A tall or­der

Re­vised plan will de­ter­mine SA’s en­ergy fu­ture un­til 2030

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

SOUTH AFRICA’S in­te­grated re­sources plan (IRP) for elec­tric­ity be­tween 2010 and 2030 – as ap­proved by the Cabi­net – re­quires de­ci­sions to be made this year on the coun­try’s next two nu­clear pow­ered as well as its next two coal-fired power sta­tions. Al­though not yet of­fi­cially re­leased, full de­tails of the plan have been pub­lished by EE Pub­lish­ers on their web­site (http://eep­ub­lish­ers.co.za). Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of En­ergy (DoE) the IRP will only be posted on its web­site within the next week af­ter it’s been of­fi­cially pub­lished in the Gov­ern­ment Gazette. Key fea­tures of the IRP in­clude calls for huge in­vest­ments in nu­clear and re­new­able sources of en­ergy and a de­ci­sion to bring for­ward con­struc­tion of planned coal-fired power sta­tions.

Those coal-fired sta­tions also ap­pear to have been re­struc­tured into a larger num­ber of smaller ca­pac­ity plants from the orig­i­nal “re­vised bal­anced” plan, which called for 5 000MW of ca­pac­ity to be in­stalled be­tween 2027 and 2030. Those units ranged in size from 750MW to 2 000MW.

The mod­i­fied “pol­icy-ad­justed” plan – as now ap­proved by Cabi­net – calls for the con­struc­tion of two 500MW units in 2014 and 2015, to be fol­lowed by 250MW of coal-fired ca­pac­ity ev­ery year from 2019 to 2025. Af­ter that, the re­main­ing six years of the plan will see 250MW of coal-fired gen­er­a­tion in­stalled one year, fol­lowed by 1 000MW the next. To­tal new in­stalled coal-fired gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity in­creases to 6 250MW from the 5 000MW called for pre­vi­ously.

A key pol­icy fac­tor with re­gard to coal is the de­ci­sion that power im­ported from coal-fired power sta­tions in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries – such as Botswana and Mozam­bique – “will not be sep­a­rately iden­ti­fied but con­sid­ered part of the do­mes­tic coal fleet, with emis­sions count­ing to­wards SA’s car­bon in­ven­tory, as with do­mes­tic coal”.

The plan doesn’t in­di­cate which spe­cific projects are be­ing short-listed but as for the first two 500MW plants there are some ob­vi­ous can­di­dates, which in­clude the Lim­popo in­de­pen­dent power pro­ducer (IPP) pro­ject be­ing looked at by Exxaro Re­sources and the IPP plant be­ing pro­moted by Aus­tralian coal ju­nior Rivers­dale near Tete in Mozam­bique.

As for nu­clear pow­ered sta­tions, the “pol­icy-ad­justed” plan sticks to the orig­i­nal sched­ule, which calls for a 1 600MW sta­tion to be built ev­ery year be­tween 2023 and 2026, fol­lowed by two more 1 600MW units in 2028 and 2029, for a to­tal in­stalled nu­clear gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of 9 600MW.

The “pol­icy-ad­justed” plan also calls for a huge amount of re­new­able gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity to be built, in­clud­ing 8 400MW of wind-gen­er­ated power, 8 400MW of so­lar

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