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Bolobedu solar plant in SA now a work in progress

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Voltalia signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) with Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa last year. RBM, a subsidiary of British-Australian company Rio Tinto, mines mineral sands on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Bolobedu solar plant in SA now a work in progress

Construction of French headquartered Voltalia’s 148-megawatt Bolobedu solar power plant in the Limpopo Province of South Africa got underway towards the end of December last year.

The announcement that works started at Bolobedu was made just two months after the company signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) with Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa. RBM, a subsidiary of British-Australian company Rio Tinto, mines mineral sands on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal.

The 20-year contract will supply approximately 300 gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year to RBM’s production facilities in KwaZulu-Natal.

The construction works at Bolobedu’s solar power plant include detailed engineering, the purchase of various equipment, site clearing, and detailed geotechnical studies.

Bolobedu will be the largest South African renewable power plant dedicated to the energy needs of a corporate client. The plant will be completed in 2024, and its production will represent a volume equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 425,000 people, cutting carbon emission with more than 237,000 tons, which is equivalent to removing about 50,000 cars from the road.

According to Sebastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia, local labour will be employed both for the construction and for the operational monitoring of the plant. “Voltalia will source goods and services locally as much as possible,” says Clerc.

Voltalia operates in other African countries like Zimbabwe, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya, and has built a strong track record in the region.

“We are very pleased to be able to launch the construction of our largest project in Africa, just two months after signing the CPPA with RBM and thus to support it in the decarbonisation of its sites. Our commitment to help our customers overcome the current energy crisis has never been stronger” says Clerc.

Bolobedu solar plant in SA now a work in progress

WhyAfrica will visit the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Zimbabwe or Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya as part of our 2023 Anuual Road Trip though Africa.

WhyAfrica readers and followers can now become members of WhyAfrica. Having membership for one year allows you access to valuable business intelligence and insight about projects, investments, the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and the political economy of Africa.

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One of WhyAfrica’s goals is to identify opportunities and challenges companies will face when doing business in Africa, and at the same time, we stay up to date with how geopolitics and the changing political economies in Africa affect your business. As a member you will have access to all this business intelligence. You can now register and pay to become a member by simply clicking on the following link: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/

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