Bids roll in for R70bn renewable energy plan

Fifty three bids have been received from independent electricity producers for the construction of renewable energy sources, an energy department official said on Monday.

“There has been significant interest from international investors,” deputy director general director Ompi Aphane told reporters in Pretoria.

“The bidders are, however, required to comply with different thresholds for BBE [broad based economic] ownership, job creation, preferential procurement and socio-economic development.”

The 53 bids were worth a total of R70-billion and represented 2 100 megawatts of electricity—50% from wind, 48% from solar and 2% from hydro sources. Officials would not elaborate on the bidders’ details.

Aphane said that given the South African environment, it had been expected that wind and solar proposals would dominate.

The outcome of the evaluation process will be announced later this month or early next month at the COP17 summit in Durban.

He said the bids were now being evaluated by legal, financial, technical and economic development teams.

“Each and every aspect of each bid is receiving special attention. The scoring is divided into 70% price and 30% economic development.”

Director general Nelisiwe Magubane said the department had requested exemption from the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act to maximise local content in the proposals.

She said all the companies bidding needed 40% South African participation and a minimum of level five in terms of the broad-based black economic empowerment policy.

Renewable sources
“These are our strides as a country to incubate the utilisation of renewable energy in the region. We have opportunities to harness clean, renewable power moving forward.”

Magubane said that apart from bringing direct foreign investment, the plan would stimulate local manufacturing and boost job creation across sectors like construction and engineering.

The department has adopted an integrated resource plan with a 42% target for electricity generation from renewable sources.

On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding aimed at starting the development of large scale power generation in sub-Saharan Africa.

The memorandum, signed in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had a particular focus on hydro power resources.—Sapa

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