Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has recommitted government's support for Project Mthombo, the much- awaited PetroSA oil refinery at Coega.
In reply to a question from an ANC MP yesterday, Peters said state-owned oil company PetroSA - and its potential partner, the Chinese state-owned group Sinopec - were reviewing the business case for the construction of a new refinery at Coega.
Organised business in the Eastern Cape believes Mthombo has the potential to be a major catalyst for socio- economic transformation of the province through job creation.
Peters said her department was still committed to Project Mthombo.
She said the review of the business case included aspects such as the size of the refinery, the schedule and the related costs.
Peters also said such an infrastructure project would create a "massive number of jobs" during construction and sustain increased levels of economic activity during operations.
On electricity, Peters said inflation would be among the criteria used to determine future electricity tariffs.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance, Peters said she would ensure inflation-based pricing was part of the overall tariff structure for the next multiyear electricity price determination.
"The pricing policy covers all the issues that must be taken into account when dealing with tariff determination, including the rate of returns as well as associated economic impacts. Inflation does get considered in the pricing methodology," her reply stated.
Peters said a study of South Africa's competencies, capabilities and needs for the proposed nuclear build programme had been submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Replying to a question from DA MP Lance Greyling, Peters said such a self-assessment report was required by the IAEA, and its findings would be made known once the process was completed.
In terms of the 2010 Integrated Resource Plan, the government plans to build between six and eight nuclear reactors that would eventually generate 9600MW of power.
READY TO SUPPORT: Dipuo Peters says government is still behind Project Mthombo
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