RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT (RED) HUB DEAL CONFIRMED
By: Samkele Maseko
Kwa-Zulu Natal is at the forefront of a leading multi-billion rand Renewable Energy Project that is said to bring a massive economic boost and job creation to the province.
On the 21st of February 2013, investors and partners of the development The Renewable RED Hub is a partnership between the Provincial government,eThekwini Municipality,ILembe District Municipality and a consortium of local and foreign German and Korean firms who plan to build and operate a renewable energy technology innovation hub. The initiative was created through partnership with theeThekwini Municipality and supported by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Government. Over two billion rands is expected to be pumped into the project.
The Terms of Reference (TORS) outlines the role, responsibilities and commitments of the RED Hub-KZN Task Team to support RED HUB-KZN Private Investment Initiative so that it can be successfully implemented.
The project will provide support for the energy sector ,while International Know-how Transfer and Business Development GmbH (IKD) , Managing Director Konrad Hochhold stated, “We are not here to contest ESKOM but rather here to assist and transform the energy sector.’’ IKD is a consortium of local and foreign firms who plan to build and operate a Renewable Energy Technology Innovation Hub.
“We plan to have over 80 companies from South Africa involved in the project by the end of the year,” said Hochhold.
MEC of Economic Development & Tourism, Michael Mabuyakhulu, confirmed their commitment to transforming the economy into a greener and more sustainable economy. “This is an exciting project for a developing country. We can now become a global player as this Hub will be an example of service excellence and cutting edge technology,” said Mabuyakhulu. He further on stated that the project would spread into the rest of Africa and eventually International shores.
EThekwini Municipal Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, is also in support of the initiative and said that the project breaks new ground. “The recent socio-economic assessment of the Red-Hub indicated that there is significant employment potential with the development. This project will help create approximately 400 jobs and within nine months, we expect Phase One to be up and running.’’
The Renewable Energy Development Hub compromises of three phases.
Phase one of the project will include an International Academy for Renewable Energy, Research and Development (R&D), Education, and Technology Transfer that will be an international partnership between the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and IKD-International
The second component is a technology park that is split into two separate elements. The first is a renewable energy technology hub for research and development (R&D), laboratories, manufacturing and pilot projects. This includes a business development centre and incubator, for finance, training and capacity building. The second is a hub for manufacturing and services for the renewable energy industry worldwide, including a renewable energy conference and exhibition centre, a factory sales outlet and consulting facility, a technical service centre and a supporting manufacturing training centre for artisans and technicians in the renewable energy industry.
The third main component is renewable energy power generation of up to 260MW until 2020.