Engie’s 94 MW West Coast One wind farm in South Africa reaches commercial operation

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Engie’s 94 MW West Coast One wind farm in South Africa reaches commercial operation

The 94 MW West Coast One wind project owned by Engie, together with partners Investec and Kagiso Tiso Holdings, has reached commercial operation in South Africa.

The consortium was selected as preferred bidder in May 2012 and signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eskom, South Africa's state-owned utility. Construction began in mid-2013.

Engie holds a 43% equity interest in the project, while Investec owns 34.5% and Kagiso Tiso Holdings has a 20% stake. The remaining 2.5% will be allocated to a Community Trust, with the purpose of developing and sustaining the surrounding community.

The plant, located 130 km north of Cape Town, consists of forty-seven V90 2 MW turbines supplied by Danish manufacturer Vestas.

The total investment cost of the wind farm was €160 million (US$180 million) funded by a mix of equity and debt, which has been provided by local banks.

Chairman and CEO of Engie, Gérard Mestrallet, commented:

"South Africa is an important market for Engie and we are a committed long-term investor in the African continent. The West Coast One wind farm supports South Africa's objective of increasing renewable generation and promoting local economic development. This project demonstrates Engie's ability to deliver important renewable projects and underlines our commitment to developing sustainable sources of energy."

This project follows the start of operation of the 300 MW Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco in 2014, Africa's largest wind power project, owned by Engie in partnership with Nareva Holding.

In addition, Engie is actively developing further projects in South Africa. In 2013, the Group signed the Power Purchase Agreements for two greenfield open-cycle gas urbine power plants of 335 MW (Dedisa) and 670 MW (Avon), which are located in the Eastern Cape Province and in the KwaZulu-Natal Province respectively. In 2015, an Engie-led consortium with South African partners, was nominated ‘preferred bidder’ for the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park in the Northern Cape Province.

The South African government is implementing a 20-year plan that makes provisions for 42% (17 GW) of new generation power to come from renewable energy with 8 GW allocated to onshore wind. A successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme is in place, with a number of projects already closed.

Engie currently has 19 GW of renewable generation capacity in operation worldwide, of which more than 4 GW is wind.

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