ABB and Novatec Solar to enter South African CSP market

High-efficiency CSP plants to boost renewable and help diversify energy mix

Zurich, Switzerland, Feb. 8, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has signed an agreement with FG Emvelo, an independent solar power plant company, to develop highefficiency concentrating solar power (CSP) plants at Karoshoek Solar Valley in Northern Cape province, South Africa.

FG Emvelo is a joint venture between, a German group of companies and Emvelo Projects, a pan-African company, with headquarters in Johannesburg and recently acquired a 340 square kilometer site with high DNI (direct normal irradiance). The plants will use the highly efficient and costeffective ABB-Novatec Solar turnkey concept for CSP plants. The plants require 40 percent less land and consume 80 percent less water. Novatec Solar is a German- CSP technology company in which ABB recently acquired a 35 percent investment stake.

This is achieved through a patented solar boiler for direct steam generation based on innovative linear Fresnel technology. The collectors use flat glass mirrors to reflect solar energy onto a receiver in which water is vaporized directly to produce superheated steam at temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius. The direct steam technology operates without thermo oil or any other toxic heat transfer medium. Differentiating benefits of the concept include the automated mass production of key components in local production facilities, a fast and accurate assembly process, highly efficient land use, and a robotic cleaning system that uses very little water.

“We are delighted to partner in this development” said Franz-Josef Mengede, head of ABB’s global power generation business within the Power Systems division. “It confirms the growing appeal of our high-efficiency turnkey concept for concentrating solar power plants.”

“We are proud to announce the start of a new strategic partnership with ABB and Novatec Solar,” said Florian Fritsch, managing director of FG Emvelo.“With their collaboration, and the use of linear Fresnel technology, we will be able to take significant steps towards achieving our goal of a ‘solar Silicon Valley’ at Karoshoek.”

ABB recently completed the turnkey delivery of South Africa’s first photovoltaic power plants on behalf of Eskom, the national energy company.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.

Novatec Solar ( is a leading technology provider and original equipment manufacturer of efficient, low cost direct solar steam generators (solar boilers) based on Fresnel collector technology. Novatec Solar’s proven solar boiler technology generates steam with temperatures up to 500°C. Novatec Solar undertakes manufacture, supply, turnkey delivery and operation of solar boilers for a range of applications including power stations, desalination plants and industrial processes.

FG Emvelo is a South African independent power developer of concentrated solar plants for the generation of sustainable, price predictable and dispatchable solar electricity. It is a joint venture entity between; a German Group of companies which has its headquarters in Regensburg, Germany and Emvelo Projects; a Pan African green economy company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. FG Emvelo together with its partners is developing a pipeline of CSP and CPV projects at the 1GW Karoshoek Solar Valley site, located near Upington, Northern Cape, South Africa.


For more information please contact:

Harmeet Bawa

Jutta Glänzel