A significant milestone for South Africa's energy revolution

24 May 2019

Tractebel experts accompanied as Owner's Engineer one of South Africa’s largest renewable energy projects.

At the beginning of April, the Kathu Solar Park celebrated its inauguration. The 100 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project with parabolic trough technology is one of South Africa’s largest renewable energy projects. It was realized by ENGIE in South Africa’s Northern Cape. The energy experts from Tractebel accompanied the future-oriented project as Owner`s Engineer.

This project will power 179,000 homes in the local community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality and South Africa as a whole. In addition to this, it is estimated that it will save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years, and will foster further local economic development.

It is one of the largest CSP projects world-wide with thermal storage. Thanks to its molten salt storage system the plant can deliver 4.5 hours of full power to the grid even the sun is not shinning. The site covers approximately 4.5 km², with 384,000 parabolic mirrors.

The Kathu Solar Park is one of the largest CSP projects world-wide with thermal storage.

Clean energy needed

The importance of the project was emphasized by the French Ambassador to South Africa: “Kathu is the physical embodiment of a strategic partnership - based on trust - between South Africa and its business partners to build meaningful projects. And clean energy through new technologies supporting the local community is what this country needs.”

Tractebel has been acting as owner’s engineer for ENGIE since 2015 and led a combined team of experts from Germany and Belgium. They were in charge of design review, pre-construction services, follow-up of construction, commissioning and will be responsible for follow-up during the warranty period.

Inauguration of Kathu Solar Park.

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