Concentrated Solar Power in South Africa

Tractebel Engineering and its consortium partners* were chosen by the South African utility company Eskom to provide engineering and project management for one of the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power plants with tower technology (capacity 100 MWe) in Upington, South Africa.

The project will be financed by the World Bank Clean Technology Fund, African Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the German public-sector financial institution KfW and the European Investment Bank. The services of the consortium will be implemented during the development and execution phases of the project.

The plant will have a circular solar field of heliostats focussing the solar radiation in two-axis tracking towards a molten salt central receiver located in a high tower. From this receptor, the molten salts will be driven to an exchanger to produce superheated steam for generating power in a conventional steam turbine. Some of the heat from the molten salts will be used to continue production beyond daylight hours, achieving a capacity factor of at least 60%.

Luc Resteigne, General Manager Power & Gas, underlines the importance of this contract: “this 60 months contract constitutes a major step in the further development of our activities in South Africa. Our leading role in this CSP contract will reinforce our international position as a comprehensive energy engineering company on the African continent.”

* consortium partners: Spanish Astrom Technical Advisors and South-African PD Naidoo & Associates