In South Africa, work on the Kathu solar thermal park in the Northern Cape is progressing well, according to an energy consortium led by French multinational electric utility GDF Suez, engineering and construction group Sener and Spanish conglomerate Acciona.
The solar thermal plant, which is part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP) with an estimated investment over $533 million, will have a generation capacity of 100MW.
Equipped with parabolic troughs and a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours, the plant is set to begin operation in 2018, with the ability to generate enough power to electrify 80,000 households.
The EPC contractors – Acciona and Sener – will use local suppliers, as the project is fully committed to contributing to the local community, Acciona said in a statement.
Bokpoort CSP plant
In 2013, both Acciona and Sener were also signed on as the EPC contractors for the 50MW Bokpoort CSP plant in the Northern Cape.
Bokpoort was awarded to Saudi ACWA Power in round two of the REIPPP programme, which successfully reached financial close in Q3 2013.
International business law and litigation company Fasken Martineau announced in Q1 2014 that the CSP plant was recognised as the African Renewable Deal of the year 2013 by Project Finance International.
Project Finance International tracks activity across all sectors on a global scale. The Bokpoort CSP financing project took top spot over more than 30 renewable projects from across the African continent that also closed in 2013, ESI reported.