Powership off the coast of Sierra Leone. Credit Karpowership SA

Karpowership SA (KPSA) has welcomed the announcement made by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) appointing KPSA as a preferred bidder for projects in the Ports of Coega, Saldanha and Richards Bay.

The 49% Black-owned group will provide power to South Africa’s national electricity grid under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).

Preferred Bidders have been selected through an open, highly regulated and transparent bid process determined by the DMRE.

The ideal solutions for this bid were hybrid renewable options and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Power proposals, due to the nature of the bid and the needs of the South African population. The KPSA bid offers low-cost electricity generation, supported by a clean thermal energy solution using LNG, said the company in a statement.

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KPSA has committed to a comprehensive Economic Development Plan that will provide socio-economic uplift to local communities where it operates through job creation, skills development and local supplier procurement.

The company said: “Karpowership SA will benefit from the global alliance of its parents with well-established and reputable brands such as Shell as our exclusive LNG supplier, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) from Japan, a world leader in LNG shipping industry, KPSA can assure a smooth transition to efficient and reliable electricity in South Africa at the most competitive cost.”

Powership technology

KPSA explained that the powership technology is a fully self-contained floating power station that operates on regasified LNG, together with specialised floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) for the LNG.

Powership technology can contribute to the avoidance of loadshedding during peak periods and when unplanned breakdowns occur at other power plants in the system, states KPSA.

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According to the company, the technology is a cost-effective way to procure and deliver reliable electricity with inherent additional benefits to the grid system. “Using LNG, powerships generate electricity at an affordable all-inclusive delivered cost, which includes all capital costs such as fuel, equipment, as well as all operational and maintenance costs.”

As part of our commitment to the South African government’s just energy transition, KPSA has committed to ensure that at least 65% of our workforce will be South African, employed from local communities. Our comprehensive Economic Development Plan is weighted towards long-term jobs, skills development, and economic upliftment in local communities at each of the three ports where Powerships will be stationed.