South Africa’s government has rubber-stamped an environmental authorisation for Sunbird Energy’s proposed Ibhubesi offshore gas project in Block 2A of the Orange basin.

The authorisation — which is subject to appeal — was granted by the Department of Environmental Affairs and covers a production platform, a 400-kilometre offshore pipeline to one of two shore crossings (at Grotto Bay or St Helena Bay East), an onshore pipeline and a gas plant at Ankerlig.

Sunbird plans to tap Ibhubesi via either a floating production, storage and offloading vessel or a semi-submersible.