Saudi ACWA Eyes South African Power Project

Saudi ACWA Eyes South African Power Project

Saudi-based ACWA Power’s CEO, Paddy Padmanathan, expects to win further business in South Africa this year as the power plant developer rides out concerns about the country’s currency to tap into its need for more electricity, Reuters reported.

The South African government plans to improve power supply, yet the challenges faced by the currency such as the increased construction costs, and free conversion of rand into dollars in the future, remain present, Arabian Business wrote.

South Africa’s economy has been stricken by a significant fall in the rand’s value against the dollar. Businesses have faced power shortages as state utility Eskom was forced to cut some supplies.

Despite all the barriers, Padmanathan is optimistic about the project as these are long-term investments with continual funding from local banks to back them.

ACWA aims to close financing for the 100 MW Redstone Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) thermal plant in July, the same month as it expects to be awarded two further building contracts for the 300 MW Khanyisa coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga province, and the 125 MW Solis 1 thermal solar plant in Northern Cape province. While the Khanyisa plant is estimated to cost around $600m, investments in the Solis 1 plant, which the firm hopes to close by the end of 2016, will likely amount to $1b.


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