Empowering South Africa with Clean Energy

Empowering South Africa with Clean Energy

BEIJING, Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Within just two years, the largest clean energy power plant of South Africa has emerged out of nothing on the vast wilderness in Northern Cape. It is the 100MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power plant constructed by POWERCHINA in South Africa, a country thousands of miles away from China.

Relieving Power Shortage

South Africa’s economic development has been constrained by insufficient energy supply. In fact, South Africa is one of the countries most suitable for developing concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) projects in the world. Leveraging this advantage, SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. under POWERCHINA constructed the Redstone CSP project in South Africa, the largest renewable energy investment project in the country. It is estimated that the project will generate about 480GWh of electricity for the country’s grid each year after it is put into operation, meeting the power demand of 200,000 local households at peak time and substantially boosting trade, investment and economic development of South Africa.

On October 20, 2022, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the construction site of the Redstone 100MW CSP project. He spoke highly of the project’s engineering quality, and expected the power project to begin operation as scheduled and further enhance friendship and mutual trust between China and South Africa.

Stimulating Local Development

Before joining the project, John was an electric technician in a small local company, and made a living on odd jobs. Since he began to work for the Redstone project, John has participated in vocational trainings on circuit analysis, circuit theory, electronic technology, and others. Soon, he grew from a grassroots technician into an indispensible electric engineer. With the increase of his income, his family’s living standards have greatly improved.

At present, there are nearly 1,000 local employees like John working with the Redstone project of POWERCHINA, which has created a large number of job opportunities for locals.

POWERCHINA actively implements a strategy of localization. Grounded on local resources in South Africa, it gives priority to local enterprises in terms of procurement and outsourcing. To date, the corporation has established partnerships with 50 sub-contractors in South Africa, forming a new industrial cluster in the locale.

Teaching Locals “How to Fish”

To enhance local employees’ vocational skills, POWERCHINA’s Redstone project set up a welder training base. In the future, POWERCHINA will join hands with local universities to launch the “Power Plant Lecture” program, with an aim to cultivate new energy talent for South Africa’s power development.

With the deepening friendship between the two sides, local residents aspire to an early opening of this new energy power plant. They are clearly aware that the project will provide adequate clean energy for local communities, enabling them to reduce reliance on fossil fuel while profoundly changing their lives and creating a better and more sustainable development space for future generations.


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