MEC for Infrastructure Development Ms Qedani Mahlangu says consultations are at an advanced stage within the provincial executive council on the feasibility of installing a natural gas fuelled Tri-generation power plant that could meet all of Chris Hani Baragwanath's energy needs. MEC Mahlangu today visited similar power plants installed by MTN and Standard Bank, to see their functionality and dependability.
The MEC is currently exploring a proposed public-private partnership for the construction and management of a power plant that has the potential to generate up to 2 MW of power at Chris Hani Baragwanath.
In addition to cutting the hospital's energy bill, the power plant would also provide room heating, cooling, as well as hot and chilled water for various uses within the hospital. It would also significantly reduce the hospital's carbon footprint, with the potential that resultant carbon credits could be traded on the carbon credit market. "As we're entertaining this proposal, one of the things I've seen is that we'll do away completely with the current boilers and completely do away with coal, and then bring natural gas " Said MEC Mahlangu.
The proposed Chris Hani Baragwanath power plant would bear no extra cost to the fiscus, as it would be covered by current allocations for coal, diesel and electricity that the hospital uses.
"There's a number of benefits that come with it. There's reliable air conditioning for different sections of the hospital, there's reliable steam that could go to the different theatres and of course for autoclaves, where you'll be able to sterilise garments for nurses and doctors, and even for theatres" said MEC Mahlangu.
MEC Mahlangu says the plan is to start construction in January, with a projection that the plant could be completed within 9 months.