Nordex Energy South Africa has unveiled plans to locally manufacture concrete tower sections in the Eastern Cape Province, ushering in the creation of up to 300 jobs within the region.

The purpose built manufacturing facility will be situated in Humansdorp, approximately 1.5 hours from the Port of Ngqura, where the remaining turbine components will land. Operations at the manufacturing plant, responsible for producing the 120m high towers, are set to commence as early as May 2024, supplying a trio of wind farms totalling an installed capacity of 336 MW.

Situated in the Eastern Cape Province, the cluster of wind farms in the Jeffreys Bay area, close to Impofu Dam, will harness the area’s exceptional wind resources, solidifying its position as one of the country’s most prominent wind power zones on the renewable energy map, boasting a total of 13 wind farms.

The installation of the first turbines is scheduled for the second half of 2024, with energy delivery to the grid anticipated in the second half of 2025, contributing to addressing the country’s energy deficiency. Furthermore, the green field projects promise to stimulate the local economy, not only during the construction phase but also throughout the operational period, fostering job creation, skills development, and socio-economic growth.

David Moncasi Hortet, Nordex Energy South Africa, Head of Sales, Africa said, “The wind farm cluster will elevate the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix, contributing to energy security and a reduction in greenhouse emissions. Additionally, it will enhance our market presence in South Africa, where we currently command over 32% of market share, operating more than 1.1 GW, predominantly in the Eastern Cape.”

Having invested in the Eastern Cape since 2013, Nordex Energy South Africa boasts a significant footprint in the province, including a warehouse in Gqeberha and 573 MW of installed capacity across five wind power plants.

A delegation from the Eastern Cape Provincial Government previously visited Nordex SE in Germany, emphasizing the province’s commitment to attracting renewable energy projects, particularly focusing on component manufacturing and assembly within the region.

The delegation was led by MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, and Tourism Mr. Mlungisi Mvoko and MEC for the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Ms. Nonkqubela Pieters.

The visit focused on discussing Nordex SE’s perspective on the renewable energy sector, identifying areas of support and chiefly to look at possible investments along the value chain focusing especially on component manufacturing and assembling within the province. The province is host to a pipeline of thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy projects at the environmental impact assessment phase or having already received environmental authorisation.

The Eastern Cape Province has among the best wind energy resources in the world, good quality solar resources, as well as optimal enabling conditions. It was therefore critical for the province to visit Nordex SE (Germany), as considering that Nordex Energy South Africa has five of its nine wind farms in this region.

The delegation further engaged with Nordex Energy South Africa (NESA) to unpack the value and economic opportunities of locally manufactured concrete towers, especially the associated local job opportunities.

One of the constraints that was identified at the time and has since been addressed, is the transport of major components from the Port of Ngqura to wind farms in the Eastern Cape and other areas of the country.

“The province is already an important hub for us, as we have a head office here as well as a warehouse, in addition to the numerous wind farms. We are invested long term and hence we are pleased to have had the chance to discuss constraints with these key stakeholders, which are charge with unlocking the associated benefits for the Eastern Cape,” concluded Moncasi.