25MW biomass plant to be built in South Africa
An EPC contractor has been appointed to construct a 25MW biomass plant as part of the South African Government’s recently signed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
Working as a consortium, ELB Engineering Services, KC Cottrell and the ELB Educational Trust have been appointed to construct the new facility by Ngodwana Energy. The biomass power plant will be built alongside the Sappi Ngodwana Mill in Mpumalanga, in the Mpumalanga Province.
According to a statement from ELB Engineering Services, the biomass power plant will use waste material from the surrounding plantations to generate power to feed into the national grid.
The consortium has been working with Ngodwana Energy since mid-2014 and has had design documents approved by all stakeholders.
“The Consortium is honoured to have been appointed as the EPC contractor to supply the power plant for this project, which we believe will become a reference biomass plant for Africa. With our international technology partners we will supply a power plant aligned with the specific requirements of Ngodwana Energy for the South African environment,” said ELB CEO, Dr. Stephen Meijers, in a statement from the company.
The project will take 27 months for construction and commission.
Reducing coal dependence in South Africa
The REIPPP is designed to reduce South Africa’s dependence on coal-fired power by encouraging private investment to develop the renewable energy sector.
Companies bid for funding through the programme, with selection being based on pricing, as well as ‘job creation, local content and black economic empowerment.’
South African Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe recently announced the signing of agreements for 27 projects procured under the REIPPP. According to Radebe, it marked the biggest procurement for the project to date, representing a total of R56 billion investment and around 2300MW of generation capacity to added to the grid over the next five years.