Last month saw the announcement of 25 preferred bidders for renewable energy projects in South Africa, in the fifth bidding round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). “This is a welcome development for the country, for both the renewable energy supply chain as well as our general climate change targets. There has been much deliberation on this topic lately, and it is encouraging to see plans being put into action,” comments Svilen Voychev, Managing Director of Valsa Trading.
Clean energy generation
REIPPPPP is a competitive tender process that was designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy (RE) generation in South Africa, with the first round of bidding taking place in 2014. “Between rounds one to four, our country achieved more investment via IPPs in four years than in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades. A total of 6328 MW of capacity was awarded, a third of which was solar PV. Now, we once again have the chance to alter SA’s energy landscape and contribute to clean energy generation – as well as job creation and economic stimulation which is sure to come from these 25 projects.”
However, Voychev cautions that these projects must be approached with careful planning and consideration. “Less than half the awarded entities are South African, and so they may not be familiar with local conditions and what this means for the equipment which must be procured. In the past 12 years of doing business in the PV market, I have learned that there is no substitute for local expertise and locally made equipment. Therefore, I believe the supply chain must gear up to not just supply products and services, but to act as consultants to ensure these projects are executed professionally and sustainably,” says Voychev.
Supply chain disruptions
At the same time, Voychev cautions that the preferred bidders must be wary of the supply chain disruptions which are hampering the global industry. “Valsa has wide-ranging operations and we have seen in recent months that the supply chain today is very different from that of 2019 when the last round of REIPPPP bidding ended. I advise project managers to look holistically at the industry when making decisions over raw materials, labour, sub-contractors and more.”
Best possible solutions
This will set projects up for success and contribute greatly to sustainable supply chain development. SMEs like Valsa Trading stand to benefit from the boom in projects. “This won’t happen overnight, as careful planning and preparation is key, but in the coming months we look forward to embracing these opportunities and offering the best possible solutions which suit the needs of these projects.”
Valsa designs, manufactures, and supplies mounting system solutions for all types of roofs, carports, ground, pole, facade, floating and tensile cable applications.
Gear up capacity
A comprehensive range of PV solar products is also available from the company, which services PV solar installers, resellers, and EPC companies. “We are ready to gear up our capacity and leverage our extensive partner network to help bring these planned projects to life. With many sectors remaining somewhat dormant at the moment, we are encouraged by the prospect for economic development brought on by these 25 new projects,” concludes Voychev.
More info: Jolene du Plessis on +27 (0)11 794 1306