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South Africa: IPP aims for WB emission standards with new fossil-fuel power station

One of the first coal deposits to be worked in South Africa, Elitheni, in the Indwe coalfield of the Eastern Cape, could supply the feedstock for the country’s first clean-coal technology power station.

Elitheni has grabbed the attention of independent power producer (IPP) Independent Power Southern Africa (Ipsa), which is listed on the Altinative Investment Market in London and may soon also join South Africa’s AltX board. Ipsa is currently conducting an environmental-impact assessment to evaluate appropriate clean-coal technologies that will enable coal-fired electricity gene-ration in line with the emission standards of the World Bank. Ipsa CEO Peter Earl tells Mining Weekly that there is a compelling case for the development of Elitheni’s coal and a neighbouring 400-MW mine-mouth power plant. Earl says that the deposit contains the largest coal reserves in the vicinity of South Africa’s coast.

Inland coal-fired power stations, supplied mainly by coal mines in the Mpumalanga province, generate most of South Africa’s electricity.

State-owned power company Eskom conveys the electricity along thousands of kilometres of power lines down to the coast.

The strong growth in demand for electricity has resulted in blackouts in the Western Cape, which is geographically the furthest province from the coal-fired power stations in the north-east of the country.

“We view Elitheni as an absolutely strategic project,” Earl comments. He adds that initial reserve reports have confirmed that there are commercially-exploitable reserves of coal at Elitheni of a quality and quantity suitable for power generation. Earlier this year, Ipsa signed a memorandum of understanding that granted it the exclusive right to develop up to 400 MW of mine-mouth clean-coal power capacity next to the deposit.

Additional information: Read the full story at Mining Weekly
News date: 13/10/2006

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