6 October 2014
The opening of a new wind tower manufacturing plant in the Western Cape, will expand South Africa’s manufacturing base, provide much-needed jobs and spur economic growth in the country.
The R300-million Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI) wind tower manufacturing factory will produce 150 wind tower masts a year for the local and export market, said Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies at the official launch of the plant on 5 November.
“The opening of this facility is welcomed by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) as part of our drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry and to increase the country’s industrial base. The Green Economy has been identified as a key focus area in the Department’s Industrial Policy Action Plan, and provides significant opportunities for job creation and economic growth,” said Davies.
Located in Atlantis, a town in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, the wind tower manufacturing plant will employ more than 200 people some of whom will go through training in specialised fabrication processes.
Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA), a division of the dti, worked closely with Green Cape, a development agency established to support the growth of the green economy in the Western Cape, to provide a seamless investment experience for GRI. Davies said the development incentive grant received from the dti was put to good use in constructing the Atlantis facility which has become a landmark in the area.
“the dti is working closely with the green industries sector to develop policies that will enable further investment. We launched a study on localisation for the manufacturing of PV solar panels in South Africa. A similar study is currently being undertaken for the localisation potential in the wind industry,” said Davies.
City of Cape Town executive mayor Patricia de Lille said the GRI production facility is the first major investment that the City has attracted through its pilot Investment Incentive Scheme in Atlantis.
She said together with the dti, the Western Cape government and Green-Cape, the City is working towards the designation of a Special Economic Zone in Atlantis “where even more green technology companies will be incentivised to do business here’.
“In so doing, the City of Cape Town will be playing its part in the protection of our environment, the strengthening of our economy, and improving the lives of residents,’ she said.
GRI is the second wind tower investor in South Africa after DCD Dorbyl invested R300million in a wind tower plant in the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth. DCD Dorbyl used the former Manufacturing Investment Programme grant from the dti to set up the Coega plant which is currently manufacturing 110 towers per year.