The South African Department of Energy (Department) has released a Request for Registration and Information (RFR) to prospective independent power producers looking to submit bid responses under the 2500MW Coal Baseload IPP Procurement Programme (the Programme). The RFR was released on 26 June 2014, with the final day for registration being 25 July 2014.

Registration at this stage of the Programme is not compulsory, though only those IPPs that are registered, as well and other key role players, will be invited to attend meetings with the Department to discuss the Programme and potential projects. Information provided by bidders in the RFR will not be binding, save to state that certain basic information may be retained on record, such as the proposed project name, name of bidder and general description of the project.

The Programme forms part of the broader baseload acquisition of electricity managed through the Department, which includes natural gas and hydro. It is expected that projects under the Programme will be limited to a contracted capacity of 600MW. The key objectives of the Programme are to provide energy security, contribute towards socio-economic and sustainable growth, and to initiate and stimulate the participation of independent power producers in the baseload power generation industry in South Africa. The Department has already alluded to the possibility that Eskom will not be sole buyer under the Programme and that projects will be able to sell energy to multiple buyers, and possibly even buyers outside of South Africa.

The Department anticipates releasing its Request for Proposals (RFP) shortly, with a mooted date being as early as August 2014. Bid submission is expected to be during the first quarter of 2015. Following on from the success of the ongoing Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), it is likely that the RFP will be closely aligned to the two-staged approach of bid compliance (legal, financial, environmental, technical and economic development) and thereafter bid evaluation (financial and economic development) as adopted in the REIPPPP. Prospective bidders should note that, in line with the trend under the REIPPPP, access to the grid and timely grid connection will become increasingly important for the success of any project.

The RFR may be obtained at