Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy announced eight bidders in the emergency risk mitigation programme of the government to the media. This will enhance independent power providers to supplement the electricity produced by Eskom, the sole national supplier.
It is known that the state-owned Eskom is in a severe financial crisis. The electricity utility is dependent on coal and diesel. This has resulted in increased power outages across the country in the last decade. Thus the ministry decided to involve vendors in supplying electricity and they were selected based on a bidding process that began in August 2020.
This emergency plan features Turkey-based Karpowership SA – Karadeniz’s subsidiary to dock three mega-ships that produce electricity from gas at the Coega, Richards Bay and Saldanha industrial hubs. Karadeniz transforms old cargo carrier ships into floating power ships that sail and dock in areas that need electricity. The onboard substation produces electricity and feeds it directly to the country’s power grid system.
Mantashe addressed the media and said, “The solutions provided by these preferred bidders are from a combination of technologies that include solar, wind, liquified natural gas and battery storage. South African entity participation from these projects is 51 percent with black ownership at 41 percent. About 3,800 job opportunities will be created during the 18-month construction period and a further 13,500 during the 20-year Powe Purchase Agreement term.”
The eight selected projects will feed a total private sector investment of $3.08 billion into the South African economy and an average local content of 50 percent during the construction period.