France-based multinational energy company Engie has secured R 9.2 billion (US$ 588 million) in loans for construction of the Kathu Solar Park in South Africa’s Northern Cape.
The project, which is expected to be operational before the end of 2018, will be funded by a combination of debt and equity, the debt being funded by a group of South African banks.
Kathur Solar Park is a 100 MW greenfield concentrated solar power project, using parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage.
During the construction phase of the project, some 1,200 jobs will be created. Over the next 20 years, the plant is forecast to save 6 million tonnes of CO2.
Bruno Bensasson, CEO of the Engie Africa business unit, said, “This is an important milestone for our first concentrated solar power project in the Engie Group. The Kathu Solar Park project supports SA’s strategy of increasing the contribution of renewable power and also underlines our commitment to be a key partner in achieving sustainable energy generation in Africa.”
Also in South Africa, Engie owns and operates two thermal power plants – the under-construction 670 MW Avon plant; and the 335 MW Dedisa plant – and is in charge of two solar photovoltaic parks with a total installed capacity of 21 MW located in the Western Cape.