THE Coega Development Corporation is expecting more investor deals this year, despite volatile economic conditions in SA and abroad.
But it says the bulk of these projects, worth about R116bn, are still at the feasibility stage.
However, China’s First Automotive Group Corporation has confirmed plans to invest R677m in the industrial development zone, phasing in the manufacture of 5000 medium-heavy commercial vehicles and 30000 passenger and light commercial vehicles a year.
The official signing was planned for the first quarter of this year, Coega Development Corporation spokeswoman Ayanda Vilakazi said yesterday. The company said Coega had so far created 3276 direct jobs, along with 25963 indirect and induced jobs in the Eastern Cape.
Ms Vilakazi said Coega Dairy and tomato paste maker Cape Concentrate would begin commercial production in the first quarter of this year, and a new Discovery Health service centre in Coega had already employed 165 agents.
The company said Coega continued to see steady growth. Investments totalled R1,2bn in 21 operational projects, and R7,5bn in investments being implemented.
There are delayed projects worth R5,8bn, and projects worth R8,1bn in negotiation. Outstanding projects include a proposed R80bn PetroSA refinery, and a R30bn gas-powered electricity-generating turbine.
In October last year, PetroSA said its plan to build a refinery by 2019 was likely to be scaled back. “We are not even at the environmental impact assessment stage yet,” PetroSA communications manager Thabo Mabaso said at the time.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said this month a draft bill and policy document on development zones would soon be published. The government sought to broaden the concept of export-orientated zones in Coega, East London and Richards Bay to include science and technology parks, industrial parks, or sectoral development zones for beneficiation and agroprocessing.
Coega had also attracted green energy groups, with many applying for preferred bidder status.
Germany’s EAB Astrum Energy signed an agreement with Coega late last year to develop a 13MW photovoltaic solar farm.
Also, Electrawinds was issued with a generating licence for the pilot turbine connected to the Nelson Mandela Bay grid since the Soccer World Cup in 2010.
French firm GDF Suez has signed an agreement to build a 330MW power peaking plant at Coega. It is waiting for a generating licence and power purchasing agreement before commencing construction.
Agni Steels is to commission its mild steel billet plant in June, while agroprocessor Dynamic Commodities — which has created more than 1000 jobs — is expanding.
Article source: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=163965