14 January 2008 – AES Khanya, a consortium made up of US company AES and South African partners Tiso Energy, Mbane Power and the Kurisani Trust, is likely to start construction on two open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power stations in February.
One of the two power plants will have an installed capacity of 750MW and will be built in Avon, KwaZulu-Natal, while the other, with a capacity of 330MW, will be built at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape. Construction, financing, design, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the plants are likely to be undertaken by the consortium.
Significant delays with reaching financial closure and a record of decision pushed construction back from late 2007 to early 2008.
"Construction is set to start after the financial close, which was delayed by a month, but the power stations are still on track for commercial operation by the end of 2009," confirmed Ompi Aphane, chief director for electricity, Department of Minerals and Energy.
"From the AES consortium side, I think we are on good track to finalise all closing of documentation to be able to start construction at the end of February. We don’t see any key obstacles or challenges, especially now that the site issues and appeal issues will be resolved and finally documented," AES energy project manager Michael Steiner told Engineering News.
Foreign direct investment accounts for US$114 000 million of the estimated cost of the OCGTs and this is the first significant greenfield IPP project in South Africa.