China Longyuan in 244MW SA win

Chinese wind giant Longyuan is claiming a breakthrough in its international strategy after clinching 244MW of capacity in the third round of South Africa’s renewable energy tenders.

Longyuan will build the capacity at two wind farms in the North Cape province using 1.5MW turbines supplied by its sister company Guodian United Power, said a statement.

The plants are the De Aar phase 1 and 2 projects of 100MW and 144MW respectively.

Longyuan said it will develop the wind farms as controlling shareholder in a consortium that also includes Mulilo Renewable Energy and the Black Community Company, and with the help of local finance.

Longyuan – China’s biggest domestic wind power operator with 10.6GW at home – said the South Africa success is a big step forward for its “go global” strategy.

“This is quite significant for accelerating China Longyuan Power’s pace of implementing internationalised strategies, promoting home wind turbines’ export, and strengthening China-South Africa co-operation and exchange on renewable energy technology,” the statement said.

The Chinese group claimed the South African energy department had selected “the most powerful new energy development enterprise” on the basis of “such aspects as bidding price, local social and economic development plan and black economic promotion programme”.

Longyuan was also keen to point out that it secured the two projects in the face of “fierce competition” in the form of “many world famous wind power developers and investors including EDF, Enel, EDP and Mainstream”.

Mainstream was in fact the biggest winner out of the total of 787MW of wind handed out so far under the third-round process.

The Irish developer yesterday revealed that it had secured 360MW at three wind farms.

The South African government said it is still considering awarding more capacity in the wind and solar categories after delaying a full announcement of the preferred bidders for round three.