Avon hopes to build fruitful relations

2016-10-26 06:00
Stakeholders at the Avon Peaking Power Plant. Photo: supplied

Stakeholders at the Avon Peaking Power Plant. Photo: supplied

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AVON Peaking Power hosted a stakeholder thanksgiving lunch and site tour of the Peaking Power Plant in Driefontien on Monday, 24 October.

The plant started commercial operation at the end of July and provides 670 megawatts to the national grid.
Avon entered into a 15-year purchase of power agreement with Eskom.

The plant, which was constructed over a period of two years at a cost of just above R6 billion, supports the national grid by providing energy when the demand for electricity spikes.

“This project is not like your coal projects or the renewable [energy] projects that [constantly] provide energy, it’s a peaking plant, meaning it only operates a few hours per day when the demand for electricity peaks,” Avon Peaking Power CEO Arnaud de Limburg said.

De Limburg said the lunch was intended to thank and foster long lasting and symbiotic relations with the stakeholders who played a role in the construction process of the plant.

He said one such stakeholder is the KwaDukuza Municipality which played a critical role in the recruitment of the labour force with up to 88% percent (an estimated 1500 people) recruited locally.

To attest to Avon’s commitment to building fruitful relations with local stakeholders, De Limburg said the company has adopted a local school, Osizweni Primary School, which is a stone throw away from the plant.

He said the company has already refurbished the school’s kitchen and playground facilities and has a teacher training programme. He said in future the company will have a bursary programme for the school’s pupil to enter tertiary education.

“We want to interact with them so that our presence in the area has a positive impact,” de Limburg said.

KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu applauded Avon for the construction of the plant.

“It is a great pleasure that today we meet under conditions of peace and happiness.
“We meet to celebrate today after many trials and tribulations which threatened the completion of this very important project. We have every reason to celebrate.

“We celebrate because this is just one project that demonstrates that the country’s policy instruments are geared towards the transformation of the economy, whilst at the same time ensuring that we deliver services to our citizens.
“The Independent Power Project initiated by the Department of Energy will indeed be bolstered by the success of this project.

“We also celebrate because the project proves that the country is on course with research, development and innovation, as it is based on the conversion of gas to power,” he said.

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