Entura opens doors in southern Africa

October 10, 2013

Hydro Tasmania and its consulting business Entura have broken ground in a new international market, with the official launch this week 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 of South Africa. Construction officially began this week with a sod turning ceremony.

Entura’s role encompasses the whole lifecycle of the project from design through construction and ongoing support for the operation and maintenance after completion 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 (Pty) Ltd, together with Hydro 1 SA (Pty) Ltd, Old Mutual, and a community trust funded by the Industrial Development Corporation.

“The project brings great benefits to the local community, both through ensuring a financial share in the project through the community trust, and through job creation for work on the scheme,” said Stephen Davy, Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer.

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 10 MW of base load power in the South African energy market.

“Southern Africa presents great opportunities for Entura as the country seeks to develop its renewable energy potential, with only seven per cent of Africa’s potential hydropower resources currently developed,” Mr Davy said.

“Winning projects in this region further enhances Entura’s and Tasmania’s international profile as a clean energy leader.”

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.