Invest in Africa Energy would partner with energy business Nomac to operate and maintain the mooted Bokpoort concentrating solar power project in the Northern Cape.

Invest in Africa Energy, said yesterday it would partner with energy business Nomac to operate and maintain the mooted Bokpoort concentrated solar power project in the Northern Cape.

Nomac is a subsidiary of Saudi based ACWA Power International which operates more than 10 GW of power generation.

The 50 MW Bokpoort concentrating solar thermal project is one of 19 projects that the Department of Energy has selected in the second window of its Independent Power Producer procurement programme. The solar thermal project is due for commissioning in the third quarter of 2015, according to ACWA Power International, the leader of the consortium that is developing and will own the project.

While the Independent Power Producer programme will attract the interest of major energy companies, it is also expected to facilitate the entry of local companies into the renewable energy industry. The government has set stringent local content requirements.

Invest in Africa Energy said it was a 30% shareholder in the operations and maintenance company that would be responsible for the Bokpoort project. The 70% shareholder will be Nomac.

"(The partnership) confirms and extends our longstanding collaboration with ACWA Power in the development of projects in Southern Africa, and it is an encouraging and significant development, which confirms our commitment as an empowered power sector operating company," Invest in Africa Energy chairman Enver Asmal said.

ACWA Power said the project would be financed by a combination of consortium members and Investec Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation. The consortium building the project includes the corporation, Lereko Solafrica Investment, Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, Kurisani Solafrica Investments and Solafrica Community Investment Company.

Bidders for the various projects are expected to conclude a number of agreements with Eskom.

The consortium has selected another consortium of engineering, procurement and construction contractors made up of SA’s Crowie Concessions and Spanish companies TSK Electrónica y Electricidad, Acciona Infrastructuras, Acciona Ingeniería and Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas