French utility company GDF Suez says it has broken ground for a US 350-million dollar peak power plant at Coega, near Port Elizabeth, the industrial zone in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa under development.
The plant comprising two open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) to produce 355 megawatts is expected to put an end to sporadic blackouts that have plagued the region. The turbines can be turned on and off at a moment’s notice, a distinct advantage over other traditional baseload power generators, such as coal and nuclear plants. The turbines will run on diesel with the option to convert to cheaper natural gas at a later stage.
The gas will eventually be sourced from the Mozambican gas fields to the North.