About 70% of utility-scale renewable energy projects undertaken under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme in South Africa to date have seen the involvement of engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon, according to Paul Nel, Energy Lead for Africa. The company is currently in the process of rebranding as Zutari, after officially announcing the separation of the African business from the Aurecon Group, effective from 1 January 2020.

Lesedi, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm that evolved from Intens Engineering, founded in the mid-1980s, is today a leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company that has successfully completed key projects in the nuclear, industrial power, mining and oil and gas environments. The company has been involved with maintenance and services at South Africa’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station from its inception. Since 2001, Lesedi has executed over 150 modifications at Koeberg and is currently engaged with the plant life extension (+20 years) through the replacement of steam generators and the water storage tanks as well as other modifications.

As world leaders gathered in Madrid, Spain, for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in December last year (2019), in South Africa the contractors and project partners involved in the development of Ilanga 1, the concentrated solar power plant that forms part of Karoshoek Solar Valley Park near Upington in the Northern Cape, celebrated the first anniversary of the plant’s operation – supplying clean energy to the national grid.

Technology group Wärtsilä recently announced the first order of its new Modular Block power generation solution – and the first signed in terms of its partnership agreement with Aggreko, UK-based global provider of mobile, modular power, temperature control and energy services. This will see four Wärtsilä Modular Block enclosures, each with one medium-speed Wärtsilä 32 engine, delivered to Resolute Mining’s Syama gold mine in Mali, to deliver 40 MW of power, off-grid.

Eskom supplies 95% of South Africa’s electricity and as the national utility battles its own instability, power shortages and policy uncertainty remain a continuing threat to business and economic growth in the country. It remains to be seen how the newly appointed CEO, Andre de Ruyter, can work with government (as the sole shareholder) and his colleagues to stabilise the energy provider. One thing is certain, power will not be getting any cheaper. Solar power has now become a viable, if not an essential option for business as capital investment costs decrease and solar providers compete to offer solutions.

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