A consortium led by ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), the leading Saudi electricity and desalinated water producer, and including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa (representing the Government Employees Pension Fund), Lereko Solafrica Investment, Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, Kurisani Solafrica Investments (representing the National NGO Lovelife) and Solafrica Community Investment Company confirmed the completion of financing and commencement of construction of the BOKPOORT Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project (IPP) located in Northern Cape Province, 600 km south of Johannesburg, in the Republic of South Africa.
Forming part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP procurement program (REIPP), the 50MWe installed capacity BOKPOORT CSP Project is being equipped with the largest thermal storage ever adopted for a solar power plant of this class and capacity to date. The plant thermal storage capacity will be 9.3 hours enabling it to yield a record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year well into the night every day throughout the year. This makes CSP the only renewable technology at commercial scale to cover the country's daily peak demand from 5 to 9 PM thereby helping to prevent power black outs.
BOKPOORT CSP IPP was the only CSP technology project and one of only 19 renewable energy projects selected by the Department of Energy of South Africa from among 79 bids submitted for the second window of the country's REIPP.
The construction is being undertaken by a consortium of EPC contractors composed of TSK Electrónica y Electricidad S.A., Acciona Infrastructuras S.A., Acciona Ingeniería S.A., Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., all from Spain, and Crowie Concessions (Pty) Limited of South Africa. The construction of the power facility will utilize more than 40% of scope procured locally in South Africa. The operation and maintenance will be undertaken by a consortium led by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power and Invest In Africa Energy Services, a South African services provider. The off-taker of the produced electricity will be Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a government-owned national utility. The BOKPOORT CSP IPP has partnered with Investec Bank Limited and Absa Bank Limited as mandated lead arrangers to the project and who together with Old Mutual Specialised Finance (Pty) Ltd are providing the senior debt funding requirements of the project.
In addition to wealth creation within South Africa and the local community via the direct investments in the project company, the participation in both construction and in operation and maintenance by South African companies with previously disadvantaged community participation; it will also lead to the creation of 900 jobs in South Africa during the peak of the construction period. The BOKPOORT CSP IPP will also inject significant socio-economic value into the rural South African economy in the vicinity of the power facility, which is to be located in one of the most under developed areas of the country, by bringing an average yearly contribution of US$2 million of additional investments and creating about 60 permanent employment opportunities during the operational life of the power facility and through the sharing of return on the investment being made via the 5% local community trust shareholding.
Whilst South Africa relies heavily on coal to meet its energy needs, the country is well-endowed with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. With the CSP technology to be used, the BOKPOORT CSP IPP will provide electricity to approximately 21,000 households and save approximately 230,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions during every year of operation. The technology used in this project will also be a contributor to offsetting South Africa's grid peak power demand period in particular due to its unique size of thermal storage.
Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power stated “While ACWA Power is a provider of electricity and desalinated water and is thus fuel agnostic, it is very fitting that our entry into the Southern African market should be via a renewable project and such a pace setting project as this with the volume of storage to deliver reliable solar power generated electricity even during the night time peak."
Padmanathan went on to say “As ACWA Power is also not just a financial investor but a service provider of such basic utilities as electricity and desalinated water, entering a new market means establishing the foundation for a long-term relationship with the country as a whole and the local community we serve. Therefore, we place a great deal of emphasis on socio-economic sustainability of the nations we serve and have facilitated maximum levels of South African participation in the entire project. In addition to a 5% community shareholding, which far exceeds the Government's minimum 2.5% requirement, for whom the equity funding was provided by PIC; ACWA Power as an investor in this project has taken the unusual step of providing funds to Lereko Solafrica Investments (Pty) Limited, owned by previously disadvantaged citizens to hold 13% shares in the project on the same terms as that is usually provided by South African government owned development finance institutions. We are also proud of the fact that in addition to the local community shareholding, particular focus on this project will be on youth development and HIV/AIDS awareness through Lovelife, a national NGO."
