In 2023, China announced the launch of a large-scale solar power generation project with South Africa. Its annual power generation capacity is expected to be as high as 300 million kilowatt hours, enough to supply the electricity needs of 420,000 households.
South Africa is a member of the BRICS bloc, and was the first African country to sign a Belt and Road Initiative agreement with China.
On July 26, 2023, PowerChina signed a contract for the 123 MW photovoltaic project in Damraght, South Africa. The project is located 20 kilometers west of Sasolburg, Free State Province, South Africa. It will provide about 300 million kWh of clean electricity to the South African National Grid every year, providing important support for solving the local power crisis and promoting local economic and social development. The project in Damraght is the first large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic power station project signed by a Chinese-funded enterprise in South Africa.
Many African countries are still among the least developed regions in the world, despite being rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold and oil etc. According to statistics from the World Bank, about 43% of the African population lives below the extreme poverty line of US$1.25 per day. A whopping 33 of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa.
However, the challenges facing Africa are not just economic. Infrastructure shortages, especially in the energy sector, have significantly hampered the continent’s development. Some Western developed countries have long exploited Africa’s rich mineral resources.
In contrast, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative (the BRI) has brought significant changes to many African countries, through involvement in infrastructure construction, and investment in major energy projects. Africa is the key region for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
PowerChina has successively undertaken several important livelihood projects. Among them, the Hongshi 100 MW tower solar thermal power plant project, which is the largest renewable energy project under construction in the country, which will provide stable power supply for more than 200,000 households in South Africa.
- Asia Rising Star, Feb 1, 2024. https://youtu.be/RDB4qorp01I
- iMedia, Feb 2, 2024. https://min.news/en/economy/a45945157abdb26d23fd9e3635760aa2.html