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Coega SEZ adopts long-term energy strategy, starts switching on solar

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Coega SEZ adopts long-term energy strategy, starts switching on solar

AGAINST the backdrop of the current damaging impacts of loadshedding on business, the Coega Development Corporation has adopted the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Energy Strategy. The strategy identifies available options to manage the energy supply, energy demand, efficient usage, and investment in current and new energy technologies in a manner that is environmentally friendly, institutionally sound, socially acceptable, and cost-effective, utilising the best mix of energy supply and demand options. The Energy Strategy further strengthens the Coega SEZ’s unique value proposition, as the leading and preferred African investment destination and a gateway to world markets.

Interventions include a 24-hour load curtailment schedule; the identification of opportunities for solar rooftop power generation through the Coega Solar Rooftop Project; the development of a solar farm in the Coega SEZ as well as a farm in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park (NMBLP), due to land availability, electrical distribution networks, ability to transmit electricity to external customers via a wheeling agreement, and excellent solar and wind resources. The Coega Solar Rooftop Project is accelerating Coega’s vision of greening its SEZ and NMBLP buildings. The initial phase will see the implementation of 4.5 MW PV systems on rooftops in five buildings of the Coega SEZ and NMBLP. So far, the first building, the Coega Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Park, has been fitted and commissioned (pictured), and the roof assessments and designs have been approved for the remaining four buildings.

Coega BPO Park tenant, Small Business Finance and Support’s manager, Vincent Heynes, highlighted the value of the Coega Solar Rooftop Project in terms of operational efficiency. “The Coega Solar Rooftop Project is a welcomed initiative. We now have surety of an uninterrupted workflow thanks to solar power.” Coega is considering potential partnerships to conclude the roll out of the initial phase, subject to the required regulatory approvals.

“For the Coega SEZ to enhance its energy portfolio, a more holistic long-term view was developed, through its Energy Strategy, to guide future energy investments,” says Coega executive manager for Business Development, Asanda Xawuka. Additionally, the Energy Strategy allows our clients, current investors, and potential investors of the future to consider alternative energy supply sources.

The benefits of planned interventions by the Coega Development Corporation include sustainable economic development and job creation in the NMBLP and Coega SEZ; reduced operational disruptions due to loadshedding; the creation of new investment opportunities in the energy sector; restored investor confidence; increased availability of power into the national grid; and the stabilisation of the electrical power generation sector and greater security of supply in the long-term.

“The Energy Strategy is in line with provincial and national policies, including the South African Integrated Resource Plan 2019, as well as international guidelines and trends. Furthermore, the Coega Energy Strategy positions the Coega SEZ and the NMB Logistics Park to secure the confidence of government, investors, and the broader stakeholder community concerning the future energy planning implemented by Coega Development Corporation over the next 20 years,” concluded Xawuka.

Coega continues to play a central role in advancing readiness for the realisation of various transformational energy-related initiatives, which include generation and manufacturing orientated projects for the Energy Sector.

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