16 April 2004The government says it is committed to developing the fledgling aerospace industry in South Africa – in the way that it has helped the country’s motor industry out of the starting blocks.South Africa’s strategy for aerospace industry growth – traditionally considered a difficult sector to enter – is to encourage international partnerships with overseas aircraft manufacturers in the component sub-system repair and maintenance area.R110m super-alloys plantThe industry was recently bolstered by the announcement of a R110-million Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) investment in a new plant to produce super-alloy metals for Rolls-Royce engines.The plant, at Pelindaba outside Pretoria, is expected to produce 4 000 tons of the super-strong steel within three years, mostly for export, with potential earnings of R750-million a year for South African Airways (SAA), Business Day reports.The project forms part of offset deals linked to arms and aircraft purchases by the government and SAA.Two Malaysian contracts for GrintekDefence technology group Grintek also announced recently that it had secured two contracts with the Malaysian government.ThisDay reports that Avitronics, a joint venture between Grintek and Saab of Sweden, has been awarded the first phase of a contract to supply Malaysia with 18 multi-sensor warning systems for its new Sukhoi fighter aircraft.The first and second phases of the order are valued at over US$20-million, or R134-million, with the first phase starting immediately.According to ThisDay, Grintek subsidiary Grintek Aviation Systems will also be supplying and installing instrument landing equipment to a civilian airport in Malaysia.The two deals follow numerous negotiations between the two countries, helped by President Thabo Mbeki’s visit to Malaysia last year.New aircraft purchases ‘have already paid for themselves’ThisDay also reported recently that South Africa’s multi-billion-dollar purchases of jet fighters and trainer aircraft from BAE Systems have already paid for themselves through offset investments in the manufacturing sector and export sales.BAE says it expects to achieve a R14.8-billion milestone in investments, exports and sales in 2004. “We have undertaken to deliver a significant economic benefit to the country”, BAE executive director Bernard Collier told ThisDay. “What we’ve done now is, instead of words, we’ve proven it with action.”The aerospace industry has proved a difficult nut to crack for newcomers – even when they’ve had the financial clout.Avmin’s Rick Menell says it has been looking for projects for the past six years to add value to minerals before they are exported. He told Business Day that the value of the nickel-based alloys could be multiplied by a factor of seven following the new investment.Menell added, however, that the market is “closed”, with accreditation very hard to achieve without a partner.Regional maintenance hubSouth Africa is increasingly becoming important as a regional hub for maintenance repair organisations serving operators flying in sub-Saharan Africa.During 2000-2005, capital expenditure by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), a state-owned corporation and the largest airport operator in South Africa, is projected to be US$234-million.Several commercially run regional airports, some of which have international status, are sources for airport projects. Many local airport developers are also looking to fund the upgrading of existing smaller airports, and to turn them into more competitive international facilities.SouthAfrica.info reporter
“The findings of the report are very interesting, particularly where they refer to the business environment in South Africa – the ease of doing business, regulatory framework, and all the different steps that need to be gone through when one is doing business in this country – which actually compare favourably to those of other peer countries,” said Davies. The report presents the results of a 2008 survey of 1 056 manufacturing industries, 68% of which are located in Johannesburg, 14% in Cape Town, 12% in Durban, and 6% in Port Elizabeth. Of these, 231 businesses were revisits from an earlier 2003 survey. Strengthening business competitiveness The report provides survey-based analytical advice to policy-makers, business leaders and civil society, with a view to strengthening business competitiveness in South Africa. “The challenge is to identify bottlenecks and take concrete actions.” South Africa’s business environment compares favourably with its peer group of upper- to middle-income economies globally, according to a new World Bank report, which adds however that certain improvements are still needed. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material These include raising the market share of efficient, high-performing enterprises, enhancing productivity, and increase export competitiveness for job-led, sustainable economic growth. 3 August 2010 South Africa could improve its productivity and competitiveness by increasing the market share of efficient producers. Given the high concentration of South African industry, this requires further efforts to enhance competition through more activist and innovative policies.Investments in employee training in small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) should be increased with better targeted government support.South Africa could do more to improve access to finance by SMMEs and support productive informal enterprises. “Improving the investment climate in South Africa is critical for economic growth and job creation,” said Kagia. “For Africa’s largest economy, a better business environment will generate large spillovers benefits across the African continent. The report’s key messages are that: For the purpose of the survey, the comparator group of emerging economies was Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Malaysia, and Thailand. African spillover The report, entitled “South Africa: Second Investment Climate Assessment – Improving the Business Environment for Job Creation and Growth”, was prepared by a World Bank team in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry, and released by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and World Bank country director for South Africa Ruth Kagia last week. These countries are natural peers of South Africa, as all are relatively high-performing, resource-rich middle-income countries which have experienced significant export-driven industrialisation. He said that the government actively promoted the above factors as one of the country’s competitive advantages, adding that it was something they wanted to preserve and even improve on, as it was clearly important to attracting new business. “Furthermore, we acknowledge the challenges identified in the report, such as small business development and access to finance, and our department is working to address the challenges,” said Davies. “We welcome the report as a tool of dialogue, discussion and debate.”
