Commercial operation has started at the 335 MW Dedisa Peaking Power project, in the Coega industrial development zone, in Port Elizabeth.
The R3.5-billion project was originated by the Department of Energy (DoE), with the build, own and operate contract awarded to a consortium comprising ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez), Legend Power Solutions, Mitsui & Co and the Peaker Trust, acting on behalf of the local community. Together with the R6-billion 670 MW Avon project, near Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, Dedisa was South Africa’s first large-scale independent power project originated by the DoE. The power generated by the two open-cycle gas turbine power plants would be sold to State-owned utility Eskom under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The plants were located adjacent to existing high-voltage Eskom substations, with the electricity being fed into the transmission system at 275 kV and 400 kV respectively. A consortium led by Ansaldo Energia and Fata of Italy started construction on the Dedisa plant in September 2013. It had been a major source of local employment, with a peak of 1 400 workers on site in November 2014, with 70% of the total workforce employed to build the facility originating from the local communities, with 57% black management and in excess of 2.3% of payroll spent on skills development initiatives. The operation of the plant would also create permanent direct and indirect jobs for the local community. The Peaker Trust, which owned 10% of Dedisa, would use dividends it receives from the plant operations to fund socioeconomic development initiatives. “We owe our success to a solid partnership, strong support from local and national authorities and highly motivated teams,” commented Dedisa Peaking Power CEO Arnaud de Limburg. “Looking ahead, I am confident that in the frame of South Africa’s Gas Utilisation Master Plan, we will be able to convert the Dedisa facility to baseload and combined cycle, as envisaged by the DoE,” he added.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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