East London IDZ developing renewable energy projects

The East London IDZ has attracted more than R4.3 billion in investment in the last 10 years.

FILE: Rand notes. Picture: EWN.

EAST LONDON - The East London Industrial Development Zone has attracted more than R4.3 billion in investment in the last decade and hopes to further stimulate the Eastern Cape's economy.

The business hub plans to generate its own electricity using solar power and wind energy, with the intention of selling it to the local municipality.

It has recently partnered with the US Agency for International Development which will assist in providing skills.

The East London IDZ is currently incubating 29 local businesses, some of which are developing renewable energy technology projects.

The IDZ's energy manager, Chris Ettmayr, says six of the planned projects have the potential to bring in about R2.7 billion in investment.

"I see the East London IDZ and the science park as the perfect playground for manufacturers and technology owners. We operate and own our own electrical grid," Ettmayr said.

Business owner, Sindiswa Qhayi, is one of the beneficiaries of the project.

"We research, design and manufacture energy efficiency products for commercial and household markets."

Her company has four people developing projects but Qhayi says they plan to employ at least 60 people in the production phase.