South Africa’s planned gas-to-power projects will cost around 50 billion rand ($3.7 billion) and will require 1.6 million tonnes a year of gas imports, department of energy official Karen Breytenbach said on Tuesday.

South Africa will announce preferred bidders for gas-to-power projects by the end of March as part of efforts to diversify electricity production away from more environmentally damaging coal plants.

The winners of the tender will build South Africa’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, gas-fired power plants, storage facilities and transmission pipelines.

($1 = 13.67 rand)