Coega SEZ continues to spark interest from the energy sector, and is poised for the 1000 MW of gas to power plant valued in excess of R25-billion.

Investors in the energy sector are continuing to plug into the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for a wide spectrum of technologies, ranging from renewable energy, gas to nuclear, says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).

The Coega SEZ has been identified by the Department of Energy as one of the two preferred locations for a 1000 MW power facility with an estimated investment value of R25-billion. The other location is in KZN. The Coega project is key for energy security and diversification. This would lead to regional development, increasing the socio-economic landscape (in terms of education, skills, SMME, health care and welfare services).

One of the biggest operational investment in the Coega SEZ to date is the R3,5 billion 342 MW Dedisa Peaking Power Station. The success of this investment together with learnings from other existing energy investment projects is a living proof of the attractiveness of Coega SEZ, as a destination of choice for energy projects and other supporting sectors.

Another important energy project is the installation of solar solutions at the Coega SEZ head office in the Nelson Mandela Bay. The installation, which was completed a few years ago, forms part of the organization’s deep commitment to alternative energy sources such as renewable energy in order to save on electricity and to ease pressure on the NMBM grid, as well as commitment to environmental stewardship and an ongoing effort to innovation. “The solar 48kW solution, currently supplies electricity into CDC’s head office, and echoes our passion in introducing ways to improve eco credentials while diversifying energy supply,” says Sandisiwe Ncemane, CDC’s Energy Sector Manager.  The CDC’s initiative to install solar panels is in line with government’s strategy to use renewable energy (wind, hydro and solar) as part of national programme diversifying the country’s national energy mix. It is also meant to reflect CDC’s success and location as Africa’s green energy component’s manufacturing hub.

More interest is expected in the energy sector resulting from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Eskom and the CDC a few months ago, in March 2017. This relates to advancing readiness for South Africa’s planned nuclear-powered project.  Thyspunt, 90km from the Coega SEZ is the preferred sites for possible construction of a power station, and is earmarked as a location for the first nuclear fleet. The two state-owned companies (SOC’s) (Eskom and CDC) are working together in support of government’s plans to build local capacity through supplier development and localisation around the unfolding infrastructure for the nuclear programme.

The DCD Wind Towers facility in the Coega SEZ, which according to recent media reports is being closed down as part of the restructuring of the DCD Group and possibly as a result of DCD’s failing business case has already had a strong interest from a number of blue chip private sector players, according to Dr Vilakazi.

Despite the DCD investors experiencing challenges with their business plan, the current investors in the Coega SEZ are satisfied with locating in the SEZ. In a recent independent survey by Muffin Consulting, 84% of the companies invested and operating in the Coega SEZ reported an increase in profitability; more than 90% of operational investors described the Coega SEZ and its logistics park where VWSA is located as the ideal location for industries wishing to grow; nearly 85% of investors at Coega had increased their workforce since opening in the SEZ;  over 60% had expanded their factories;  and over 50% of companies surveyed are sourcing more than 78% of their inputs locally, thus boosting the local economy,” says Dr Vilakazi.  Coega Dairy and PE Cold Storage, for example, have increased their capacity through various plant expansions, thus creating more jobs.


Article Source: Coega Development Corporation