7 months ago

Northern Cape Business 2023/24

  • Text
  • Tourism
  • Southafrica
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Mining
  • Solar
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Development
  • Port
  • Infrastructure
  • Green energy
  • Sector
  • Economic
  • Kimberley
  • Municipality
  • African
  • Province
  • Hydrogen
The 2023/24 edition of Northern Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector-focused infrastructure development. Green hydrogen is the subject of a special feature in the early pages of the journal, but the subject comes up again in the Energy Overview.

OVERVIEW Energy Green

OVERVIEW Energy Green hydrogen is the next big thing. Credit: Kangnas Wind Farm Green hydrogen is the next big thing. The topic is dealt with in detail in a special feature elsewhere in this journal, but the implications to the energy landscape for South Africa and the Northern Cape in particular cannot be overstated – this could be a genuine game-changer. Efforts are underway to create a Western SADC Green Hydrogen Corridor, encompassing Namibia and the three Cape provinces of South Africa, Northern, Western and Eastern. In 2022 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the Western Cape Provincial Government to firm up these commitments; more are expected to follow. The province has a Green Hydrogen Strategy, which was launched at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 and a national programme, the Green Hydrogen National Programme (GHNP), has been gazetted. A series of projects located across the country are expected to attract investments of close to R600-billion. Of the nine projects identified by GHNP, four are located in the Northern Cape: • Prieska Power Reserve • Ubuntu Green Energy Hydrogen Project • Upilanga Solar and Green H2 Park • Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Development Programme. All of these projects have been registered with Infrastructure South Africa (ISA), the body within the national presidency which is keeping track SECTOR INSIGHT The Northern Cape Solar Energy Business Incubator is to be established. of and promoting infrastructure development in the country. Another project in the Northern Cape, the Enertrag Postmasburg Project (ammonia), is in the ISA pipeline, awaiting approval. Wind and solar While green hydrogen is generating a lot of excitement and plans are being put in place, the country’s pursuit of solar and wind power is continuing. Expanding the grid’s capacity in the Northern Cape must be a national priority. In the round announced in 2021, the Northern NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 38

OVERVIEW Cape was allocated 450MW in approved bids. In less than a decade, an entirely new sector has been created through legislation that invited local and foreign investors to bid for and then build renewable energy generation plants. South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) requires 20 000MW of renewable energy by 2030. However, the latest bid window (Round 6) for the most recent round of the national Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in December 2022 came up against the fact that the country’s transmission grid can only cope with so much new capacity. As a result, only 860MW of solar capacity was awarded to projects in the North West and Free State provinces. The first project to reach commercial operations from an earlier bid window, Round 4, was the Kangnas Wind Farm (pictured), a 140MW project near Springbok. Somewhat delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown, the project ultimately provided 550 jobs when construction work peaked and reached a local content level of 45%. This included the mega-transformer and the windturbine towers. In a similar way in which each of the province’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial parks is being aligned with renewable energy in some way (either generation or manufacturing), the Boegoebaai Port and Rail Development project has now been expanded to include the adjacent Hydrogen SEZ. The Boegoebaai Port and Green Hydrogen Cluster is regarded as a key priority programme, coordinated by the Northern Cape Economic Development Agency (NCEDA) and ISA. Four of the 11 Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) planned for South Africa are located in the Northern Cape. REDZs will encourage localisation through the development of manufacturing hubs that can make components for the sector. The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being phased in across the Northern Cape will complement this trend. REDZs are being developed in support of the implementation of the national Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019). One of the Strategic Transmission Corridors identified at national level, the Northern Corridor, begins at Springbok in the west and runs through Upington and Vryburg on the way to Johannesburg in Gauteng. Each of those towns will be the focus of an REDZ, with the other REDZ in the province located in the provincial capital of Kimberley. Small businesses are getting help from the provincial government to enable them to participate in the renewable energy economy. A renewable energy strategy focussing on rooftop solar PV installation has seen more than 50 SMMEs receive PV Green Card training and, with the launch of the Northern Cape Solar Energy Business Incubator (NOCSOBI), training will be available to smallbusiness owners to learn how they can make their businesses compliant so that they can bid for power-purchase agreements and get loans from banks to buy solar systems. Approximately 60% of the projects so far allocated have been in the nation’s sunniest province. Projects such as Kathu Solar Park, a concentrated solar power project, and the Roggeveld Wind Farm are indicative of the large scale of most of the energy generation that is being rolled out. The Northern Cape is the natural home for the generation of solar power. Long-term annual direct normal irradiance (DNI) at Upington is 2 816kWh/m2, according to a survey done for Stellenbosch University by Slovakian company GeoModal Solar. To assist investors, a One Stop Shop has been launched in the Northern Cape. Invest SA, through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), will provide investing companies with advice and services to fast-track projects and reduce red tape. ■ ONLINE RESOURCES IPP projects: South African Photovoltaic Industry Association: South African Renewable Energy Council: South African Wind Energy Association: 39 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24

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