10 April 2015Kathu solar thermal plant, the latest solar plant to be constructed in sunny Northern Cape, will be built by engineering and construction group Sener and the infrastructure, renewable energy and services corporation Acciona.Together the two international companies form the consortium chosen to develop the Kathu turnkey project. The complex is led by GDF Suez, with South African partners comprising Sishen Iron Ore Company Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier and Public Investment Corporation.It has been selected by the South African Department of Energy to form part of the country’s renewable energy development programme (REIPPP), with a forecast investment of more than €500-million (R6.4-billion).Kathu Solar Park, along with Redstone Solar Thermal Power, which will both build 100MW capacity, were the preferred bidders in the third round of the government’s REIPPPP, the department said.Concentrated solar thermal power is able to store solar power generated during daylight hours.Storage capacityKathu is a 100MW plant with parabolic troughs – specifically, the SenerTrough-2 system, designed and patented by Sener, and a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours, thanks to the use of molten salts. Located in the town of Kathu, near Upington, in Northern Cape Province, the plant will begin operations in 2018 and will be able to supply electricity to 80 000 homes.Because of the nature of the contract, Sener and Acciona will carry out the engineering, construction and commissioning of the entire facility. The building consortium will also use local suppliers, as the project is fully committed to contributing to the local community.It is the companies’ second solar thermal project in South Africa, the first being the Bokpoort plant in Upington, in which they also form part of the building consortium. It will be operational later this year. It is also a turnkey project that uses SenerTrough technology and a molten salt storage system.Kathu is near KaXu Solar One, the first solar thermal electricity plant in South Africa, which was formally opened by Ebrahim Patel, the economic development minister, on 2 March. KaXu, which means “open skies” in the loca Nama language, is outside Pofadder.Total investment in KaXu, the largest parabolic trough project in the southern hemisphere, was $891-million (R10.7-billion).International experienceThe international partners bring with them a wealth of experience. Sener has been involved in 29 solar plants, most of them turnkey projects, in Spain, the USA, South Africa, and Morocco. Together these represent an installed capacity of more than 2 000MW and carbon dioxide savings of more than one million tons annually.Some of its projects are technological milestones, such as Gemasolar and Valle 1 and Valle 2, in Spain, and the Noor complex in Morocco, where Sener also forms parts of the building consortium for Noor 1 and for the second phase (Noor 2 and Noor 3).Acciona is one of the world’s biggest renewable energy operators, and owns an installed capacity of 8 500MW. It is a turnkey provider of electricity generating facilities using wind, solar and photovoltaic technology. In solar thermal energy, it operates 315MW in the USA and Spain, and has built more than 12 plants. It is currently working on projects such as Noor 1 in Morocco and Bokpoort in South Africa.It has had a presence in South Africa since September 2012 through its energy and infrastructures divisions, working on three renewable energy projects:Sishen Solar Photovoltaic Plant: Acciona owns and operates the plant, which has the largest output of any plant of its type in Africa (214 gigawatt hours per year). The project is a joint venture with Aveng, Soul City and Dibeng Community Trust. It became operational in December 2014.Gouda Wind Farm: Acciona Energy, in partnership with Aveng, Soul City and Local Community Trust, is building the Gouda wind farm (138MW), its first wind farm in South Africa.Bokpoort Thermosolar Power Plant: Awarded to Acciona and its partners in June 2012, construction is expected to finish this year. The 50MW facility will use parabolic troughs and will have a molten salt energy storage system.Sener is a private engineering and technology group founded in Bilbao, Spain, in 1956. It was the first Spanish engineering company. Acciona is one of Spain’s largest corporations, operating in the fields of infrastructure, energy, water, and services in more than 30 countries.SAinfo reporter
Pankaj Kumar, a Dalit youth was allegedly strangulated to death in Kamalpur village of Muzaffarnagar. The body was found near a tubewell outside the village on Thursday, police said. According to Vijay Pratap Singh, Circle Officer, Budhana, Kumar was missing since Wednesday night. Three people have been detained so far, Mr. Singh said.“The body was found near a tubewell outside the village on Thursday morning with the help of dog squad,” Mr. Singh said. He said prima facie it seemed like a case of strangulation but the police were waiting for the post mortem report. “The motive of the murder is being investigated. Pankaj lived with his sister and mother in the village. The family suspects three youths from the Dalit community. We have detained Ramesh Kumar and two others for interrogation,” said Mr Singh, adding samples picked up from the spot suggest that liquor was consumed there.