100 MW Gas Power Plant at SA Border nears Completion

While South Africa’s Power Station Building Sites are still under strike and delayed by almost five years, neighbour Mocambique shows how it is done: Great progress is being made with the construction of a 100 MW natural gas fired power station at Ressano Garcia, on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. The first of 13 power generation sets arrived at Gigawatt Park in Ressano Garcia, the Mozambican border town, on April 13 2015. Each generating set consists of a 20 cylinder natural gas fuelled Rolls Royce engine manufactured at the Bergen factory in Norway and an ABB generator. Shipment of the 13 sets from Norway to Richards Bay in South Africa was completed in March and is now being transported by road to Mozambique.

Civil construction of the US$ 200m (ZAR 2.24bn) project started in August 2014 with the foundations for the engines being completed in March 2015. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is executed by a consortium of WBHO and PB Power with TSK as the main sub-contractor. The construction of the power station is on schedule and within budget and it should be in full production before the end of 2015.

Johan de Vos, CEO of Gigajoule International, based in Centurion, said the power station is a great example of the huge potential of natural gas as feedstock for power generation in southern Africa. “Natural gas has proven to be the least damaging to the environment of all fossil fuel based energy sources and it is by far more cost-effective and energy efficient than any of its counterparts, coal, oil and diesel,” said De Vos. “The short lead time and ease of construction of gas fired power stations make them ideal to help solve the energy crisis that South Africa faces – in the short medium and long-term.” De Vos said the massive natural gas reserves now discovered in northern Mozambique has the potential to meet all the energy needs of South Africa in the long-term.

Gigawatt Mozambique will supply the power to EDM (the Mozambican power utility) under a long term PPA and natural gas will be delivered by Matola Gas Company, who is currently providing gas to more than 30 industries and 3 temporary gas-fired power stations in Mozambique. The plant can supply electricity to the equivalent of 250 000 households and will make a substantial contribution to the Mozambican power supply capacity.

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