Coal, Gas

IPSA plans projects to ease South Africa energy crisis

6 March, 2006 – IPSA Group the independent power generation developer in Southern Africa, has signed preliminary agreements to build two new projects to help ease South Africa’s national energy crisis.

It plans to develop an 800 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant at Port
Elizabeth running on imported LNG, and a 400 MW clean coal power plant next to the Elitheni coal project near East London.

IPSA is already in discussions to buy four gas turbines to provide the first 500MW of generating capacity for the Port Elizabeth project. The turbines were originally manufactured for a power project that was subsequently cancelled, and are available for immediate delivery.

Work on the environmental impact assessment for the Elitheni plant is expected to begin immediately. The company is also in talks with South African financial institutions for project financing to cover the expected $150m cost of the initial 500 MW project.

IPSA Chief Executive Peter Earl said: “We are delighted to be in position to develop these important new projects at a time when we can help to ease South Africa’s rapidly developing energy crisis. We believe we have sufficient resources within our existing capital base to initiate this new programme of developments immediately.”

In recent weeks a series of rolling power cuts have hit South Africa’s Western Cape region, causing severe disruption.

IPSA is ahead of schedule on its first planned project, at Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal, although capital expenditure is higher than originally planned. It involves the reconstruction of a combined heat and power plant dismantled and shipped from Bury, East Lancashire.

The AIM-listed company is also applying to have its shares traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) or the JSE’s ALTEX market.