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ITOCHU to Construct Africa's Largest Solar Power Plant in South Africa
 

Tokyo, June 10, 2013 (JCN) - ITOCHU Corporation announced that Scatec Solar (Norway), in which ITOCHU owns a 37.5% stake, has concluded an agreement with Eskom, the South African state-owned power utility, to sell power for a period of 20 years, on May 9, 2013.

The company was selected by the South African government as a preferred bidder for solar (photovoltaic) power plant (total 115 MW) in Phase II bidding conducted in May 2012. Scatec Solar also concluded a financial agreement with a local bank and construction will begin with the aim of starting operations at the end of 2014.

Under this project, the 160-ha site will be covered by approximately 460,000 solar (photovoltaic) panels, and is expected to generate upward of 225 GWh/year. The plant will provide power for consumption equivalent to that of approximately 53,000 households, and at the same time carbon dioxide reduction of 190,000 tons/year is expected.

The South African government sets a future target of 20% of the country's electric demand being supplied by power generated from renewable energy sources such as solar power, and this project falls under the REIPPP scheme.

Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) will fulfill the country's renewable energy potential, and the South African government introduced this system to, through the state-owned power utility Eskom, purchase under a state guarantee electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

The total capacity of Scatec Solar's photovoltaic power plant in the country will reach 190 MW when combined with that of Phase I (75 MW). This will allow the company to firmly establish its place in Africa as a system integrator of solar power systems that undertakes from development to construction and possession of large-scale photovoltaic power plants.

Aiming to penetrate photovoltaic power generation systems globally, Itochu is also proactively engaged in a range of projects in newly emerging countries where demands for electricity have been rapidly growing, such as development in other African countries, as well as business in collaboration with powerful local partners in the Middle East.

As a part of its strategic approaches Scatec Solar will start to collaborate with ITOCHU to promote large-scale mega-solar projects in Japan. Utilizing its experience and networks built through such projects in European countries such as Germany, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, and in South Africa, it will work on its current goal of development and construction of photovoltaic power plants equivalent to power output of 100 MW.

By Saroj Shrestha Staff Writer

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