Nelson Mandela Bay to be green energy centre



Sandisiwe Ncemane, investment manager: energy division of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) sees Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape is becoming a hotspot for the manufacturing of green energy components and technologies soon.

In its 2013/14 financial year, the CDC secured foreign investments close to R1bn for green energy component manufacturing in South Africa.

Investments attracted to the Coega IDZ in the last year include JA Solar and Powerway’s now operational R660m solar module manufacturing facility, and a R127m renewable energy components manufacturing facility owned by Powerway/Sungrow, which will commence with production within the year.

A new ground-mounted solar energy harvesting plant was also commissioned for the Coega IDZ and announced by the CDC earlier this month.

The R300m DCD Wind Towers production facility also went online this year, and the plant will have an estimated annual production output of 110 and 120 wind towers.

“The CDC profile as a green technology manufacturing hub of South Africa has gained traction in renewable energy projects,” said Ncemane.

“On-grid and off-grid green energy component manufacturing, which includes, among others wind towers and solar photo voltaic (PV) panels in the Coega IDZ are alive and well.”  

These investments are critical in supporting 64 renewable energy projects valued at R100bn approved by the SA government since 2011.

These will produce 3 900MW for South Africa’s energy mix through wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power.

The organisation remains bullish over the future of alternative energy component manufacturing investments in the new financial year, according to Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.

“New legislation, government’s robust renewable energy strategy and other value propositions inherent to Nelson Mandela Bay will support future investment and investment interest in the Eastern Cape’s green manufacturing economy,” he said.

“The new Special Economic Zones Act has introduced significant tax benefits, a reduction of red tape and labour productivity-enhancing mechanisms to investors, which will make the Coega IDZ attractive as a location for investment,” said Vilakazi.

“This further supported by Nelson Mandela Bay’s long-standing position as an industrial and manufacturing economic hub and a commitment towards green energy research by our local university.”  

The sum of these parts provide a unique arrangement of value propositions, which is driving the attraction for foreign and local investment in the Coega IDZ, according to Vilakazi

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