The Western Cape cabinet has resolved that investing in Karpowership technology for a 20-year period is not in the best interests of the Western Cape or the country.
The province, which is run by the Democratic Alliance, recommended intensive research to assess the emergency measure’s capacity to end South Africa’s devastating energy crisis.
“I do not believe investing vast resources into one company is appropriate, and allowing Karpowership to operate in South Africa for such a long time should not be allowed,” said Premier Alan Winde.
“Karpowership should not be given the monopoly. If we are to include power ships in our efforts to resolve the energy crisis, we must also consider other companies, and the time period over which they would be utilised must be strictly limited to five years, subject to clear guidelines. This measure should also not negate our investment into green energy,” he said.
Karpowership is one of the preferred bidders under the national government’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. Karpowership is a Turkish builder, operator and owner of a fleet of power ships.
The company is aiming to undertake the floating gas-to-power projects at the ports of Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay and Ngqura, using imported liquified natural gas as a fuel source. Power ships are ship- or barge-mounted, fully integrated floating power plants and, since 2010, 36 such ships have been completed with a total installed capacity exceeding 6GW.
Winde said: “This crisis demands urgent interventions, which must be considered in a transparent manner. We must explore all viable and feasible options to end rolling blackouts, but not at the expense of other role-players in the energy space who should also be given the opportunity to be a part of the overall solution.”
Cabinet has emphasised that renewable energy projects must form an integral part of the province’s future energy mix. “Not only is renewable energy becoming increasingly cost-effective, it will also assist greatly in our transition away from fossil fuels. We need to strike a balance; we have an obligation to meet the country’s climate change commitments while at the same time growing our economy, which requires a stable, resilient, low-carbon energy mix,” the premier said.
It was decided at Thursday’s meeting that future electricity generation in the Western Cape should come from low-carbon, renewable technologies. Provincial environment minister Anton Bredell said: “The energy choices we make now will impact the natural environment we hand over to future generations. As a government, we should be careful not to take knee-jerk actions.”
According to the Daily Maverick, Karpowership chief commercial officer Zeynep Harezi has said the company is ready to dispatch five floating power ships to South Africa and to start generating electricity within 90 days.
Although the exact cost of the deal has not been disclosed, the CSIR has estimated that it could be worth about R228-billion. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media