|Diesel from Tyres|
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has noted plans for a new diesel manufacturing plant in the Free State.
The Department of Energy has received an application for a manufacturing facility which will make diesel from disused tyres. The facility will be based in the province.
Motlanthe, who was speaking at an Oil and Gas Indaba in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, said energy remained the "engine room" of South Africa's economy, adding that without energy, the wheels of economic development and growth would grind to a halt.
"In the modern age, without energy productive and constructive human activity of any kind would cease. It is against this backdrop that this Oil and Gas Indaba assumes critical importance to all of us here and the country at large," he said.
He said while oil and gas were but 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.
The shortages of liquid fuels in December 2005 as well as the electricity blackouts in recent years have awakened the country to the need to look at energy matters differently. "A positive aspect to emerge out of the electricity and liquid fuels shortages is that they served to awaken us and to strengthen the resolve with which we address challenges of energy security," Motlanthe said.
He called on the 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 further called on the industry to ensure readiness to make the necessary changes to their refineries for local manufacturing of petroleum products saying environmental challenges also provide prospective new entrants with an opportunity to develop environmentally friendly fuels and fuel efficiency.
"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. I urge producers of mineral fuels to assist in this endeavour," he said.
The three-day Indaba is expected to end tomorrow. - BuaNews