FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2013
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Thomas Hardy | (703) 875-4357

USTDA SUPPORTS OFFSHORE GAS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Facilitating South Africa's transition to clean energy

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to Sunbird Energy Ltd to support the development of South Africa's Ibhubesi offshore gas field.  Sunbird Energy has executed an agreement to acquire a 76% stake in the Ibhubesi gas project and will partner with PetroSA, the national oil company of South Africa.  

In an effort to support South Africa's transition to clean energy, the grant will fund a sub-surface development plan for the Ibhubesi Offshore Gas Project.  This will help define the engineering requirements and complete an environmental impact assessment and commercial analysis for the project.  Today, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Catherine Hill-Herndon and Sunbird Energy Chairman Kerwin Rana signed the grant at the U.S. Embassy in front of witnesses from PetroSA and USTDA.

"This project not only supports President Obama's Climate Action Plan, but also South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan 2010, which calls for the expansion of gas-fired power generation from 2% to 11% of the total supply by 2030," said Charge d'Affaires Hill-Herndon. "South Africa's transition to clean energy is critically important."

"Sunbird is delighted to have secured U.S. Government support for the advancement of the Ibhubesi Gas Project," said Sunbird Energy Managing Director Will Barker.  "It is a very strong validation of the regional importance of Ibhubesi to the South African energy equation.  As Ibhubesi is the largest undeveloped gas field in South Africa, its proven reserves can replace high-cost imported diesel and help meet the significant demand for gas-fired power generation."

Sunbird Energy has selected U.S. company MHA Associates (Denver, Colorado) to carry out the study.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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