Karpowership South Africa has stepped up to propose a solution to our never-ending power woes. Their plan is to supply South Africa with power from ships which would dock along the country’s coastline. This extra supply of cheaper power could help Eskom keep the lights on while it fixes its stations.
According to BizNews, the company said they could provide the country with cheaper electricity in two months with their ships. They would dock at the country’s harbours and deliver between 700MW and 800MW.
Karpowership South Africa is a subsidiary of Karadeniz Energy Group from Turkey. According to MyBroadband, the company responded to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s 2019 Request for Information (RFI) to procure power from independent producers with their ship proposal.
Speaking to BizNews, Karpowership South Africa spokesperson Patrick O’Driscall said they could provide the country with power at R1.70 per kilowatt-hour. This is significantly lower than what is being offered by Eskom.
These powerships are made from second-hand cargo ships which are converted to supply electricity. A grid substation on board is linked to the transmission towers of a country’s grid.
The company is running similar projects in coastal countries across the continent including Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.
These ships are not intended to replace a country’s power supplier. For example, in Senegal the company signed a 5.5-year contract with Senegal’s Electricity Authority (SENELEC). Since their installation in 2019, they have been supplying 15% of the country’s power. Mozambique similarly signed a contract for ten years and has 10% of its electricity supplied by one of these ships.
Watch how the ships work: