or paraffin for heating and lighting. Paraffin prices are effectively subsidised by the government by being exempt from value-added tax.
Ms Joemat Pettersson was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Argus Africa LPG conference, which brought together delegates from all over the continent and beyond. Africa is seen as offering huge potential for growth in LPG use, but there are a number of challenges holding back development, including infrastructure, policy and cultural barriers.
Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We were honoured to welcome South Africa’s energy minister, Ms Joemat Pettersson, to our inaugural Africa LPG conference and were pleased to note that her address was widely reported by the national and international media. It is clear that the conference fulfilled a need for an independent forum to discuss the development of LPG as a cleaner burning fuel for the domestic market in Africa, and we look forward to providing such an opportunity again next year.”
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