General Industry

What is compressed natural gas?

Natural Gas is sourced from gas fields, coal-bed methane, shale gas and bio-gas.

Why should industry and the transport sector switch to natural gas?

Natural Gas is a good fossil fuel alternative to crude oil and coal, because it is cleaner burning and sufficiently versatile to use for:

  • domestic and industrial heating and power generation,
  • a direct fuel source for vehicles and
  • industrial feedstock for liquid fuels and other chemical products.

Natural Gas is also cheaper than Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), diesel, paraffin and heavy fuel oil, depending on the application. Additional savings can be achieved because carbon tax is not charged as Natural Gas is deemed a “green energy solution”.

What is CNG Holdings?

CNG Holdings is a company that is committed to promoting the use of natural gas as an alternative energy source for industry and fuel for vehicles. As a BEE certified company CNG Holdings owns 100% equity in its three operating companies, namely Virtual Gas Network, NGV Gas and CNG Technologies.

What role do the three companies play within the broader CNG Holdings group?

NGV Gas focuses on the fuelling of natural gas vehicles.
VGN (Virtual Gas Network) specialises in the transport of compressed natural gas.
CNG Technologies focuses on the supply of compressed natural gas equipment as well as the funding of CNG vehicle conversions.

Where does CNG Holding’s gas supply come from?

Virtual Gas Network (VGN) and NGV Gas are two of the new gas traders approved by the National Energy Regulator as alternatives to Sasol Gas. Together they have secured substantial guaranteed gas supplies from gas allocations on the Sasol pipeline via Egoli Gas. They are also the only gas traders distributing gas via road to large industrial customers and have the expertise to transport compressed natural gas to those customers not on a rigid gas pipeline.

What are the statistics regarding global industrial gas usage in South Africa? Is usage increasing and by how much?

Globally gas is the fastest growing energy source in the world. In 2012, 72% of South Africa’s total primary energy consumption came from coal, followed by oil (22%), natural gas (3%), nuclear (3%), and renewables (less than 1%, primarily from hydropower), according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy 2013. Natural gas makes up only 3% of the total primary energy mix in South Africa, but this is expected to grow to around 10% over the next decade. (PwC Gas Equation Report).

How many gas vehicles are on the roads across the globe?

The natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry is a large and rapidly growing market. According to NGV America, in February 2012 there were more than 15-million natural gas vehicles in use worldwide. The International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles projects that there will be more than 50-million natural gas vehicles worldwide within the next 10 years, representing approximately 9% of the world transportation fleet.

What is the current legislation regarding developing a South African natural gas industry?

South African government has stated that it is supportive of increasing the share of natural gas in the total energy mix (currently only 3%), however, this is not yet supported by any form of incentives, tax breaks or industry support or development plans. That said, the Gas Act of 2001 is aimed at encouraging the development of the gas industry in South Africa with its stated objectives including: “Promoting the efficient, effective, sustainable and orderly development and operation of gas transmission, storage, distribution and liquefaction.”

The Gas Act was based on international norms and practices found in economies with developed gas industries where normal market forces will take their course to ensure that the market develops.

Why change fuels now?

The world faces major challenges that are significantly impacted by transportation growth. These include:

  • oil supply, costs, energy security, and the peak in global oil production
  • rising air pollution levels in the world’s rapidly growing cities
  • increasing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global climate change
  • These oil supply, environmental and economic challenges are driving the rapid development of alternatives globally, including natural gas as a transportation fuel. (Source:

What are the advantages of using gas as opposed to other energy sources?

  • The introduction of more natural gas into the energy mix in South Africa will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The payback period for purchasing an NGV shortens as the price of oil escalates/increases.
  • In road freight transport gas is less emission intensive than oil and is able to improve local air quality.
  • Natural gas price relative to diesel – excellent economics and the payback period for purchasing an NGV shortens with higher fuel prices.
  • Energy security.
  • Mandates and incentives.

Industry benefits because Natural Gas is:

  • cleaner-burning, with reduced emissions
  • consistent regarding quality/energy content
  • stored in a way that prevents theft of fuel
  • lighter than air and poses a reduced health and safety risk
  • safer when accumulating in confined spaces
  • used in sealed fuel systems, preventing any spills and evaporation.
  • easier to store because the compression, storage and dispensing system takes up less space.

How long has Natural Gas been used as a fuel?

Over 70 years, but the technology is continuously updated.

Who is using Natural Gas in South Africa?

A number of taxi owners and industrial companies are already using Natural Gas.

Where does Natural Gas come from?

Natural Gas is sourced from gas fields, coal-bed methane, shale gas and bio-gas. South Africa obtains Natural Gas from existing natural gas fields in the southern part of Mozambique.

Is it safe to use Natural Gas?

It is safe to use Natural Gas. People often confuse it with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) which have caused some severe accidents in the past. Natural Gas is lighter than air and if it escapes from its storage containers, it immediately disperses into the atmosphere. Unless it escapes in a completely sealed room, which is highly unlikely, it should never accumulate to the point of explosion. Natural Gas also does not form pool fires, making it easier to manage and handle and it does not ignite easily.

Where can I find more information about converting industrial machinery to use Natural Gas?

Contact CNG Virtual Gas Network on 0860 116 917

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