Oct 30, 2009
© Reuse this
Modise: The Germans are investing R178-million in a new car-part factory in the Eastern Cape. Tell us a bit more about this.
Creamer: This sounds like a green shoot in the automotive industry. We have been hearing a lot of negative news about the automotive industry, not only in South Africa, but also globally. Now, we see that a German company is willing to come in even at this risky stage and invest in bricks and mortar in the Eastern Cape.
The company we are talking is Benteler Automotive. It is a 133-year-old family owned company and in 35 countries. But, it is here, really to supply dashboard panels, bumpers and chassis parts mainly to Volkswagen and it will be situated right next door to Volkswagen in Uitenhage.
It has also got an eye on the Coega port where it can also be doing exports. We see that their factory is going up at the moment and will be live be mid-next year. It is part of Volkswagen's plan to make sure that we achieve a 70% local South African content for South African produced vehicles.
Modise: The French are extending R1,5-billion credit for clean-energy projects undertaken in South Africa.
Creamer: Renewable energy is on the lips of people world wide and we see these international development banks coming through and wanting to give a stimulus to the various renewable energy projects.
Some of the projects that stick are the smaller ones. Now, we see that Agence Française de Développement (AFD) from France are willing to put a credit line of R1,5-billion up to commercial banks in South Africa. This must be used for small-and medium-sized energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The banks that are involved at the moment and there could be more in the future; starting with Absa, Nedbank and the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation. We see that they want to enlarge this market and they also want to involve the smaller players. It is all about, in the end, reducing the global carbon-dioxide footprint.
Modise: Well, some more European involvement in the South African economy, with the Irish now backing the building of a wind farm in Jeffreys Bay.
Creamer: Yes, the Irish company Mainstream is prepared to assist with the funding and financing and development of a wind farm in Jeffreys Bay. They are looking at a part of Jeffreys Bay close to the farm area called Sunnyside dairy farm. The idea is to set-up a wind farm there.
The total envisaged investment in the longer term is about R2,3-billion for 125 MW wind farm. It will start small in a first phase of about 16 MW and the environmental impact assessment is being done that and once that is completed one can start looking at physically putting in the various wind turbines, which will be done in modules of about 2 MW and 2,5 MW each.
But, we see that South Africa is really lagging in wind energy and we know that we have only really got four turbines in South Africa as a whole in the Western Cape, compared to Germans, for instance, who have about 22 000 of these. So there is scope for movement forward.
Modise: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he'll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
Updated 7 hours ago The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
Updated 7 hours ago The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
Updated 7 hours ago AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
Updated 7 hours ago South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...