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South Africa

South Africa

South Africa postpones REIPPP prog

SOUTH AFRICA: Financial close for projects selected under the third round of South Africa's renewable energy independent power producers programme (REIPPP) has been postponed from 30 July to end November, energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced on Monday.

A turbine being installed at the Jeffreys Bay project in South Africa
A turbine being installed at the Jeffreys Bay project in South Africa

Joemat-Pettersson said the delay is because of the volatility of the rand and to allow utility Eskom more time to prepare for the grid connections.

The closing date for bids under round four remains 18 August, with 590MW up for tender. However, plans to select additional projects under round three have been cancelled, due to Eskom's funding problems.

As the country's supply chain continues to grow, steel producer Arcelor Mittal South Africa (AMSA) plans to upgrade its steel mill at Vanderbijlpark, near Johannesburg, to produce heavy plates of up to 11 tonnes suitable for wind towers.

The work should be completed by the end of the year, with production to start early 2015. The upgrade will allow AMSA to increase its output and reduce the need to import heavy plates, the company said.

AMSA expects to supply the plates to DCD Wind Towers, which opened its factory in March, and Gestamp Renewable Industries, which should commission its tower factory by the end of the year.

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