Hydro Tasmania and its consulting business Entura have broken ground in a new international market, with the official launch of a hydropower project in South Africa.
Entura has been involved for two years in the Neusberg project, which is a run-of-river small hydropower project under construction on the Orange River, near Kakamas in the Northern Cape.
Entura’s role encompasses the whole lifecycle of the project from design through to construction, as well as ongoing support for the operation and maintenance after completion, which is expected in January 2015.
Hydro Tasmania also plays a role in the Neusberg project as developer and 25 per cent equity participant in the project company Kakamas Hydro Electric Power, together with Hydro 1 SA, Old Mutual and a community trust funded by the Industrial Development Corporation.
The Neusberg project is the first run-of-river small hydro scheme to be delivered under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Program and will deliver 10MW of base load power in the South African energy market.
Hydro Tasmania chief executive officer Stephen Davy said Southern Africa presents great opportunities for Entura as the country seeks to develop its renewable energy potential, as only 7 per cent of Africa’s potential hydropower resources are currently developed.
Neusberg is one of several consulting projects being undertaken by Entura in southern Africa, including the identification of opportunities to install mini-hydro hydropower systems on existing water supply infrastructure in Durban and a water optimisation study for the Ncondezi group in Mozambique.
To better support Entura’s entry to the southern Africa market, it has established an office in Cape Town for its people involved in these projects and as a base for further operations in the region.