The newly developed project will generate power by using Concentrated Solar Power “CSP” parabolic trough technology in South Africa.
BOKPOORT CSP Project has been developed by ACWA Power as lead developer together with Solafrica Thermal Energy as co-developer.
The BOKPOORT CSP project is a Greenfield Independent Power Project (IPP) to be developed as part of South Africa’s renewable IPP program. The project will be developed on a BOO (build, own, operate) with a total power generating capacity of 50 MWe net power output. The project will be equipped with the largest thermal storage size ever adopted for a similar operational size and is among the most efficient solar plants in the world operating in this class of capacity and technology yielding a record high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year to support the power grid of South Africa.
The BOKPOORT project was one of the only 19 projects selected by the Department of Energy of South Africa among the 79 bids submitted for the second window of the first Renewable Energy IPP procurement programme of South Africa. The project was the only CSP technology selected, while the other 18 are based on PV, wind and hydro technologies.
The consortium has selected an EPC consortium composed by TSK Electrónica Y Electricidad, AccionaInfrastructuras, AccionaIngeniería, SenerIngeniería y Sistemas, all of Spain and Crowie Concessions of South Africa for the construction of the plant, which will provide more than 40% of scope procured locally in South Africa.
The Operation and Maintenance will be undertaken by NOMAC led consortium, a subsidiary of ACWA Power. The off-takers will be Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd a Government owned national utility. The targeted Financial Close is scheduled for the end of 2012 while the plant Commercial Operation Date (COD) is planned for the third quarter of 2015. The project has also partnered with the South African based Investec Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa and Industrial Development Corporation, who will provide the debt funding requirements of the project.
Beside the direct investment and the creation of an excess of 900 jobs during construction in South African only, the project will also inject significant socio economic value into the rural South African economy in the vicinity of the plant by bringing an average yearly contribution of $2m of additional investments into the community and creating about 60 permanent employment opportunity during the entire operational life of the plant in one of the poorest areas of the country.
Whilst South Africa relies heavily on coal to meet its energy needs, the country is well endowed with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. With the CSP technology used, the project will serve to abate “green approach” providing approximately 230,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions every year of operation. The technology used in BOKPOORT will be a positive factor in offsetting the South Africa grid peak power demand period in particular due to its unique size of thermal storage.
Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power stated that “We are proud to enter our fourth international market and first market in the continent of Africa. Today we own majority stakes in fully operational assets in Oman and Jordan and a project under advance development in Turkey in addition to ourassets in Saudi Arabia. BOKPOORT CSP IPP is a milestone in the company’s history and takes ACWA Power further afield into the Southern Cone of Africa, which we see as strategic growth markets in addition to North Africa. It will also diversify the company’s technology portfolio and fuel mix with the addition of our first solar plant. The project will be a lead in reaching our objective of reaching a total power production capacity of 30,000 MW by the end of 2014 with 5% in renewables with a focus on solar power”.
Padmanathan went on to say “ACWA Power believes entering into a new market means a long-term relationship with the country as a whole and the local community in specific. Therefore we put a great deal of emphasis on our participation in community development in our thought process taking into consideration the main socio-economic development requirements of the local community. We will have a 10% community shareholding, which far exceeds Government’s minimum 2.5% requirement. Apart from the general upliftment of the local community through this economic interest, particular focus will be placed on youth development and HIV/Aids awareness through Lovelife, a national NGO. We have also sought to maximize on BEE involvement, far in excess of the minimum Government requirements, in the long term operations of the plant. In this respect we have partnered with a local BEE party, Invest in Africa Energy, not only to ensure local knowledge but to impart valuable skills transfer”.
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