Reatile Prepares LNG Solution for South Africa’s Gas Shortage

Investment Group to Import LNG, Averting Energy Crisis

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
LNG importation South Africa

As South Africa faces an impending natural gas shortage by mid-2026, Reatile Group, an astute energy investment company, is proactively working to bridge the supply gap through liquid natural gas (LNG) importation. In collaboration with Sasol, Reatile is exploring innovative solutions to mitigate potential supply disruptions until its LNG import facility becomes operational.

The looming gas crisis, termed the “gas cliff,” threatens to suspend the supply of natural gas to industrial customers, potentially causing widespread plant closures and significantly impacting the national manufacturing output. This crisis is anticipated following the depletion of gas from the Pande and Temane fields in Mozambique, as announced by Sasol, South Africa’s monopoly supplier of natural gas. Reatile’s strategic involvement in the construction of an LNG import facility at the Port of Richards Bay, through a 30% stake in Vopak, positions the company as a key player in addressing this challenge. The facility is designed to receive LNG, regasify it, and then integrate it into the existing Transnet pipeline network, ensuring a seamless supply of cleaner energy across the nation.

Simphiwe Mehlomakulu, Reatile’s chairperson, emphasizes the project’s alignment with South Africa’s energy diversification goals and its pivotal role in the transition to a more sustainable energy landscape. “The transition to LNG promises a cleaner and more sustainable energy alternative and underscores the nation’s commitment to innovative energy solutions,” Mehlomakulu stated. Discussions with Sasol are underway to outline contingency plans for maintaining gas supply during the transition period. Although these talks are in their infancy, the potential for zero or reduced supply poses a significant threat that both entities are keen to avert.

Moreover, Reatile’s subsidiary, Egoli Gas, will play a crucial role in distributing regasified natural gas through its existing pipeline network, further facilitating the transition to LNG. To spearhead these efforts, Reatile has appointed Mncedisi Mlilo as COO and acting MD of Egoli, leveraging his three decades of experience in the gas industry to commercialize this opportunity. The successful implementation of the LNG import project hinges on collaborative efforts among government, the private sector, and non-profits. Mehlomakulu is optimistic that such collaboration will secure a sustainable and reliable gas supply, heralding a more prosperous energy future for South Africa.

This initiative comes at a critical time, as reported by Engineering News, with the Industrial Gas Users Association of Southern Africa (IGUA-SA) highlighting the dire consequences of the gas shortage, including job losses and diminished economic contributions from the industrial gas sector. As the country braces for the “gas cliff,” the concerted efforts of Reatile Group, along with key stakeholders, symbolize a beacon of hope. Their commitment to ensuring a continuous supply of natural gas could very well avert the looming crisis, securing the energy needs of South Africa’s industrial sector and safeguarding the livelihoods of thousands.

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