MechChem Africa

Natural gas provides about one fifth of the world’s total energy requirements, with industry accounting for around 40% of total gas consumption. Virtual Gas Network, together with fellow CNG Holdings division, NGV Gas, has already converted some canneries, manufacturing and assembly plants in Gauteng and will soon be operative in KwaZulu-Natal.

The increasing availability of natural gas in South Africa represents a significant opportunity for industry to lower energy costs and improve profitability, while also moving towards cleaner emissions targets. This is being made possible through the development of a rapidly expanding gas distribution network by Virtual Gas Network, a division of CNG Holdings. Now available to businesses anywhere in a 300-km radius of Johannesburg, Virtual Gas Network is the first commercial-scale supplier of natural gas in South Africa.

Natural gas powering a revolutionCNG Virtual Gas Network manages the continuous delivery and collection of gas tube trailers to any industrial customers within a 300 km radius of Johannesburg.

With limited historical access, natural gas in South Africa has been used primarily as feedstock for producing synthetic fuels, but the discovery and development of extensive regional off-shore methane-rich gas fields, most notably in Mozambique, means supply can now be expanded to meet a much greater industrial demand. This will radically change the country’s energy dynamic in the coming years as more and more companies seek to optimise their operational performance and reduce their reliance on coal-based power.

Virtual Gas Network, together with fellow CNG Holdings division, NGV Gas, has already converted some canneries, manufacturing and assembly plants across a range of industries in South Africa, in addition to fleets of warehouse forklifts in various storage and intra-logistical applications, to gas.

It does so through turnkey gas solutions that cover the supply and installation of all necessary conversion equipment, including a pressure regulating plant and all associated hoses, connectors, valves and civil work requirements, through to managing the delivery of a constant supply of natural gas as required.

With this innovative ‘virtual gas pipeline’, VGN not only ensures a constant on-site supply delivery of natural gas; it is a solution that can be quickly implemented. “Without the need to construct servitudes and other civil works amongst municipal utility spaces, cumbersome legislative procedures are avoided,” explains Stephen Rothman, CEO, CNG Holdings. “This means that an on-site supply of natural gas can be established within four to six weeks once a compression station has been established.”

Natural gas will also play a critical role in helping companies adequately revise their energy models in light of the introduction of the Carbon Tax Bill. With several pieces of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions legislation having already come into effect this year and a revised Draft Carbon Tax Bill expected later in 2017, South Africa’s move towards a carbon tax is in full swing.

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