West Coast wind farm fully operational
A statement from Aurora, a joint venture between Engie (formerly GDF Suez) of France; Investec Bank and Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH), said the project is part of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme through which South Africa intends to procure 3,625MW of renewable energy by the end of 2016 to reduce its reliance on coal and contribute to carbon emission reduction objectives.
The statement, issued on Tuesday, said West Coast 1 would allow for an offset of an estimated 5.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxode over the 20-year duration of its power purchase agreement.
Engie holds a 43% equity stake in the project, while Investec holds 34.5% and KTH, a leading black-owned and managed investment holding company in Africa, 20%. The remaining 2.5% has been allocated to a community trust for the purpose of developing and sustaining the surrounding community.
Danish manufacturer Vestas supplied the 47 2MW wind turbines, and will also be charged with the long-term service of the facility.
The construction of West Coast 1, which started in June 2013, created more than 600 jobs, 450 of which in surrounding communities. Operation of the wind farm would create permanent jobs for these communities over the 20 years of the PPA. Aurora said the achievements of the project in terms of job creation and local content purchase had exceeded targets agreed with the South African government. Aurora Wind Power said it had also signed a long-term agreement with Valued Citizens Initiative, an organsiation that provides academic and social justice support programmes, for the implementation of a life skills development programme in public schools in Saldanha Bay.
Tristan Bosser, chief executive of Aurora Wind Power, said he was proud that the project, which had been delivered on time, could report zero working accidents during a two-year period, “a notable achievement of which we are extremely proud”.
“I’m proud that we have attained our goal with the utmost respect for our economic development objectives and that we have been able to engage with the local communities, notably through our long-term partnership with the Valued Citizen Initiative.”
Fazel Moosa, head of project and infrastructure finance at Investec, said: “Investec’s participation as a debt and equity provider demonstrates its commitment to supporting the South African government’s dual objectives of establishing environmentally sustainable forms of energy generation and contributing to local economic development.”
Kgaugelo Kgomari, director of investments at KTH, added: “We are proud to be one of the drivers of the development of clean energy sources for South Africa whilst ensuring that there is impactful economic development opportunities for the local communities.”
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