To address the nation’s power issue, South Africa has given Turkey’s Karpowership access to the three ports of Ngqura, Durban, and Saldanha Bay for a 20-year period, the transport ministry announced on Thursday.
Karpowership aims to generate power on its floating gas ships and distribute it through South Africa’s electricity grid. The plan received a boost from South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa last week after he told lawmakers the ships would help ease the prolonged power shortage countrywide.
Karpowership has in the past faced numerous challenges from environmental activists and small-scale fishermen since the South African government in 2021 granted it the biggest share of a 2,000 megawatt emergency power tender to generate electricity.
On Thursday, the transport ministry said it had granted the application which was approved by the minister on Feb. 26, in consultation with Transnet National Ports Authority.
Opposition parties have criticized the 20-year contract, valued at billions of rand, saying it was too long for an emergency power supply and suggesting that none of Karpowership’s other contracts in countries such as Ghana and Brazil were for such a lengthy period.
South Africa’s state power utility Eskom earlier on Thursday warned the country to brace itself for winter when almost daily power cuts were likely to increase due to higher demand.