Oct 30, 2009
First unit of Free State hydropower plant launchedBack
Construction|Engineering|Eskom|Hydropower|NuPlanet MD Anton-Louis Olivier|PROJECT|Stalkraft AS|Sol Plaatje Dam|Electricity|Electricity Grid|Energy|Power Generation|Power-generation|Project Energy Development|Olivier|Power|R100
© Reuse this
Project energy development company NuPlanet MD Anton-Louis Olivier said that the first 3-MW unit at the at the Sol Plaatje Dam had been commissioned, with the second 4-MW unit on private land between Bethlehem and Clarens to be commissioned in April, when Eskom finished the site's interconnection to the national electricity grid.
Olivier told Engineering News Online that it was exciting for the company to get its first unit running and to be able to prove that its concepts work.
The opportunity to develop the hydropower project was first identified in 1999, with development having started in 2001. The project was brought to a financial close in August 2005, and in December 2006, construction started at the two sites.
The project has experienced many delays from an initial commissioning date of February 2008, with cost also increasing from an initially estimated R77-million.
The first power was already being delivered to the nearby Dihlabeng Local Municipality, with the first unit to generate 28GWh/yr of power. Once the second unit came on stream, power generation would increase to 40GWh/y, said Olivier.
Bethlehem Hydro would curb about 33 000 t/y of carbon dioxide, with carbon credits to be sold to a Norwegian State-owned electricity company Stalkraft AS, which had signed a long-term offtake agreement with NuPlanet.
Olivier said that the first carbon credits would be sold to Stalkraft early in 2010.
The launch, on Friday, was crowning a lot of hard work, but was also setting the stage for plenty of future growth, Olivier added.
NuPlanet has identified three more sites next to the As river, the same river along which the other two sites were being established, with the potential to produce an additional 12 MW of hydropower.
Feasibility studies were currently under way, with construction expected to start by the end of 2010 and the first power to come on stream by mid-2012.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.