Gestamp steps up South African solar activities

Gestamp Solar Steel has said it will establish a 350 megawatt (MW) steel structure manufacturing facility in the Johannesburg area, for both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technologies. A workforce of 115 will also be hired. Meanwhile, Gestamp Wind Steel will erect a steel wind towers facility in Cape Town.

According to a statement released, both facilities will be up and running by the end of 2012. They are intended to supply steel components to the first round of preferred bidder renewable energy projects, and have been established in response to local content requirements devised under the country’s independent power producer (IPP) plan.

Both Gestamp Solar and Gestamp Wind will also begin work on the projects awarded to them under the first round of the IPP program. Gestamp Solar will install two photovoltaic projects, worth 18 MW and 12 MW, respectively. They will be located on the Northern Cape and will involve an investment of around 1 billion rand (approximately €96.1 million; US$124.3 million). They are expected to be operational in 2013.

Commenting, Javier Imáz, CEO of Gestamp Renewable Industries said, "With these investments, Gestamp Renewable Industries reinforces its intentions to make South Africa a key market in its global strategy."