Generating set producer Aksa Power Generation South Africa (SA) will launch its hybrid generating set (genset) in South Africa in January next year, providing a standby power generating solution to the country that is able to run in parallel with renewable-energy sources.
Aksa Power Generation SA GM Erkin Tekel notes that financially, 2016 has been a challenging year globally as a result of depressed commodities prices. This has particularly been felt strongly in sub-Saharan Africa, owing to the region’s strong economic reliance on mining.
However, having invested heavily in increasing its stock capacity and improving its local assembly capacity and after-sales support structures, Aksa believes it is well positioned to introduce this new product to the market.
“Market response to our products is growing very pleasingly as our customers are recognising that they are being offered high- quality products at an affordable price, with full after-sales support as well. A key priority in our operations is to remain leaders in the power generation market and it is, thus, important for us to continually provide solutions that are fit-for-purpose and that make use of the latest technology.”
He highlights that, in Africa, solar hybrid systems are the most popular option and adds that Aksa’s generators can also be coupled with wind energy systems. Aksa will be targeting possible customers in the luxury-domestic market.
Tekel notes that hybrid gensets ensure lower diesel consumption, require less frequent refilling, release less carbon dioxide into the environment and ensure a longer operating life of the unit with lower maintenance costs.
Aksa’s hybrid gensets were developed in-house last year and after extensive trials the original battery packs were replaced with a more durable brand, which has improved the overall operating efficiency of the units and ensured that the product successfully completed all required technical inspections. Tekel stresses that, while there are similar products available on the global market, the high quality of Aksa’s products separates it from its competitors.
“Globally, market response has exceeded our expectations and we are confident that the product will be similarly well-received in Africa. As the most developed country in terms of its economy, industry and technology, in the sub-Sahara, South Africa will be our starting point.”
He adds that South Africa is an important geopolitical location and is fairly well-regulated. It also has the second-biggest genset market in the sub-Saharan region, after Angola, making it a good location for further investment.
Key Projects in Africa
Relying on the extensive experience it has gleaned through its involvement in the power energy industry, power producer Aksa Energy – a holding company of Aksa Power Generation and the biggest private independent power producer in Turkey – launched a global rental division this year to meet the high demand for emergency power solutions in Africa.
The company has since signed key power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Ghana and Madagascar. The PPA with Ghana is a ten-year contract for the installation of a 370 MW fuel oil-fired power plant, while the PPA with Madagascar involves the establishment of a 120 MW heavy fuel oil power plant in conjunction with Aksa’s Mauritian-based subsidiary Aksaf Power. Power generated by the plant will be sold to the country over a 20-year period.
“A key benefit of both projects is that the power plants can be built and commissioned in a very short amount of time and power deficits can, thus, be balanced quickly. We expect each plant to be in operation within four to six months. In addition, Aksa Energy is able to offer its clients considerable cost reductions and improved efficiency when compared with its competitors, owing to its in-house power plant construction and maintenance capabilities.”
Tekel further highlights that the efficient running of the plants will require significant logistics management and technical expertise, which Aksa boasts as among its keys strengths. Site construction has commenced on both projects, which are expected to be commissioned early next year.