ACWA Power is delighted to announce the strengthening of its Senior Leadership team with the appointment of a seasoned top executive to the newly created position of Managing Director, reporting to the Board of Directors.
Thamer Al Sharhan has served as President & CEO of Marafiq, the company that delivers utility services at the two giant industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu, since September 2006. He will bring his energy, enthusiasm, and invaluable experience to add strength and depth to the Leadership Team at ACWA Power as the company continues to expand its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
Thamer’s unblemished track record covers 30 years’ experience in the industrial and utility sectors and was earned at SABIC and its affiliates, Saudi Petrochemical Company (SADAF), SABIC Terminal Services Co. (SabTank), Arabian Petrochemical Company ( Petrokemya). Thamer will contribute to ACWA Power by consolidating its position as a market leader in its chosen sector in the countries it has elected to operate.
Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power stated “ACWA Power is proud to have attracted such a distinguished executive as Thamer whose well proven capability and professionalism and unwavering commitment to excellence will significantly increase the bench strength of the leadership team at ACWA Power."
On Saturday 15th June 2013, ACWA Power announced that construction is progressing in full swing at the 160 MWe NOOR 1 (Ouarzazate) CSP IPP pursuant to all permits and clearances having been achieved.
The contracted tariff of US$ Cents 18.9 per kWh offered by ACWA Power consortium, the lowest ever ascribed to date for Concentrated Solar Power Technology, which was 29% lower than the second bidders competing tariff representing a saving of SAR 900 Million to the Moroccan consumer has which has not only created value for Morocco but also has revitalized the relevance of CSP as a competitive solar power technology.
Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power stated “NOOR 1 project is considered to be proof of the success of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model taking the best of both public and private sector contributions to make a national objective a reality. The project will contribute to the socio-economic development of Morocco through investing in human capital and building a renewable energy knowledge base in addition to ensuring maximum local content introduction not just from existing and available goods and services but to encourage and facilitate local industry development. The created industry will support the development of this CSP project and feed into the next two projects in Morocco that have already been launched and can also benefit from the emerging significant CSP market opportunity in Saudi Arabia”.
Abunayyan went on to say “NOOR 1 producing electricity from this solar energy thus eliminating the need to burn 1 million barrels of oil per each year of operation will consequently avoid the emission of 470,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year which otherwise would have required a new forest of 1 million trees to have been planted and maintained just to absorb the pollution to maintain a carbon neutral position. In addition to contributing to environmental sustainability, a targeted system of local recruitment and investment in human capital will increase the benefit to the local economy through the 1,000 local workers who will be employed during construction and 70 during operation of the Plant.”.
In addition to achieving local industrial integration, ACWA Power is seeking to collaborate with Moroccan companies, universities and research centers to transfer knowledge in solar power with the emphasis on localizing technology. ACWA Power has already instated the development of a joint R&D program focusing on CSP between King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), and Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR). The economic, academic and R&D collaboration between the two Kingdoms is a result of the well-established social relationship between the two countries and the shared cultural heritage.
On Friday 10 May 2013 his Majesty King Mohammed VI attended the launch of construction of the Noor 1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project. The 160 MWe Noor 1 CSP project is a greenfield IPP to be developed as the first project for the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) in a series of several planned developments at Noor 1 Solar Complex. The Noor 1 complex is set to develop into a 500 MW solar park incorporating several utility-scale solar power plants using various solar technologies.
