Bids Listed to Plug South Africa’s Power Generation Shortage

South Africa’s program to narrow a shortage of as much as 3,000 megawatts of electricity generation has drawn interest from solar, gas and powership developers.

Richards Bay Gas Power 2, Scatec Solar SA and Karpowership SA are among firms listed as bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers’ Procurement Programme on the website of the Independent Power Producer office.

The power utility of the most industrialized nation on the continent, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., has a poorly maintained generation fleet that struggles to meet demand, resulting in electricity rationing that has dented the economy. The emergency program, designed to bring projects online in the shortest possible time, is part of a government effort to bolster the grid.

The list of 28 bidders on Dec. 22 includes the project number, name and company. South Africa earlier this year revoked an environmental exemption granted to Karpowership because the company that generates electricity from vessels moored offshore failed to fully disclose its reasons for the application.

While the program seeks 2,000 megawatts of capacity from a range of energy sources -- a shortfall indicated by South Africa’s national energy plan -- Eskom said the gap had grown to at least 3,000 megawatts, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said in a request for information last year.

The program expects to announce preferred bidders by February 2021 and financial close of the projects by June. It anticipates the projects to be operational by June 2022.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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