R300m solar component investment promises jobs

A NEW tenant at Coega plans to create 2000 jobs over the next three years in the region.

Solar component manufacturer Powerway will move into the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) in May. The R300-million investment will have a further three phases, totalling a R1.2-billion investment.

Powerway PV SA and JA Solar Holdings recently formed the joint venture to establish the PV module assembly plant in Port Elizabeth.

Powerway chief executive Benson Wu said the IDZ location was an investment hotspot.

“When considering our investment we have taken a long-term view, informed by a commitment to the local community. South Africa has the best irradiation resources in the world and it makes sense for us to place our manufacture operations here – the market here is the best in the long term.”

Initially 250 people will be employed at the factory, which is planned to be increased to 2000 jobs over the next three years.

“The IDZ delivers good investment infrastructure. The Port [of Ngqura] exports and imports goods speedily and there is also a good logistics hub we can tap into,” Wu said.

Coega Development Corporation head of marketing and communications Ayanda Vilakazi said Coega was focused on diversifying the industrial base, which traditionally was centred on the automotive industry.

“Renewable energy manufacturing investments such as Powerway’s contribute immensely to such objectives,” Vilakazi said.

Powerway will offer full system integration service to the solar energy market, ranging from rooftop to utility-scale solar farm. It specialises in a variety of solar panels, inverters, cables to mounting structure, installation, construction, and operation and maintenance. – Business Reporter

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