South Africa

South Africa

South African company to manufacture multi-megawatt turbines

SOUTH AFRICA: Cape Town wind power company Isivunguvungu Wind Energy Converter (I-WEC) looks set to become the first company in South Africa capable of producing locally made multi-megawatt turbines.

I-WEC...about to manufacture multi-MW turbines in South Africa
I-WEC...about to manufacture multi-MW turbines in South Africa
The 2.5MW machine will be manufactured under licence from German engineering consultancy Aerodyn Energiesysteme, with up to 70% of the turbine's components sourced locally, the company said.

On Thursday, I-WEC installed a 40-ton mould, imported from China, for making 50-meter long blades at its facility beside Cape Town harbour.

Production of the first turbine will start immediately, with the aim of erecting near the port of Saldanha, north of Cape Town, early next year.

The company, which is 66% owned by South African heavy engineering giant DCD-Dorbyl, is also in the process of establishing a factory at Saldanha.

It hopes to produce 50 units in the first year and eventually ramp up to 200 units a year, supplying both local and export markets.

At the same time, it expects to create up to 100 direct jobs over the next two years and around 400 direct jobs in 2016, depending on market conditions.

"Our efforts in setting up a local turbine manufacturing facility, associated with the creation of sustainable jobs and skills development, ... contributes to a large extent to the growth and development of the renewable energy sector in South Africa and Africa," said I-WEC financial manager Thomas Schaal.

After months of uncertainty, the South African government launched a competitive tender for up to 1.85GW of wind last July.

Bids will be assessed on black economic empowerment, community development and local economic and manufacturing propositions, as well as price.

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