ENGIE acquires 100MW concentrated solar power plant in South Africa

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Image: ENGIE

ENGIE has reached an agreement to acquire from Abengoa a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company.

The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand.

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Power is contracted through a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom (South African Electricity Public Utility). Xina Solar One is supplying clean energy to more than 95,000 South African households and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 348,000 tons of CO2 each year.

The plant is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, which is also the location of ENGIE’s 100 MW Kathu CSP plant. Synergies between Xina and Kathu will be developed to further enhance the operational efficiency of both plants.

“With the acquisition of this project, ENGIE is pursuing its low carbon strategy. Xina augments the country’s installed peaking power and reduces its dependence on coal-fired electricity. The 100MW CSP plant also contributes to ENGIE’s geographic rationalisation by expanding its footprint in South Africa, where it is the leading Independent Power Producer with 1,320MW of installed capacity.” says S√©bastien Arbola, CEO of ENGIE MESCATA.

Mohamed Hoosen, CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa commented: “ENGIE is valued as a highly skilled IPP and a long-term player in the South African power industry. We are adding an innovative high-performing plant and are increasing our CSP capacity. This investment will create value over the longer term while accelerating impact on the energy transition of our customers.”

Co-shareholders on Xina Solar One include Public Investment Corporation, a pension fund manager and a shareholder on ENGIE’s Kathu project (20%); Industrial Development Corporation, a development finance institution wholly- owned by the South African Government (20%); and Xina Community Trust, funded by the IDC (20%). Xina Solar One, which started commercial operation in August 2017, was built by Abengoa.

In South Africa, ENGIE has interests in a CSP plant (100 MW Kathu), a wind farm (94MW Aurora), 2 solar photovoltaic plants (21 MW) and 2 thermal power peaking plants (670 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa).

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