Project Pinboard – June 2014

June 12th, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


Vector publishes a roundup of major projects in the pipeline as a heads-up to tenderers

Cornubia housing project to commence

President Zuma has officially announced the Cornubia development. The R25-billion development of housing, commercial and industrial sites, which will be situated between Durban and King Shaka International Airport, is backed by the government. Construction activities, which will range from subsidised housing to large-scale, complex multi-storey buildings, are evidently to continue for 20 years. Cornubia is a 1200 ha development which has 80 ha set aside for industrial development, with the balance marked for commercial, housing and facilities such as schools, crèches, clinics, police stations and post offices. The project was initiated as a joint venture between the eThekwini Metro Municipality and Tongaat Hulett, a major local agriculture and agri-processing company. It has since been adopted by the Cabinet as a national priority project, which means that all sectors of government will be brought in as official partners. The many building operations cannot fail to create opportunities for contractors in the province.

African cryogenics expands operations

PSV, a diversified industrial engineering group, says the South African cryogenic industry is far greater than most people realise, and needs far more capacity than is available at present. It has acquired Rand Air & Gas and Cryoshield, companies in the same sector as its subsidiary, African Cryogenics. In a programme to increase its operating capacity and achieve synergies through these operations, the group plans to build a 7000 m2 manufacturing facility at a cost of some R40-million. It says it plans to provide its customers with improved products, faster turnaround times and new business. Its aim is to assist the gases and chemical industries to diversify their operations. Executives say the company currently works from three separate sites in Gauteng, underlining the need for consolidation and additional capacity. The new facility helps PSV’s acquisitions to combine their value-added operations and to ensure that African Cryogenics shortens its turnaround times.

A million homes to get power

Delivering his budget speech in Cape Town recently, the minister of finance said the housing budget for the 2013/14 financial year was R143-billion. This would be used to build 216 000 houses and connect 905 000 households to electricity over the next two years. This is in addition to other schemes the state has embarked on in partnership with the private sector and public-private development institutions. Between 1994 and 2013, the government built over 2,7-million houses across South Africa. The National Development Plan (NDP) recommends that responsibility for housing shift to the country’s municipalities to improve co-ordination. All metro municipalities have been directed to implement housing programmes. How many of these homes will be connected to the national grid is not certain, given the current problems getting people to pay for services. Nationally, Eskom and municipalities are owed billions of rand in arrears.

Coal fines project set to start

River Energy South Africa has announced plans to build a plant that makes briquettes out of coal dust in the Woestalleen Hub, near Witbank and Middelburg in Mpumalanga. The cost of the first phase of the project is $1,2-million. River Energy SA has an agreement with Blue Falcon 212 Trading, the owners and operators of the Woestalleen Colliery. Under the agreement, River Energy will buy all existing coal fines in tailings dams and all new coal fines produced in the three wash-plant modules processing run-of-mine coal, at the Woestalleen Hub, for the life of the project. Estimates are that the plant will process 250 000 tons of coal fines a year. The developers say although all necessary site infrastructure and rail access is already in existence at the site, much work still needs to be done to get the plant into operation.

Another coal fired station on the way

The minister of public enterprises says the government is actively compiling funding plans for another coal-fired power station after Medupi and Kusile. Speaking at an Eskom report-back occasion, the minister said it was vital that a start was made on “Coal 3” so it could be commissioned in time to avoid another crisis of the 2008 type. During that national emergency, South Africa’s mining sector and other major electricity users had to stop operations to avoid a national blackout. Medupi and Kusile are “six-pack” stations, built on the pattern of Eskom’s fleet that has prevailed since the 1980s, but it is too early to say whether Coal 3 will follow this design. Some observers feel smaller plant are preferable because they come on-line faster. Projects of this magnitude also generate large numbers of contracts for small businesses in various sectors of the economy.

Northern Cape wants renewable energy

South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP), directed by the Department of Energy, has so far approved 31 projects for the Northern Cape. The province’s desire to run entirely on renewable energy has spurred the construction of new large solar and wind power stations projects in the region. The provincial premier says the province’s strategy is to become a net producer of renewable energy to the rest of the country by 2020. It plans to have a solar corridor stretching between ZF Mgcawu and the Pixley ka Seme regions, and the solar-themed special economic zone (SEZ) to the station in Khara Hais Municipality is a manifestation of this. The Northern Cape’s projects are expected to create over 6000 jobs during construction and nearly 9000 permanent jobs.

Related Articles

  • South African Government COVID-19 Corona Virus Resource Portal
  • Ministerial determinations propose 13813 MW of new-build by IPPs, none by Eskom
  • Crunch time for South Africa’s national nuclear company, Necsa
  • Dealing with the elephant in the room that is Eskom…
  • Interview with Minerals & Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe