South Africa

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Information about biofuels and bioenergy in South Africa.











  • Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGI-SA) The initiative aims to meet the Millenium Development Goals and to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014. Biofuels is being finalised as a sector for special priority attention, because it is labour-intensive, rapidly growing worldwide, suited to South African circumstances, and open to opportunities for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and small business development.


Proposed laws and policies


  • S. African Biofuel Plan May Boost Sorghum Sixfold, Grain Says, 12 December 2011 by "South Africa’s proposed mandatory blending of biofuels with gasoline and diesel may signal the start of a biofuels industry and boost sorghum output sixfold, an economist at the farmers’ body Grain SA said."
    • "The nation produced 155,000 tons in the last season, according to the Crop Estimates Committee. The average annual crop was 226,000 tons in the five years to 2006, according to a report on the National Agricultural Marketing Council website."
    • "A 2007 government proposal to establish a commercial biofuels industry was insufficient to attract investments. Sasol Ltd., South Africa’s largest fuel supplier, Ethanol Africa Ltd. and National Biofuels Group Ltd. canceled or delayed projects."
    • "South Africa could introduce mandatory blending of as much as 10 percent 'without compromising food security in terms of food availability,' he said."[1]
  • New era dawns for mini synfuels, 11 March 2011 by Mail and Guardian Online: "South African technology, already demonstrated in Australia and China, is being used to generate liquid fuel from coal and gas but can also be used to make fuel from biomass, including municipal waste."
    • "Advances in the development of synthetic fuel by the University of the Witwatersrand's Centre of Materials and Process Synthesis (Comps) mean that smaller modular plants, which can produce both fuel and electricity, can do so while releasing 30% less CO2."
    • "The creation of fuel from biomass through a further application of the technology means municipal garbage dumps and landfills could become energy stores instead of expensive problems for future generations."
    • "The process, put simply, works as follows: coal is converted into gas, mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, through what is known as gasification. This gas is then converted into liquid fuel through the Fischer-Tropsch process, named after German scientists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch, who invented it in the 1920s."
    • "Similarly, gas to liquids (GTL) converts natural gas to liquids and biomass to liquids (BTL) sees the gasification of waste, and the resultant gases are then converted to fuel."[2]


Governmental organizations

Nongovernmental organizations

The Southern African Biofuels Association (SABA), is a non-profit organization, which aims to facilitate the establishment of a viable biofuels industry and promote the sustainable production and use of quality biofuels in Southern Africa.



See books, reports, scientific papers, position papers and websites for additional useful resources.

  • National Biofuels Study (.pdf) - African Sustainable Fuels Centre, 20 March 2007. "An investigation into the feasibility of establishing a biofuels industry in the Republic of South Africa which was prepared to assist in the development of a national strategy."[1].



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