Construction on the 50 MWe Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant project in the Northern Cape started after reaching financial close in June, a consortium led by Saudi-based electricity and desalinated water producer, Acwa Power International, said on Friday.
The R5-billion power project, being built near Grobblershoop, forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and is one of the 19 preferred bidders selected under the second window.
Acwa said Bokpoort would power about 21 000 households, saving an estimated 230 000 t/y of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. The plant would have thermal storage capacity of 9.3 hours, enabling it to yield record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/y.
The project promised to create 900 jobs during the peak construction period, generate $2-million additional investments a year, and create 60 permanent jobs during the operational life of the power facility.
State-owned power utility Eskom is the offtaker of the electricity, while mandated lead arrangers Investec Bank and Absa Bank, together with Old Mutual Specialised Finance are providing the senior debt funding requirements of the project.
A Spain-based engineering, procurement and construction contractor consortium comprising TSK Electrónica y Electricidad; Acciona Infrastructuras; Acciona Ingeniería and Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas, along with South Africa-based Crowie Concessions will undertake the construction activities, while Acwa Power and Invest In Africa Energy Services joint venture Nomac will operate and maintain the plant.
The Acwa Power-led consortium includes South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation; Lereko Solafrica Investment; Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1; Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund; Kurisani Solafrica Investments; and Solafrica Community Investment Company.