Noor 1 160MWe CSP IPP plant with 3 hours of thermal storage is today the world’s largest parabolic trough CSP power plant and the first utility size thermal solar generation project in Morocco. The project is located in Souss-Massa-Draa, province of Ouarzazate in Morocco, approximately 200 km south of Marrakesh. The 160 MW Noor 1 CSP IPP will be developed on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis by ACWA Power Ouarzazate which has recently awarded an EPC contract to a consortium composed of spain’s TSK Electrónica y Electicidad, Acciona Infrastructuras, Acciona Ingeniería, and Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas. The EPC consortium will procure part of the scope locally in Morocco. The Operation and Maintenance will be undertaken by a consortium led by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power and it is estimated that the commercial operation will begin in the second half of 2015. Masen will be the offtaker of the energy produced according to the 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
ACWA Power Ouarzazate “the project company” is owned by ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia; the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), Morocco; Aries and TSK both of Spain.
In addition to achieving local industrial integration, ACWA Power is seeking to collaborate with Moroccan companies, universities and research centers to transfer knowledge in solar power with the emphasis on not just localizing technology but to utilize efforts to develop and enhance technology with a view to developing intellectual property.
ACWA Power has already instated the development of a joint R&D program focusing on CSP between King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), and Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR).
The operation of the plant will provide electricity to communities further afield and will ensure a reliable source and increased power supply to the neighboring communities; thereby facilitating the development and expansion of commercial and small industrial businesses. . In addition, the project will mitigate the negative impact on the environment by using concentrated solar energy technology which will reduce the emission of carbon dioxide equivalent of approximately 470,000 tons during each year of operation.
A targeted system of local recruitment and investment in human capital of the local workforce will increase the benefit to the local economy. Up to 1,000 workers will be employed during construction and 60 during operation.
Mohammed A. Abunayyan the Chairman of ACWA Power stated “We at ACWA Power are proud of the fruitful cooperation with the concerned Moroccan entities, in both public and private sectors, and here I would like to commend the professional efforts of Masen, which managed the tender with full transparency in a record time and the ability to collect and manage a mixture of international financial institutions that each and every one of them had different and special requirements”. Mr. Abunayyan went on to say “We have been able, through this project, to effectively participate in the Kingdom of Morocco’s renewable energy strategy which has become a model for the development of renewable energy industry in terms of technology, implementation and cost”.
ACWA Power Ouarzazate has on Monday 29 April 2013, awarded an EPC Contract to the Spanish consortium composed of Acciona, Sener and TSK to construct the 160 MWe Ouarzazate parabolic trough Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project (IPP) in Morocco. The EPC Contractor has commenced engineering and procurement for the plant in accordance with a Limited Notice to Proceed Agreement. The EPC consortium will procure a significant part of the scope locally in Morocco.
ACWA Power Ouarzazate is a company owned by ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia; the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), Morocco; Aries and TSK both of Spain. Ouarzazate 160MWe CSP plant with 3 hours of thermal storage is today the world’s largest parabolic trough CSP power plant and the first utility size thermal solar generation project in Morocco. The project is located in Souss-Massa-Draa, province of Ouarzazate in Morocco, approximately 200 km south of Marrakesh.
Paddy Padmanathan the President and CEO of ACWA Power said “The award of the EPC Contract today is in line with our plans to bring the plant online to meet commercial operation date (COD) during the second half of 2015”.
Padmanathan went on to say “ACWA Power believes entering into a new market as an investor and operator also means embarking on a long-term relationship with the country as a whole and the local community specifically. Therefore the EPC Contract has been structured to maximize economic value creation within Morocco by not just encouraging local manufacturing but also in skills transfer, training and local capacity building.”
The Operation and Maintenance will be undertaken by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power. Masen will be the off-taker of the energy produced according to the 25-year PPA signed on 19 November 2012.
The 160 MWe Ouarzazate CSP IPP Project is to be developed on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis. It is the first project for Masen in a series of several planned developments at the Ouarzazate Solar Complex. The Ouarzazate complex is set to be developed into a 500MWe solar complex incorporating several utility-scale solar power plants using various solar technologies.
Whilst Morocco currently relies heavily on coal and other conventional sources to meet its energy needs, the country is well endowed with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. With the CSP technology used, the project will serve to abate a “green approach” saving approximately 470,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions every year of operation.