During a Parliamentary debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent State of the Nation Address (SoNA), Mantashe said steps were being taken to address a current supply shortfall that the President estimated to be 4 000 MW, but which several commentators believe to be closer to 6 000 MW.
He said PPAs would be signed next month with RMIPPPP preferred bidders, which were selected as part of an emergency, albeit much delayed, procurement round for 2 000 MW.
The projects were selected in March last year and the initial financial close deadline of July was extended initially to the end of September, then to January this year and finally to the end of March.
“The challenge is that not all of the RMIPPPP preferred bidder projects may be in a position to conclude power purchase agreements due to outstanding processes on their side,” Mantashe told lawmakers.
His statement gels with the one made by Ramaphosa in his SoNA speech, in which the President announced that only 800 MW of the 2 000 MW in projects selected under the RMIPPPP were ready to proceed.
Mantashe also announced that 2 600 MW of renewable energy being procured under Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme would enter into PPAs in April and announced that Bid Window 6 for another 2 600 MW of wind and solar would be launched at the end of March.
“Thereafter, additional bid windows, including Bid Window 7, will follow at six-month intervals.”