Training on renewable energy unlocks job opportunities at Ilanga CSP1 power station

25/10/2018 (South Africa)
Training on renewable energy unlocks job opportunities at Ilanga CSP1 power station

Northern Cape Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas, has congratulated solar thermal electricity trainees who successfully completed operations and maintenance programme that is aimed at preparing local people for employment opportunities in the province's flourishing renewable energy sector.

The training programme provides trainees with tools and knowledge to be able to work in operations and maintenance at a solar thermal electricity (STE) power stations, commonly known as concentrated solar power (CSP). The training was conducted by SENER engineers, under an agreement of collaboration between all Seratype partners (Cobra, SENER and Emvelo).

The training is in preparation for the operations and maintenance (O&M) phase of the project, which is scheduled to commence on 1 December 2018. IIanga CSP1 operator, Seratype, identified and selected 50 candidates, within 50km radius of the Ilanga CSP1 site, Dawid Kruiper Municipality, ZF Mgcawu District Municipality to attend the training course. Seratype is the operation & maintenance (O&M) consortium comprising three companies, namely: Cobra, SENER and Emvelo.

From 11 June to 27 July 2018, the selected trainees attended and completed a 200-hour long programme. The course consisted of 14 theory modules, as well as practical visits to the Ilanga CSP1 plant to familiarise trainees with the day-to-day operation of solar thermal power stations. Upon completion, 22 of the 50 trainees were hired to take on diverse roles within the operation and maintenance department including the control room.

During a ceremony held last week, Premier Lucas stated that “Ilanga CSP1 is the first and only CSP project that was conceived and developed by a 100% black owned South African developer. The O&M training for our youth provided by the Ilanga CSP1 partners is a first in the REIPPPP and is in line with government’s four accords, emanating from the New Growth Path (NGP); namely basic education, skills development, local procurement and the green economy. The Northern Cape has identified all renewable energy technologies including CSP as key in unlocking job opportunities for our youth, women and the transformation of our economy.”

“South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) identifies education, training and innovation as central to South Africa’s long-term development. Skills development is an important factor in the success of the renewable energy projects we are carrying out. We are proud that we have had an opportunity to ensure that people from the Northern Cape are trained in various technical aspects of operating a concentrated solar power station. With the training they received, they have the skills to work at any concentrated solar power station in the world” said Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Regional Managing Director of SENER Southern Africa.

During the construction of Ilanga CSP1, “the project clocked over 6 million working hours on site, 85% of the working hours clocked were by South Africans most of whom were local. We had 1500 construction workers on site at the peak of construction and around 1300 were South Africans” said Rafael Alonso, SENER Project Management, from the EPC consortium.

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