Pretoria — The R5 billion Bokpoort concentrated solar plant (CSP) has officially been launched in Groblershoop, Northern Cape.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies welcomed the major investment by ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabian company.
“[The] project instils confidence in government’s long term infrastructure roll out, providing energy access, contributing to economic, community and sustainable development,” he said at the launch of the plant on Monday.
Minister Davies was joined at the launch by Saudi Arabian Trade and Commerce Minister, Dr Tawfiq Al Rabiah, who is also in South Africa for the 7th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC).
The 50 MW Bokpoort plant forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPP).
“This project marks a key milestone in South Africa’s electricity supply security and CO2 reduction. With its record 9.3 hours thermal energy storage capacity, the Bokpoort CSP project will provide electricity to approximately 21 000 households during the day as well as night time and save approximately 230 000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions during every year of operation,” said Minister Davies.
Within five years, the REIPPP has attracted R194 billion of investment and is fast becoming a global model and blue print for other countries, providing policy certainty and transparency.
The Minister said the project has a major socio-economic development impact for the Northern Cape and South Africa. Over R2.4 billion was spent on local content, with 40% of the Bokpoort plant being sourced and manufactured locally. This includes the manufacturing and assembly of solar field collector steel structures and the supply of piping and cables.
During construction peak time, more than 1 200 people worked on site, while 70 permanent jobs have been created to operate and maintain the plant. The plant was constructed over 30 months.
“The operation of the plant will provide electricity to the Eskom grid to power communities and industry by ensuring a reliable source of renewable energy and increasing power supply.”
The Minister thanked the chairperson of ACWA Power, Mohamed Abunayyan, for his confidence to invest in South Africa.
ACWA Power aims to expand its Southern African portfolio to 5 000 MW by 2025. The group has identified South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Botswana as key growth markets in the region.
“To our visitors from Saudi Arabia, South Africa is indeed open for business. Investors enjoy robust protection in South Africa, comparable to the highest international standard,” said Minister Davies.
New York – Three of Morocco’s most prominent infrastructure projects are among the list of ten “Most Outstanding African Projects in 2015”, according to a ranking by Jeune Afrique magazine.
The Tarfaya wind farm, the Noor solar plant complex in Ourzazate and the Wessal Casablanca-Port project made it to the list of the most important initiatives that marked Africa’s economy this year.
One of Morocco’s most ambitious projects concerning green energy is the Tarfaya wind farm located in the country’s southern coast.
Consisting of 131 wind turbines with a capacity of 300 megawatts, Tarfaya wind farm is the second largest park in Africa. The project costs €450 million, the same source revealed.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco will inaugurate the first phase of solar plant “Noor I,” on Sunday in Ouarzazate, according to Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment Hakima El Haite.
The Noor Project will use a highly advanced technology called Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), which “allows to store energy for nights and cloudy days.”
Considered the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant, the Noor is expected to produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccans, “with possibly extra power to export to Europe,” according to the World Bank.
The solar plant will be managed by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), covering an area of over 450 hectares. The plant’s first phase ‘Noor I’ cost € 600 million.
The Ouarzazate project has earned Morocco the title of “solar superpower” as it is expected to generate around 160 megawatts reaching 2,000 megawatts by 2020, the same source noted.
The Wessal Casablanca-Port project began in 2010 as a refurbishment plan to promote tourism in Casablanca.
The second phase of the project, according to the magazine, was launched by Morocco’s King last March, with an estimated cost of €28 million. It created a cultural tourism circuit of 3.7 km between the ancient city and the Hassan II Mosque.
Wessal Casablanca-Port is part of the rehabilitation program of the old medina, which includes the “building of a naval shipyard, the construction of a fishing port and the development of a cruise terminal,” the same source noted.
Among the other outstanding projects in the ranking are: the enlargement of the Suez Canal in Egypt, the first Carrefour market in Ivory Coast, a Bombardier monorail in Cairo, a 550 km pipeline between the coast of Djibouti and Ethiopia, as well as cultural infrastructures in Constantine, Algeria.
The 94.3 MWp Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in the Northern Cape, was expected to deliver 216 GWh/y of electricity into power utility Eskom’s national grid. The plant, which was built by Spanish firm Acciona and commissioned by Spanish consulting firm Enertis, featured 319 600 PV modules, mounted on 470 single-axis trackers.
Enertis‘ project scope included an independent verification of the electrical and mechanical execution, coordination of the commissioning process, identification ofconstruction defects, setting of communications, liaison for grid compliance tests, and performance of further acceptance tests such as the thermography of the PV panels.
It also performed a complete quality control inspection of the PV modules – both at the manufacturer’s facilities in China and at Enertis’ South African laboratory, in collaboration with its partners at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The tests included flash-test and electroluminescence.
Source: Engineering News
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