International engineering and technology company Abengoa reports that its Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in South Africa’s Northern Cape are both about 80% complete, while its Xina Solar One project is expected to reach financial close by the end of June.
Khi Solar One is a 50 MW solar power-tower project, being developed near Upington, while KaXu Solar One is a 100 MW parabolic-trough plant, being developed near Pofadder, also in the Northern Cape.
The projects further consolidate the Spanish multinational’s leading position in both CSP technologies, with the company having already developed 1 700 MW of CSP capacity globally.
It was recently awarded another 110 MW CSP tower project in Chile, which will incorporate 17.5 hours of molten-salt storage, enabling it to dispatch renewable power into the grid. The 100 MW Xina Solar One parabolic-trough plant, which will be developed alongside the KaXu Solar One facility, is set to incorporate five hours of molten-salt storage.
The company’s engineering, procurement and construction unit, Abeinsa, is constructing all three projects with South African partners and more than 1 000 workers have been employed on each of the two sites.
From a near zero base a few years ago, Abengoa currently has 200 full time employees in South Africa and it expects employee numbers to grow further as it pursues additional power, biofuels and water projects across South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
A pipeline of opportunities is being pursued from its new Sub-Saharan African headquarters in Cape Town, which has been established under the leadership of Pablo Lopez-Campos for business development and Gerardo Rodriguez Pagano for execution
Besides CSP, the company is actively developing cogeneration, bioethanol, gas-to-power and water prospects in about 20 African countries, having identified South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania and Namibia as primary target markets.
The group, which operates in 80 countries and reported revenues of €7.4-billion in 2013, has more than 7 000 MW of gas, biomass and cogeneration capacity operational globally, having installed over 40 cogeneration projects. Five are its own assets, which represent a capacity of 348 MW.
It is closely following developments in the South Africa’s biofuels sector, where it believes there is potential to leverage the experience gained from the Hugoton project, in the US state of Kansas, which uses agricultural waste as a feedstock.