Responses to the RFI should be submitted by 12:00 on March 26, 2012.
A similar request was issued in October 2010 for renewable energy projects and the information was later used by the DoE and the National Treasury to inform the framework adopted for the renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme, under which government would procure an initial 3 725 MW of capacity by 2016. The second bid window for the programme closed on March 5.
The new RFI was intended to “generate information to assess the projects of potential developers, as well as the readiness of the market to enter into intensive procurement and fast-track negotiation processes”.
The results would also be used as the basis for the development of an IPP procurement process. But the decision on the detail and timing of any request for proposals (RFP) would depend on the information provided in response to the RFI.
A decision on how government might proceed was expected during May and transaction advisers should be appointed by June. These advisers would have until September to prepare the procurement documentation, which would then be released into the market.
But prior to releasing any procurement documentation, a Ministerial determination, in line with Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act, would be made regarding the buyer and the applicable technologies to be procured.
Currently, the government expected the RFP submission deadline to be in December.
“The intention, as stipulated in the policy documents of the government, is to allow meaningful private sector participation in the energy sector,” the RFI documentation stressed.