Major gas project to come online in South Africa in the coming weeks

 ·11 Jul 2022

Energy group Renergen says it has successfully introduced gas to its Virginia Gas Project, with commercial operations set to commence in the coming weeks.

The Virginia Gas Project is the only onshore petroleum plant in South Africa, with the site covering an area that includes Welkom, Virginia, and Theunissen.

It is owned and operated by Renergen through its subsidiary company Tetra4. Renergen has previously estimated its helium reserve could be as large as 9.74 billion cubic metres, more extensive than the known reserves of the entire US.

While helium is perhaps best known for its use in balloons, its benefits go far beyond this. Helium is considered highly valuable for its use in medical scanners, space travel, and superconductors.

Specific unique properties make it an essential component in manufacturing fibre-optic cables, microchips, and other electronic equipment. It is also used to inflate car airbags and in high concentrations in deep-sea diving tanks.

In a shareholder statement on Monday (11 July), the group noted that final commissioning workstreams will now be completed over the coming weeks, with commercial operation commencing once customer sites are ready to begin accepting products towards the end of July 2022.

“Successful introduction of gas to plant at our world-class Virginia Gas Project is an incredible achievement and testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire team. This major milestone has been a long time coming and I am incredibly proud of the efficient progression and success of the Company since acquiring this unknown greenfield asset only a few years ago,” said chief executive Stefano Marani.

“We have worked towards positioning the Virginia Gas Project as a globally significant LNG and helium producer and we are very close to delivering on this goal. Now we know that the plant is safe and critical start-up risks have been addressed, the remaining steps are purely mechanical, which is obviously a major source of relief to everyone.”

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