Exxaro and GDF Suez to build power plant in South Africa

powerplant  Graf SpeeThe capacity of the power station may double depending on the availability of water and grid constraints. (Image source: Graf Spee/Flickr)Coal producer Exxaro Resources and France’s GDF Suez will build a 600MW coal-fired power station in the Waterberg region of Northern Limpopo in South Africa

Exxaro said that by building its own power station, it can ensure it has electricity to operate even if state utility Eskom Holdings struggles to meet with South Africa’s energy demands.

The company added that the capacity of the power station, to be located next to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine, may double depending on the availability of water and grid constraints. Fuel for the plant will be supplied from its Thabametsi mine, a planned opencast operation.

Exxaro executive head of strategy Mzila Mthenjane told Businessweek, “We’re still in the early stages, so there’s still some time to go until we get a sense of capital costs and timings.”

GDF Suez Energy head of business development for Southern Africa Sanjith Mungroo said that the construction of the power station will take about four years to complete but it was too early to provide a timeline on the project. He added that GDF Suez and Exxaro were awaiting feedback from the South African department of energy for commencement of work at the project site.

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