South Africa to get 3 powerships to solve load-shedding problems

Minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe has announced preferred bidders for the government’s emergency risk mitigation IPP programme.

The Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) was released to the market in August 2020.

The aim was to alleviate the electricity supply constraints and to reduce the extensive use of diesel-based peaking electrical generators in the medium-to-long term.

Mantashe said the evaluation process has resulted in the selection of preferred bids totaling 1,845 MW.

Technologies included in the government’s emergency power procurement programme include 3 liquid natural gas powerships, and combinations of solar PV, wind, and batteries.

The eight winning bidders announced by Mantashe are:

  • ACWA Power Project DAO
  • Karpowership SA Coega
  • Karpowership SA Richards Bay
  • Karpowership SA Saldanha
  • Mulilo Total Coega
  • Mulilo Total Hydra Storage
  • Oya Energy Hybrid Facility
  • Umoyilanga Energy

These 8 projects will inject a total private sector investment amount of R45 billion to the South African economy.

Around 3,800 job opportunities will be created during the 18 months construction period and a further 13,500 during the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) term.

The preferred bidders are required to reach financial close by no later than the end of July 2021 and due to the urgency to bring power online, this date is not negotiable.

It is envisaged that, first power from these projects will be connected to the grid from August 2022.

Powerships for South Africa

Karpowership SA was the biggest winner with successful bids for its Coega, Richards Bay, and Saldanha projects.

Karpowership will anchor its liquid natural gas powerships at the three coastal towns to provide ship-to-shore electricity.

Karpowership South Africa is a subsidiary of Karadeniz Holding and is a registered company with local BEE partners and registered offices in South Africa.

Karpowership South Africa spokesperson Patrick O’Driscall previously said they can supply enough electricity to stop most load-shedding – and do it at a lower cost than Eskom.

O’Driscall explained that they purchase second-hand cargo carrier ships and convert them into floating power ships.

When a country is in need of additional electricity – like South Africa – they sail these powerships to the area and park them at a suitable location.

The power is generated on the ship which has a grid substation which evacuates the power at the allocated voltage.

A power line is then taken from the ship to a transmission tower and the transmission towers are integrated into the grid.

Karadeniz powerships

Powerships are constructed with special technology which can operate both on liquid fuels (HFO/RFO) as well as natural gas.

With high efficiency and availability, powerships can provide uninterrupted electricity at various high voltage levels.

Operation and maintenance of the powerships are also provided for by the Karadeniz Energy Group.

The photos below show examples of the Karadeniz powerships.

Karadeniz powership

Karadeniz powership


Now read: Powerships can solve South Africa’s short-term energy problems

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South Africa to get 3 powerships to solve load-shedding problems