VENTURES AFRICA- South African coal producer, Exxaro Resources has partnered with France’s GDF SUEZ in a joint venture – to build a 600 Megawatts coal-fired power station in Waterberg region, Northern Limpopo, South Africa.
This is in line with South Africa’s quest to install additional electricity generation capacity in the near future due to the combination of low reserve margin and growing electricity demand.
In December 2012, South Africa’s Minister for DoE issued a ”Determination” in which it allocated 2500 MW of coal baseload power in accordance with the country’s future energy supply between 2014 and 2024.
By building its own generator, Exxaro can ensure it has electricity to operate even as state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd struggles to meet up with demands in Africa’s biggest economy.
Exxaro Resource CEO, Sopho Nkosi said the company has taken advantage of the opportunities provided from the current regulatory development in South Africa’s mineral and energy sector to develop a coal mine that can supply new power generation capacity.
The 600MW coal-fired plant will be in the same district as Grootegeluk – the Exxaro mine that is due to supply coal to Eskom’s 4,750MW Medupi power station.
It will receive coal from a prospective new opencast mine that will produce 3.8m tonnes a year.
The capacity of the power station to be located next to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine may expand to 1200 MWs depending on the availability of water and grid constraints.
Exxaro and GDF SUEZ, who are both leaders in their respective field, will work together to impact positively on the baseload power generation capacity.