A new gas-fired power plant in South Africa has come online, its developers announced at the POWER-GEN Africa conference and exhibition last week.

The 685 MW open cycle Avon Peaking Power Plant, 65 km from Durban, has been under development since 2013. It has now completed the final commissioning stage.

The four-unit plant is a joint venture between France’s Engie, which holds a 38 per cent stake; South Africa’s Legend Power Solutions with 27 per cent; Japan’s Mitsui & Co with 25 per cent; and The Peaker Trust, which works to ensure that South Africa’s black communities and organizations benefit from such projects, with 10 per cent.

The Avon plant is the second independent power producer (IPP) project in South Africa, with the first – the 342 MW gas-fired Dedisa plant in Port Elizabeth – also developed by the JV.

Power from both plants will be supplied to state utility Eskom under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).  

Arnaud de Limburg, CEO of Avon Peaking Power, said: “The construction of the Avon and Dedisa power plants demonstrates the strength of the partnership between the South African government and the private sector. The start-up of Avon, only a few months after Dedisa, will be instrumental in supporting South Africa’s industrial growth ambitions. The plants will provide much needed power and energy security during peak demand periods. They will equally benefit the socio-economic development of the communities surrounding each project.”