Diversified investment and mining company Anglo African Capital’s (AAC) recently signed memorandum of understanding with Gazprom Promgaz sees it secure its underground coal gasification technology rights in sub-Saharan Africa.
Gazprom Promgaz, a subsidiary of giant Russian gas producer Gazprom, has also agreed to partner with Anglo African Capital regarding the development of the underground coal gasification of its coal assets in the Springbok flats. To this end, Gazprom Promgaz will participate in a pre-feasibility study of the project.
In early 2014 AAC decided to pursue more environment-friendly options for the development of its coal assets in the Springbok flats and started research into the viability of underground coal gasification.
“Our desire to drive the greener application of coal on our assets and beyond has culminated in this landmark deal with Gazprom,” says AAC CEO Heine van Niekerk. Having a partner with the stature and influence of Gazprom is a great step forward for AAC and its ambitions as a regional energy producer, adds Van Niekerk.
The agreement was signed during the thirteenth session of the Joint Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa (ITEC).
ITEC was hosted in Moscow from 10 to 12 November 2015. South Africa was represented by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Russia by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Sergei Donskoi, both of whom were present at the signing of the memorandum.
Van Niekerk says the agreement is in keeping with the government’s desire to encourage the development of gas-related energy projects and the development of trade within the BRICS countries.
Gazprom, which holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves and has the world’s largest gas transmission network, has been developing underground coal gasification technology since the 1950s. The company spends large amounts of money on research and development of the technology and is a world leader in underground coal gasification.