SENER has been working in South Africa since 2013, when the group started construction on the Bokpoort concentrated solar power plant, a project for the Department of Energy.
The Spanish Ambassador to South Africa, Juan Ignacio Sell, welcomed a delegation from SENER, led by President Jorge Sendagorta and Managing Director Jorge Unda, at the Embassy in Pretoria. Showcasing SENER’s projects in South Africa, this official event welcomed representatives from South African companies and institutions, who gained first-hand knowledge on the engineering and technology group’s main projects in the country.
SENER has been working in South Africa since 2013, when the group started construction on the Bokpoort concentrated solar power plant, a project for the Department of Energy (DoE) in which SENER is participating as a member of the turnkey construction consortium. The company is responsible for the construction, commissioning and start-up of the power plant, which is set to commence commercial operation in 2015. The 50 MW Bokpoort power plant features SENER technology, namely the SENERtrough® parabolic trough system, and a nine-hour molten salt storage system similar to the one that SENER has implemented in numerous thermoelectric solar plants all over the world. The site chosen for the plant lies in the Northern Cape Province, near the town of Upington, in the vicinity of the Kalahari Desert, which has magnificent solar and environmental conditions.
At the same time, SENER is working on a similar thermosolar plant for the DoE in the town of Kathu, also located in Northern Cape. This is another turnkey construction project for a 100-MW plant with parabolic trough technology –in this case the power plant will boast the second-generation SENERtrough®-2 parabolic trough system – and a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours, thanks to the use of molten salts. Once in operation, in 2018, the Kathu solar plant will be capable of supplying electricity to 80,000 homes.
In addition to these two projects, there is another contract pending, also in the concentrated solar power field. SENER is a world leader in this area, both because of the number of projects in its portfolio – 29 to date, most of them developed as turnkey projects located in Morocco, South Africa, Spain, and the USA – and because of the group’s development and implementation of patented technological solutions. In total, all of these projects represent an installed capacity of more than 2,000 MWe and CO2 savings equivalent to one million tons annually.
Yet SENER’s prospects in this country are even greater, thanks to the group’s multidisciplinary capacities. SENER has completed Engineering and Construction projects in a variety of sectors, including Aerospace, Power and Process, Infrastructures and Transport, and Marine. That is why SENER will be able to make a significant contribution to South African development, especially to its industrial and transport infrastructures. In this sense, it has successfully completed projects in other African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Mozambique.
In all of these countries, SENER is keenly committed to the local community, a philosophy which generates local employment in construction and orders for area suppliers. Besides, SENER implements development and aid projects either alone, at the initiative of SENER professionals working in the country and with the corporate support of SENER, or in collaboration with other institutions and non-governmental organizations. This commitment is in keeping with SENER’s founding philosophy, which seeks to improve the lives of people through social projects.
In South Africa, SENER professionals have carried out a number of voluntary initiatives: in the town of Upington, they have implemented a transport service for children and elderly people attending the Oasis Skills Development Centre for people with disabilities. In addition, the SENER team has implemented a project that will provide the !Kheis community in Northern Cape with a computer lab that will offer internet access to the population. It has also made donations towards the rehabilitation of housing, and organized drives for toys, clothes and shoes as well as motivational talks for young people, and other recreational and cultural activities.