Saudi's ACWA opens $328m South Africa solar plant

The 1,300MW Bokpoort plant is the first in a series of investments ACWA is eyeing in South Africa, which include a 100MW solar facility and a 300MW coal-fired plant

ACWA is eyeing investments in South Africa's solar power sector. [Representational image]
ACWA is eyeing investments in South Africa's solar power sector. [Representational image]

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power launched a $328m (SAR1.2bn) solar power plant in South Africa earlier this week. 

The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in South Africa's Northern Cape province was developed by a consortium led by ACWA Power.

The plant is set to provide 1,300 megawatts (MW) per hour, powering more than 200,000 homes, Reuters Africa reported. 

Construction of the plant began in 2013, following a successful bid by ACWA Power, as part of South Africa's plan to expand the use of renewable energy.

The development, it is hoped, will fulfill energy requirements in South Africa, plagued by "chronic" power shortages as state-owned utility provider Eskom faces a cash crunch. 

Weather conditions in South Africa make it a key market of interest for developers of solar power, with the country's government encouraging these initiatives, as it looks to harness alternative sources of electricity. 

According to the report, Bokpoort CSP plant is the first in a series of investments that ACWA Power is making in the power sector in South Africa. 

The company expects to commence construction on the 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power project, also in Northern Cape, later this year and is awaiting the outcome of tender submissions for a 300 MW coal-fired plant in Mpumalanga province in eastern South Africa.

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