The South African government has selected the ports of Richards Bay and Coega to build infrastructure for a gas-to-power program aimed at easing the country’s dependence on coal.

The $3.7bn investment entails a plant at Richards Bay, which will generate 2,000 MW of electricity from South African flagliquefied natural gas imports, with another 1,000 MW at the Coega industrial development zone, the country’s department of energy said on Monday.

The government will seek bidders to manage the project, underpinned by a power-purchase agreement between the winning applicant and state electricity utility Eskom Holdings.

Apart from the 3,000 MW generated at the ports, another 600 MW will come from the appointment of a strategic partner for a gas-fired plant and a further 126 MW is allocated to a domestic gas programme.