JUWI South Africa reaches financial close of major wind project amid increasing push for renewables

South African subsidiary of leading renewable energy project developer JUWI has begun construction of the 84MW Wolf Wind project after reaching financial close, as an energy crisis pushes more demand for alternative sources of power in one of Africa’s biggest economies. The facility is projected to begin generating electricity for the South African grid by Q1 2024.

“The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year,” Red Rocket Chief Executive Officer, Matteo Brambilla, said in a statement. The renewable energy company won the bid for the project in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P). The initiative aims to bring more megawatts into the country’s electricity system through private investments in renewable energy sources. “We’re proud to have partnered with JUWI on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects.”

The Wolf Wind Project, located two hours from the city of Gqeberha, is the second wind project developed by JUWI under REI4P. The first — the 138 MW Garob Wind Project — began commercial operation in 2021.

Tackling an energy crisis with renewable energy

“JUWI is committed to developing projects that help South Africa address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, and so the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging,” said Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI South Africa.

South Africa is facing an energy crisis caused partly by aging coal plants in need of constant maintenance. This has led to load-shedding implemented through a series of rolling blackouts, which has become part of the country’s power grid since 2007. Last year, the country experienced 3,773 hours of loadshedding according to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – or over 157 days.

According to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa’s total domestic electricity generation capacity stands at 58,095 megawatts. But most of it—around 80%—comes from coal-fired power plants.

President Ramaphosa wants South Africa to begin phasing out some coal-fired generation by 2050. Under its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019), the country wants to install over 25GW of renewable energy capacity and 3GW of energy storage by 2030 via its REI4P auctions.

JUWI South Africa (JUWI Renewable Energies Pty. Ltd) says it is supporting a mix of clean energy projects, including over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar and 5OO MW of hybrid projects for various clients.

To support growing demand from private and public energy users, Richard Doyle says JUWI plans to develop a further combined 1 GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023.

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Gabon: Perenco takes step towards gas-to-power production at Mayumba

On April 6th, Perenco has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with several public parties in Gabon towards the development of a 21 MW power plant at Mayumba in the country’s southern region. The agreement was signed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Gas, the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, the Ministry of Economy and Recovery, the Ministry of Budget and Public Accounts, Perenco Oil & Gas Gabon (POGG) and the Gabon Power Company (GPC), entity of the Sovereign Fund of the Gabonese Republic (FSRG). The gas-to-power project includes a gas pipeline linking Perenco’s offshore gas fields to shore, a 21 MW power plant that can be expanded to 50 MW, a substation, a transmission line to Tchibanga, and a 20 kV distribution line to Mayumba and its surroundings. In its “Gas for Africa” report released in February 2023 with the International Gas Union, Hawilti reported that Mayumba was one of the pillars of Perenco’s future gas flare reduction strategy in Gabon. The independent operator is currently rolling out several gas monetisation projects in the country, including a 15,000 tonnes LPG plant at Batanga already under-construction, and an LNG export terminal planned at Cap Lopez. The company already supplies gas to Gabon’s power plants in the capital Libreville and in the oil city of Port Gentil, both located in the north of the country. Gas supplies rely on a 400-km offshore gas network developed in 2006 to monetise flare gas and make feedstock available to power stations.

Nigeria: Century Group consolidates position in offshore oil & gas market

The Century Group, the only Nigeria-owned company to own and operate floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in Africa, is consolidating its market presence on the country’s offshore oil & gas market. On March 24th, it signed an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) for the renovation of its FPSO Tamara Nanaye. The vessel, previously known as FPSO Front Puffin, previously served as the production hub for the Aje Field on OML 113. As technical partner to the OML 113 operator, Century successfully kept the Aje field operational, productive and profitable from 2014 to 2021. Century Group has now selected SHIN to carry out a de-bottlenecking upgrade to maintain and upgrade the FPSO ahead of its redeployment offshore Nigeria later this year. Hawilti previously reported that the FPSO Tamara Nanaye had been selected to support the redevelopment of the Kalaekule Field on OML 72, operated by West Africa E&P, a joint-venture of Dangote Exploration Assets Ltd and First E&P. “The FPSO Tamara Nanaye is undergoing renovations such as adding topside production facilities, altering flaring capacity, change mooring system to spread mooring and adding a riser porch structure to increase the production capacity of the FPSO,” Century Group said in a post last week. The upgrade of the FPSO locally in Nigeria will allow a shorter renovation timeline than sending the vessel for maintenance overseas, and will reduce the input cost. On April 3rd, Century Energy Group announced another deal to complete, operate and maintain the ELI Akaso floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel of Energy Link Infrastructure (ELI). The FSO serves as a new evacuation route to onshore OML 18 and neighbouring fields where production has been severely curtailed by the unavailability of the main evacuation pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL). Under a Risk Service Contract (RSC), Century Group has already deployed its personnel, infrastructure and expertise to finish the spread mooring of the FSO, which is expects to complete on April 10th, 2023. With a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil, the FSO can offer a reliable export route for onshore fields seeking access to the export market. The evacuation system includes a 47km undersea pipeline with a targeted throughput capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) once operational. With both deals, Century Group continues to build local content within segments of the value-chain that are traditionally reserved for international players.