With the current state of the power and energy market, SMEC South Africa recently introduced a new addition to its functional groups, the Power and Energy division. SMEC functional head of Power and Energy, Andre van der Walt, says, “The medium-term outlook for the sector is promising with significant infrastructure capital spend on the cards.”

Speaking on infrastructure development within South Africa, van der Walt says, “The key to unlocking the infrastructure expenditure lies with the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission’s ability to enable the roll out of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP). The NIP, which was adopted in 2012, intends to transform the economic landscape while simultaneously creating a significant number of new jobs and strengthening the delivery of basic services.”

Currently, SMEC Power and Energy is involved in two significant South African energy projects. The larger of the two projects is being developed by a local developer for submission in Round 4 of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). On completion, the project will provide power to more than 13,000 mid-income households.

“In addition, we are working on a community electrification project in the Mogalakwena Municipal area, in the Limpopo province, whereby we will be providing our services to ultimately supply some 1,440 household with electricity. We are currently in the design phase of the project and need to investigate the best electrification options for the community,” van der Walt says.

SMEC Power and Energy’s technical and consulting engineering expertise are mainly focused on servicing the transmission &distribution, hydropower, renewables and industrial sectors within Africa. “Our transmission and distribution business is the most active of our market sectors given the huge need for expansion and refurbishment of the power supply network in South Africa – mainly through Eskom and municipal authorities.

“Our medium-term target is to grow the business by approximately 20% per year for the next three years. We believe that we are taking a realistic, aggressive approach to growing the new division,” he concludes.

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