OPTIMIZING THE SOUTH AFRICAN POWER SYSTEM WITH ULTRA-FLEXIBLE LNG POWER PLANTS



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PowerGen Africa Best Paper 2016

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South Africa will soon embark on large new-build gas Independent Power Producer’s (IPP) programme for 3,126 MW in accordance with the IRP2010 and Ministerial Determinations, the majority of which will likely be initially supplied using imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

However, what South Africa does with this capacity is yet to be fully defined in terms of what plant performance criteria should be considered in order to ensure the maximum system benefit is realised. Realisation of these benefits should recognize the variable nature experienced from increasing intermittent renewable energy and uncertainty caused by varying coal capacity availabilities and demand variations. Further recognition must also be given to the limitations and inflexible preferences traditionally experienced in the LNG supply industry. Herein lies the challenge of marrying two opposing sets of requirements of power flexibility and LNG supply inflexibility. 

This paper seeks to unpack the relationship between the power system perspective and the LNG supply perspective. Using complex power system modelling software, we re-create the South African power system, based on inputs from the IRP2010, and analyse a range of scenarios which considers the impact of integrating a 3 GW gas power plant over the period 2020 – 2030. From our analysis, we see what the true role of gas power in South Africa is.

 

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   Wayne Glossop

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