Construction time again

Siemens has secured a €230 million order to supply seven gas turbines to the first power plants to be built in South Africa for 15 years.

For the first time in 15 years two new power plants are now to be built in South Africa to meet the country’s increasing electricity demand.

Siemens Power Generation (PG) will supply seven gas turbines for these plants to the South African utility ESKOM. The value of the order for PG is approximately €230 million. The emissions from the two power plants will be lower than that required by the World Bank standards. The construction of further new power plants is anticipated in the next few years.

Around half of South Africa’s installed capacity of 40,000 MW was built in the 1980s. ESKOM, Africa’s largest utility, meets the majority of South Africa’s power demand. Up to now, the country has had overcapacities since the additional capacity exceeded the actual demand. As a result of the significant upturn in South Africa’s economy the surplus capacity has been exhausted. The power demand has in recent years increased on average by between four and six percent per annum.

Especially in the peak-load sector ESKOM is anticipating capacity bottlenecks in the short term. More and more households are being connected to the grid and peak-load demand is increasing further. Against this backdrop the company decided to build two liquid fuel-fired power plants which, following commissioning as early as April 2007, will supply power to meet peak-load demand.

In the Atlantis industrial park, located 20 kilometres north of Cape Town, four power plant units each rated at 150 MW will be built. The plant in MosselBay, some 400 kilometres east of Cape Town on South Africa’s southern seaboard, will comprise three units each rated at 150 MW. Siemens will supply a total of seven gas turbines for these plants including the ancillary systems and the associated transformers.

“A key factor for the contract award to Siemens was that we were able to offer a highly reliable, high-availability gas turbine designed for operation with liquid fuel,” stated Klaus Voges, president of Siemens Power Generation. “In the next few years additional power plants with a combined capacity between 1,000 and 2,000 MW will have to be built annually in South Africa to meet the increased power demand. Here, we see major opportunities,” said Voges.