'Kathu Solar Park rescues 3345 Endangered and Sensitive Plant Species'
The Kathu Solar Park, located in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, recently undertook a massive rescue operation to scrub the site of Endangered and Sensitive Plant species. The Kalahari is a vast 360,000 square mile desert but it is far from a wasteland. To those who are familiar with the stark beauty of the landscape it is full to bursting with plants and animals wholly adapted to this harsh environment. The Kathu site is in the “green Kalahari” on the eastern edge and is populated with low scrub, camel thorn trees (for which Kathu is rightfully famous) and all manner of unique and interesting flora.
Watering holes (aka. “pans”) are a natural magnet for animal life, birds and plant life. With stunning sunsets, wide open skies and crackling thunderstorms the natural unspoilt landscape calls to those who call this place home.
The rescue operation involved walking the nearly 7 square kilometres of site searching for plant species and 12 different varieties were located. The plants, mostly bulbs, which were located were carefully removed, preserved in tubs and relocated to a portion of the site which will be left undeveloped and preserved in natural condition.
As a Renewable Energy Project the Kathu Solar CSP Project takes pride in working with the Community to help preserve the natural heritage of the area in a socially responsible manner (over 20 local residents were employed during two weeks to help relocate the plants) and we look forward to continuing the preservation the environment as we construct one of the largest Solar Energy Projects in Southern Africa.
The project is estimated to save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years
500 jobs created for SA citizens during construction (peak with 1200 Jobs during construction).
81 jobs during operation.
The project promises to bring somewhat of an economic revival to the region, where communities are presently plunged in depression due to the enormous slump in mining activities in the area.
The project is also in the process of setting up the Kathu Solar Park Trust which will share the revenue from the project with disadvantaged communities. The revenues will be in form of dividends which normally come at the tail end of the project.
The company promises a structured process whereby local prospective jobseekers and suppliers can participate in the project.
12 bn ZAR investment.
Over 42.5% of local content.