With the completion of the development phase at the end of last year, construction of the US$8.4M 6.4MW Bethlehem hydroelectric project in South Africa is due to start in September this year, with the first electricity to be delivered in November 2007.

The construction of the hydroelectric plant was originally estimated to start last year, but was hampered by delays during the development phase.

The hydro power plant will consist of two separate generation sites: there will be a 3.6MW run-of-river plant located on the As river and a 2.8MW plant located at the wall of the Saulspoort dam, which is fed artificially by the Lesotho Highlands Water project and is, therefore, not dependent on seasonal rainfall.

Annual production of the plant will be 37GWh a year.