GDF SUEZ, together with its partners Investec and Kagiso Tiso Holdings, has reached financial close on the 94 MW West Coast One wind project, which is located 130 km north of Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa (RSA).
GDF SUEZ holds a 43% equity interest in the project, while Investec owns 34.5%, Kagiso Tiso Holdings has a 20% interest. The remaining 2.5% will be allocated to a Community Trust. The consortium was selected as preferred bidder for this project in May 2012 and signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom Holdings, the Republic's state-owned utility, in May 2013.
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ said: West Coast One demonstrates our growth ambitions in fast growing markets, and supports South Africa's objective of increasing the contribution from renewable power in its generation mix.
Together with Tarfaya, this project confirms GDF SUEZ as an important developer of wind projects in Africa, and reinforces our commitment to sustainable and renewable sources of power."
The West Coast One wind farm is expected to reach commercial operation in mid 2015. The total investment cost is EUR 160 million funded by a mix of equity and debt, which is provided by local banks. This project follows the start of construction of the 300 MW Tarfaya wind project in Morocco, which is owned in partnership with Nareva Holding and is Africa's largest wind project. GDF SUEZ currently has over 3.8 GW1 of wind generation capacity in operation worldwide.
South Africa a strategic development market for GDF SUEZ
The RSA Government is implementing a 20-year plan that makes provision for 42% (17 GW) of new generation to come from renewable energy with 8 GW allocated to onshore wind. A successful 'Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme' is in place, with a number of projects already closed. In addition, GDF SUEZ is actively developing further projects in South Africa, including wind and a coal plant in the Northern Province, with a capacity of 600 MW. On 3 June 2013, the Group signed the Power Purchase Agreements for two greenfield open-cycle turbine power plants of 335 MW (Dedisa) and 670 MW (Avon), which are located in the Eastern Cape Province and in the KwaZulu-Natal Province respectively.
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