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Newly appointed Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has ended the delay in the signing of new Independent Power Producer (IPP) agreements, with 27 projects having been given the go-ahead. The majority of these are wind projects.

27 new IPP agreements signed

According to Radebe, investments worth about R56-billion will flow into the energy sector as a result of the projects. Speaking in Parliament, he told MPs that the total infrastructure investment in the 64 current signed IPP projects amounted to R142-billion. This, however, excluded investments of more than R120-billion as a result of unsigned or unannounced projects.

The 64 signed projects are those with a contractual obligation to construct, said Ngobeni, adding that an additional R59.8bn infrastructure investment would be derived from the 27 projects in bid window 3.5 and 4 that have not been signed, as well as from the 20 small projects in the bid window 1 and 2, which are also still to be signed.

The 48 projects that have been procured and announced but not signed will generate 2 421MW, the minister said, with the infrastructure investment from the 19 procured but unannounced projects totalling 1 775MW in the expedited bid window. These are expected to be worth R63.4-billion. Additional investment of R40.4bn would be derived from the two projects under the coal bid window 1, which was also still to be signed, he told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on energy.

The latest agreements have been hailed by various industry bodies. The SA Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga) issued a statement welcoming the unlocking of stalled IPP investments, calling the move by Minister Radebe “encouraging”.

Radebe also announced steps towards the implementation of a gas IPP programme. He said he had asked the Department of Energy and the IPP Office to facilitate the initiatives towards the development of a gas market, “while exploring both indigenous and imported resources, as well as the related investment in infrastructure, particularly in collaboration with our neighbouring countries in eastern and southern Africa".

Saoga CEO Niall Kramer said this was “a clear signal of coming action”, adding that from the conclusion of the contracts, the gas projects could start producing power in between four to eight years. That would allow for terminal building, pipeline construction and power plant development.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/governmentza/27320300994

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