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Saudi firm in landmark South African solar project

ACWA Power International in consortium to build Bokpoort CSP project

The Bokpoort area in South Africa, 600km west of Johannesburg.
The Bokpoort area in South Africa, 600km west of Johannesburg.

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A consortium led by ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), the Riyadh-based water and power giant of Saudi Arabia, has been announced as preferred bidder to develop the Bokpoort independent power project (IPP) in the Northern Cape, 600km west of Johannesburg.

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, said: “We are proud to enter our fourth international market and first market in the continent of Africa.

“Today we own majority stakes in fully operational assets in Oman and Jordan, and a project under advance development in Turkey, in addition to our assets in Saudi Arabia,” said Padmanathan.

“Bookpoort is a milestone in the company's history, and takes ACWA Power further afield into the Southern Africa, which we see as a strategic growth market, in addition to North Africa."

The project will generate power by using concentrated solar power (CSP) parabolic trough technology. ACWA Power is lead developer, with Solafrica Thermal Energy as co-developer.

Bokpoort will have the largest thermal storage size ever adopted for a similar operational size. It will be among the most efficient solar plants in the world operating in this class of capacity and technology, yielding a record high generation in excess of 200GWh/year to support the power grid of South Africa.

Bokpoort is a greenfield IPP to be developed as part of South Africa's renewable IPP programme. The project will be developed on a BOO (build, own, operate) basis, with a total power-generating capacity of 50MWe net power output.

The consortium has selected an EPC consortium comprising TSK Electrónica Y Electricidad, AccionaInfrastructuras, AccionaIngeniería, SenerIngeniería y Sistemas, all of Spain, and Crowie Concessions of South Africa, for construction of the plant, with 40% local procurement.

The operation and maintenance will be undertaken by the NOMAC-led consortium, a subsidiary of ACWA Power.

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019