The 4.5 MW Stortemelk hydroelectric power plant is a run-of-river project located in the Free State province of South Africa. REH Group commenced construction on the project in August 2014 and completed it over a period of 18 months.
The Stortemelk hydroelectric power plant was built on the Ash River and operates by using the outflow from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The power station started operating commercially in July 2016 with an annual output of 28GWh.
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Overall, the construction costs of the Stortemelk hydroelectric power plant amounted to about $14,166,239 or R190 million. Rand Merchant Bank financed the capital cost. While the equity financing was covered by REH, Mertech Group, and an independent broad-based black economic empowerment firm.
Reported in Nov 2014
Stortemelk hydropower plant in South Africa to be ready in mid-2016
Construction has begun on the 4.5MW Stortemelk Hydropower Plant in Free State, South Africa. Aurecon Engineering Company was appointed as the service provider for the project on matters to do with engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM). Construction work on the Stortemelk Hydropower Plant is scheduled for completion in mid-2016.
According to Aurecon, the Stortemelk hydropower plant will be constructed between two dams and this will not affect their operations or stability. However, the construction project will involve deep excavations through Botterkloof dam and Boston A dam spillways.
There will also be the installation of a vertical Kaplan turbine at Botterkloof dam on Ash River. Optimization of the short penstock route will help prevent the endangerment of the structures that are already in place.
The Project Director for Aurecon Bertrand Rochecouste Collet noted that this is the first time South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has used an EPCM contractual structure.
Initially, the project had been assigned to Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) subsidiary NuPlanet before it came to a halt after the Stortemelk Hydropower plant, a special purpose vehicle owned by REH came to a financial halt. There has been an announcement recently that the country will get a US$20 million International Development Association (IDA) grant to fund large-scale sustainable energy projects.