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Le Mag South Africa special: developing the power generation market

South Africa has the largest electricity market in Africa, with an installed generating capacity of more than 45 GW. Strong economic growth here has taken this country's demand for electricity through the roof in recent years. Find out more about all the landmark projects being developed here by ENGIE.

South Africa © ENGIE/CAPA Pictures/EDWARDS MICHAELWith fifteen years of unbroken economic growth, demand for electricity in South Africa has grown by 20% in 10 years. To respond effectively, South Africa wants not only to develop new generating capacity, but also to increase the contribution from renewables by 40% with the help of the private sector.

Involved in both conventional and renewable energy projects, ENGIE is playing an active role in developing the energy sector here. After two years of construction work, the Group commissioned the 94 MW West Coast One wind park 130 kilometers north of Cape Town in June this year.

Mohamed Hoosen, Head of Sales Development at ENGIE in South Africa, takes us first to Vredenburg, 130 km north of Cape Town, and one of the windiest parts of the country. It's here that ENGIE is developing one of the country's first 10 wind parks: a 94 MW project called West Coast One. Construction of this wind park began in June this year. With 47 wind turbines installed on the 25 km² site, each generating 2MW, this wind park will eventually provide sufficient power to meet the needs of around 100,000 households (500,000 people).

ENGIE is also focusing on solar power, with the construction of a 100 MW generating plant at Kathu in the north-west of the country, which will enter service in 2017. The Kathu solar power plant is the Group's first CSP plant, and will use parabolic trough technology in conjunction with a molten salt energy storage system offering 4½ hours of autonomous operation to offset the intermittent nature of solar energy.

In addition to its technical expertise, the Group also supports a number of educational initiatives seen as key factors in an economic development model that benefits everyone. To visit one of those initiatives, we must head to Tembisa Township, 20 km from Johannesburg. Tembisa is the home of the NGO Ikamva Youth, which was set up in 2003 to support young people in difficulty. By providing help with homework, assistance with finding the first job and facilitating entry into higher education, this center is a valuable hub for young people from impoverished communities.

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