South Africa developer seeks bids for two small sites

Bethlehem Hydro (Pty) Ltd. issued a solicitation March 7 to five short-listed bidders for water-to-wire equipment supply of the 2.7-MW As River and 2.3-MW Saulpoort Dam projects in South Africa’s Free State. Responses are due April 24.

Additionally, Bethlehem Hydro plans to issue requests for bids about May 20 for civil construction and for electrical interconnection of the projects, which will utilize outflow of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. No bidders have been pre-qualified for those tenders. Winners are expected to be named in August.

The civil construction solicitation is to include:
o As River: weir; concrete inlet canal, headpond dam, and outlet canal; earthen saddle dam; powerhouse; and 5-kilometer access road;
o Saulpoort Dam: concrete inlet canal and outlet canal; powerhouse; and 2-kilometer access road.

The electrical solicitation includes 25 kilometers of 22-kilovolt lines, step-up and step-down transformers (400-volt/22-kV, 22-kV/11-kV), switchgear and protection, and GPRS-based remote metering and relays.

Consulting engineering firm Ninham Shand is project manager, while Merz and McLellan is consulting electrical engineer and BWG Hydro is mechanical engineer. Bethlehem Hydro contracted with NUPlanet BV of the Netherlands to manage project development. NuPlanet also is contributing US$6.5 million to project development and expects to take a significant ownership stake.

The plants are expected to generate a total of 33 gigawatt-hours annually, for sale to the town of Bethlehem. An agreement to sell 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions credits is expected to be signed in May.

For information, contact Peter Ballantine, Ninham Shand Consulting Services; (27) 12-6439000; Fax: (27) 12-6633257; E-mail: peter.ballantine@shands.co.za.

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