With unreliable and peaking electricity prices still posing major challenges in South Africa, generators continue to be in demand, says power generation provider Aggreko area GM Riaan du Toit.
“Sectors such as mining, food and beverage and manufacturing already depend on good generator solutions, as they cannot afford any downtime when it comes to their operations. Therefore, generators have become even more vital for the economy to be able to grow.”
Even with fewer interruptions from State-owned power utility Eskom, some sectors are required to always have back-up power.
Du Toit highlights that Aggreko aims to ensure that customer requirements and contractual obligations are met throughout the period in which the customer is making use of the genset.
“Beyond that, we are firm believers in building positive and long-term partnerships with our customers, and their satisfaction is our utmost priority. We are ready to work with our customers to support them in these various phases.”
Further, companies are constantly weighing their options – such as the costs of self-generation or entering into an agreement with temporary power solution suppliers to provide power through a power purchase agreement – amid the electricity challenges.
Du Toit elaborates that customers representing larger projects increasingly need partners that can help them navigate the energy transition.
“This is a period where they do not want to invest in assets that may become obsolete because of lower-emission and -cost alternatives in the near future, but they want to retain the reliability and agility that traditional thermal solutions provide for their business.”
Du Toit notes that, although cost and environmental factors do play key roles in the decision-making process, reliability and power supply consistency will always be central, he adds.
Projects in Progress
Aggreko is commissioning temporary power for an onshore liquefied natural gas processing facility – scheduled for completion in December 2024 – with an oil major in Afungi, Mozambique.
The company will provide power for the temporary camp construction to house workers and provide power for the permanent camp after it has been constructed.
Aggreko is the only provider of power sources through its modular 1 250 kVA containerised units and a variety of small standalone canopy units.
It is also providing standalone power for mining company Kenmare, in Mozambique.
Aggreko has installed 9.4 MW to provide essential standby power, and power for the critical loads of the plant when the grid is not available. It has installed its 1 250 kVA modular-containerised diesel generators, with the associated ancillaries, as the power generation solution.
The estimated completion date for this project is February 2021.
Further, Aggreko has installed 6.25 MVA for the construction of a major new brewery outside Maputo, also in Mozambique, while the brewery awaits connection to the national grid. Aggreko has also used its fuel-efficient 1 250 kVA diesel generators for this project, set for completion in March 2021.