The R300-million project would also include bulk earthworks; a 600 m2 office block; 400 m2 of change rooms and ablution facilities; concreted, paved and gravel hardstand areas; site works, services, paving to roads, parking area and walkways; and a perimeter fence and gatehouse.
Construction would start on March 1, with the factory becoming operational in November and producing the first units by December, while the ancillary offices and laydown area would be completed in February 2014.
DCD marketing manager Hendrik Schoeman told Engineering News Online that the wind tower manufacturing facility would undergo a ramp-up phase. “The facility should reach its initial peak capacity of producing 110 towers a year towards the end of year one.”
He added that the plant’s capacity could be increased to 180 towers a year, should the market be sustainable enough to justify an additional investment.
Schoeman indicated that the finished wind towers would be supplied to successful bidders in rounds two and three, as well as further rounds, of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme.
The manufacturing facility, which would employ 150 workers, was being established to support the localisation of the wind turbine business in South Africa. Schoeman stated that, depending on availability, DCD intended to locally source as much of the input materials as possible, and that the towers would be classified as 100% locally manufactured.
Contractors who were interested in bidding for the project must be registered with the Construction Industry Development Board and registered with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission.
Bidders would also have to submit broad-based black economic-empowerment certificates from South African National Accreditation System-accredited verification agencies to be eligible for empowerment points.
Interested parties had until February 11 to submit their bids and the preferred bidder would be announced later in the month.