Oct 30, 2009
First unit of Free State hydropower plant launchedBack
© 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
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in 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...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.