On 26 June 2014, the Department of Energy (DoE) released the Request for Registration (RFR) in respect of the Coal Baseload Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (CBIPPPP). Although the RFR is intended to invite prospective bidders to submit information to the DoE to assist in the planning of the programme, it also gives an insight into what the essential requirements of the programme will be, and the issues that top the agenda for the DoE.

The CBIPPPP has been designed to procure 2500MW of baseload coal power generation capacity. Projects that participate in the CBIPPPP will be limited to a maximum capacity of 600MW, and to using either pulverised coal or fluidised bed combustion boiler technology.

The DoE anticipates that there will be more than one bid submission phase required to procure the maximum allocation of 2500MW, and indicates that it is willing to consider bids where:

  • Eskom is the sole purchaser of the capacity generated by a project (Single Buyer Project);
  • Eskom is not the sole purchaser of the capacity generated by the project (Multiple Buyer Project); and
  • The project is located outside of South Africa (Cross Border Project).

The DoE anticipates a rolling bid submission process, but expects projects submitted in the first bid submission phase to be capable of commercial operation by the end of June 2019. Subsequent bid submission phases will require that projects achieve commercial operation between 42 to 66 months following bid submission, depending on the number of units comprising the power plant.

The indications are that the structure and requirements of the Request for Proposals will be similar to that used for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. Bidders will be required to submit a date for commercial operation of the project and a tariff for the energy generated by the project. Successful bidders will be expected to meet the deadline and tariff that they propose.