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German company to open manufacturing unit in South Africa

SMA Solar Technology will build a production facility in Cape Town. (Image source: SusannaHuang/Flickr)

German firm SMA Solar Technology has decided to open a manufacturing facility in Cape Town, South Africa

The facility would include a production line and quality test centre for SMA’s Sunny Central inverters, warehousing, as well as the African branch of the SMA Solar Academy training centre.

Thorsten Ronge, the managing director of SMA South Africa, said the group chose to set up its manufacturing base in Cape Town as it was close to the existing solar supply chain. The Cape Town facility is the third clean energy manufacturing unit supported by the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the past four months. The factory is expected to complement the growth of South Africa’s manufacturing sector.

Green economy has been identified as a key focus area of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, dictated by the government. According to Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry in South Africa, Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa) has allocated US$258mn for manufacturing processes within the renewable energy sector in 2013-2014.

Investment in the green economy contributed significantly to Tisa’s 2013/14 investment pipeline of US$5.1bn. The current pipeline for the 2014/15 financial year is at US$2.3bn, with a significant contribution from the green economy, he added.

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