Coega wind tower factory nears completion

12 November 2013

Construction of a R300-million wind turbine tower factory is nearing completion at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said on Monday.

The project is a joint initiative between South African manufacturing and engineering company DCD Group, the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation and the CDC.

The 23 000 square metre facility is expected to produce up to 120 wind turbine towers a year. The tubular steel towers will range from 80 to 120 meters tall, with individual sections weighing between 40 and 60 tons.

Two hundred permanent jobs will be created at the factory, with 250 temporary jobs having been created in the construction process.

“The aim is to have the facility up and running in under 11 months after construction started in March, so that the DCD Group is able to supply its first two customers by February 2014,” CDC infrastructure project manager Bruno Ponzo said in a statement on Monday.

In the past few months a number of imported wind farm components have arrived at the Port of Ngqura near Coega and made their way in a convoy of abnormal load vehicles to the wind farms under development across the Eastern Cape.

According to the CDC’s business development manager for the energy sector, Sandisiwe Ncemane, the Coega Industrial Development Zone – including the Port of Ngqura – is set to become the nexus through which renewable energy parts and sector logistics are coordinated and managed for the entire province.

“We have worked long and hard to create an environment in which renewable energy – from end to end – could both flourish at and be facilitated by Coega,” Ncemane said. “This is becoming a hard-won reality, as investment in this sector grows not only within the boundaries of the Coega IDZ but throughout the province.”

CDC spokesperson Ayanda Vilakazi said investors in Coega had a choice of whether or not to use Coega’s infrastructure and construction services when they set up shop in the industrial development zone.

The pace at which the new factory was going up “is an indication of the quality and speed of Coega’s expert team,” Vilakazi said. “In addition, we are able to ensure … that small construction firms also gain a share of the work. The aim is for SMMEs to benefit from 35% of CDC’s procurement.”

SAinfo reporter and Coega Development Corporation