South Africa's energy ministry clears Suzlon's Cookhouse project

Dec 07, 2011 12:00 AM

Wind power major Suzlon Energy has received approval from South Africa's energy ministry for setting up a 135 MW wind power project in the Eastern Cape region of the country.
Known as the Cookhose Wind Energy Facility, the project will utilise Suzlon's 2.1 MW turbines.

Dipuo Peters, energy minister of the Republic of South Africa, announced her department's approval of the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility, to be carried out in Eastern Cape region.
The Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility, one of South Africa's leading renewable energy projects, has the environment ministry's permission for erecting up to 200 wind turbines, which would generate enough power to meet requirements of over 88,000 homes, Suzlon said.

Suzlon also announced a partnership with African Clean Energy Developments (ACED), African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a company held by Old Mutual Investment Group (South Africa) and Macquarie Capital and AFPOC), for setting up the project.
The AECD, along with Standard Bank and Nedbank Limited, has finalised a financing package for the Cook House project, which notably includes a significant portion of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment ownership.

''This is an important milestone for the project, ACED and for South Africa. The Cookhouse project marks a major first step in our plans to build a 1 GW renewable energy portfolio over the next three years, with our 200 turbine agreement with Suzlon at the core of our plans,'' Thomas Donnelly, managing director of ACED, said.
''In addition to providing clean power -- this project, and wind energy, have incredible potential for local job creation sustainable economic development,'' he added.

''This is excellent news for South Africa and a concrete first step of the South African Renewables Initiative (SARI). We are extremely proud to be in the first wave of the Cookhouse project, Tulsi R. Tanti, founder, chairman and managing director of Suzlon Group, said.
Tanti explained, ''South Africa needs more energy and it also needs thousands of decent and sustainable 'green' jobs. The wind energy sector is well positioned to deliver both of these requirements and more. We bring to the table our reliable technology and operating experience from 32 countries around the world, and are confident that South Africa will see significant growth in this space in the decades to come. I particularly want to recognise minister Peters for her creative, bold and dynamic leadership in introducing the policy framework which has enabled today's decision.''

''When I joined Suzlon, my vision for its role in South Africa was to create jobs, and generate green electricity. As a Group we are committed to local empowerment, and to enable environmental, ecological and sustainable growth -- and I believe that this project stays true to that vision. Cookhouse is a fantastic first project to turn that vision into a welcome reality,'' Silas Zimu, CEO, Suzlon South Africa, said.
''We look forward to working with ACED in a committed partnership towards the growth of the South African wind energy market,'' he added.

Pune-based Suzlon is the world's fifth-largest wind turbine producer employing over 13,000 people in 32 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Suzlon now has a fully integrated supply chain with manufacturing facilities in three continents and strong technical R&D capabilities in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, India and the Netherlands.
A market leader in Asia, Suzlon along with its German arm RePower has a combined share of 6.9 % in the wind turbine market.

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