South Africa’s first gas-fired power plant fully operational
Today, Sasol inaugurated the gas engine power plant at its Sasolburg site. The facility is the largest power plant, using gas engines, ever installed in South Africa and has an operating capacity of 140 megawatts (MW).
The investment is also the largest single investment in gas engine technology in Africa. The facility has consistently been producing above its operating capacity at 152 MW since commissioning in December 2012.
“This plant is a significant milestone for Sasol, as we begin to ease our load on the national grid and contribute to our own energy efficiency targets. We are proud of this new facility and it demonstrates how we can add versatility to natural gas,” said Lean Strauss, Senior Group Executive, International Energy, New Business Development and Technology.
The project will enable Sasol to eventually reduce its CO2 emissions by a further one million tonnes per year. This project has allowed Sasol to achieve its target of reaching 60% self-generated power capacity in 2013, easing its reliance on the national grid.
This project was completed three months ahead of schedule and almost 20% below budget, while 500 jobs were created during construction and 44 permanent jobs created in Sasolburg.
“This is a very successful project for Sasol New Energy, below budget and ahead of schedule. Indeed an excellent result from Wärtsilä, Foster Wheeler, Sasol Technology and all other contractors,” said Henri Loubser, Managing Director, Sasol New Energy.
Gas powered plants require less time to build and install, taking between 20 to 30 months, opposed to the 40 to 50 months required for a coal power plant and 60 to 80 months for a nuclear plant.
Sasol and its Mozambican partner, the country’s state-owned power utility, Electricidade de Moçambique, approved investment in a similar power generation facility in Ressano Garcia, Mozambique. The project aims to start electricity generation in the second quarter of calendar year 2014.
The main supply of natural gas for the plant comes from the Central Processing Facility at Temane in Mozambique, which is part of a Petroleum Production Agreement signed between Sasol, ENH, Companhia Moçambicana de Hidrocarbonetos S.A. (CMH) and IFC.
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