Power purchase agreements (PPAs) arising from the much-delayed Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) will be signed on June 2, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) revealed on Tuesday.
The DMRE did not indicate whether all 11 projects would be signed, saying only that the signing ceremony would be held in Centurion and would be presided over by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
The programme has become controversial largely because of the prominent position of three powership projects and partly because of its design, which not only favoured gas-to-power, but also because it will tie consumers into expensive contracts for the coming 20 years.
A signing ceremony had initially been scheduled for the end of March, following three prior postponements.
In February, Mantashe indicated that not all of the 11 RMIPPPP preferred bidders would be in a position to conclude PPAs, but that was ahead of two more delays to the financial-close deadline.
The IPP Office has obtained a legal opinion stating that the non-Karpowership projects are not affected by the decision of the court to grant losing bidder DNG Energy leave to appeal a judgment setting aside its corruption allegations.
“There is also no interdict saying that the bidders cannot sign because of the court case,” IPP Office head Bernard Magoro told Engineering News in a recent interview.
Beside the DNG Energy appeal, the Karpowership projects have also faced difficulties in securing environmental authorisation and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has filed an application for the review and setting aside of the decisions by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to grant the three projects generation licences.