Karpowership, a Turkish company, is trying to get the government's blessing to dock its ship-mounted power plants at three of South Africa's harbors. This move has sparked a lot of frustration among South Africans, who are already fed up with the ongoing issue of loadshedding. Loadshedding refers to the scheduled rolling blackouts implemented by the national power utility due to electricity supply shortages. South Africans are skeptical about the cost to taxpayers, how long this will be, and the transparency behind this operation.
South Africa's Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, is in favor of utilizing these floating power plants, and he has garnered support from Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana as well. Godongwana believes that Mantashe should be given the authority to procure new capacity without any restrictions.
Under the terms of an emergency power tender, Karpowership and other winning bidders were awarded 20-year supply contracts, amounting to an estimated value of well over R200 billion. However, many frustrated South Africans are skeptical about this hefty investment and are concerned that their tax money is being allocated to seemingly fruitless endeavors.
As part of the process, Karpowership is currently seeking environmental approvals from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment. They are aiming to operate a 450-megawatt power ship in Richards Bay, a 320-megawatt plant in Saldanha, and another 450-megawatt plant in the Port of Ngqura.