The Department of Energy of the Republic of South Africa has selected a project headed by the Saudi company Acwa Power as the preferred bidder to develop the 50-MW Bokpoort CSP plant near the city of Upington. The group of companies participating in the contract will include a consortium as its EPC contractor (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), which will consist of Sener, Acciona, Crowie and TSK responsible for the construction works, commissioning and start-up of the power plant.
The Bokpoort CSP plant will be located near the city of Upington, in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. The location of the plant in the vicinity of the Kalahari Desert will take advantage of the magnificent solar and environmental conditions of the remote area. The facility will boast Senertrough parabolic troughs, a system developed and patented by Sener, and it will use a nine-hour molten salt heat storage system, similar to a system Sener has applied in 14 CSP plants, half of which are already in commercial operation.
It will take 30 months to build and commission the plant, with an approximate cost of €300 million. A project of this magnitude represents a challenge for the EPC Consortium, made up of three Spanish companies (Sener, Acciona and TSK) and the South African company Crowie. “The experience of the companies which make up the EPC constructor consortium both in CSP plants and electricity generation facilities in general ensures the project will be a success,” says Sener, a member of the winning EPC consortium.
Acwa Power, as the ‘Preferred Bidder’ will be responsible for securing the project's financing from private financial institutions upon receiving approval and a guarantee of the energy's sale to the South African government at a fixed rate over 20 years, a process that is already in its latter stages, with no foreseeable impediments. This process is expected to last three months, after which construction work may begin. Acwa Power has South African partners who can finance the project, including Solafrica and the government body, IDC.
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