In South Africa, TotalEnergies defends its gas development project in a letter to Bloom and The Green Connection.
The gas development project
In South Africa, TotalEnergies and its partners applied for a production license in September 2022. The objective was to develop gas fields off the coast of the country. Immediately, an environmental and societal impact assessment was initiated in accordance with South African regulations.
This study will provide a detailed description of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the project. At the same time, a survey was started to map marine species including marine mammals. In addition, the potential impact of the production, especially noise, must be modeled and measures taken.
The CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, specifies in his letter that he has already voluntarily restricted the scope of the license application. This new area excludes the one classified by the authorities as a marine protected area. In accordance with the regulations, a first public information meeting will be held at the end of 2022.
Compliance with local legislation
The themes discussed will concern the environmental and social impact. Local observations, expectations and concerns will benefit from socio-economic development measures and initiatives. In addition, the project is expected to supply gas to South Africa’s domestic market.
South Africa’s economy is still largely based on coal. It represents 80% of the current electricity production. In addition, this access to energy will make it possible to remedy the regular power cuts that have occurred in the country for more than 15 years.
Using gas instead of coal reduces CO2 emissions and air pollution by half. Finally, TotalEnergies is helping to improve South Africa’s energy mix by increasing the use of renewable energy. For example, the Prieska solar power plant has been supplying electricity to more than 70,000 homes since 2016.