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Electrical Power Generation and Transmission

Work under way to double Western Cape gas-turbine capacity

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2007 Advanced preparatory work is under way for the doubling up of Eskom's 1 050-MW open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) capacity in the Western Cape to around 2 100 MW by the winter of 2008. Commissioning is currently under way at a 600-MW OCGT plant in Atlantis and another 450-MW station in Mossel Bay... 

Eskom now budgeting some R70bn capex for Lephalale project

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2007 State-owned power utility Eskom revealed on Tuesday that it could now spend around R70-billion to build a new six-pack base-load coal-fired power station near Lephalale, in the Limpopo Province. Speaking during a media tour of the utility's Atlantis open cycle gas-turbine project, in the Western... 

Eskom may make nuclear decision by March

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2007 The board at South African power utility Eskom might approve a plan to develop a multibillion rand conventional nuclear power station by March, Enterprise Division MD Brian Dames revealed on Tuesday. 

Electricity report slams SA's opaque forecasting and planning system

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2007 A newly-released government-commissioned report into the security of electricity supply in South Africa lambastes the lack of transparency in demand forecasting and supply planning and calls for the scrapping of the current two-tier system in favour of an integrated planning solution under the... 

Investors shun $2,5bn Zambezi power project

By: Barnabas Thondhlana     2nd February 2007 The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has failed to attract investors for the construction of the giant $2,5-billion Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power station, a joint project between Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

Salga, EDI Holdings to hold workshops on power-distribution restructuring plans

By: Mariaan Webb     1st February 2007 State-owned power distributor EDI Holdings and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) will embark on provincial workshops to discuss the impact of Cabinet's decision in October to establish six wall-to-wall regional electricity distributors (Reds) with municipalities. 

EU, SA in exploratory clean-coal investment talks

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2007 Exploratory discussions are under way between the European Commission (EC) and South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Deat) that could result in South Africa's direct participation in a large-scale clean-coal technology rollout being proposed by the 27-country bloc. As... 

Company eyes R2-trillion assets-management opportunity as SA builds

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2007 Emerging engineering and facilities management company Pangaea, which manages projects and assets mainly in the energy sector, calculates that South Africa’s current R409-billion infrastructure roll-out will have associated management costs of more than R2-trillion over a 20-year life cycle. 

Eskom's capex plan to swell well beyond R97bn as 'Project Charlie' gets board backing

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2007 The board at South Africa's State-owned electricity utility has approved a plan to double up capacity of the proposed R26-billion 'Project Alpha' - initially planned as a three-unit, 2 250-MW base-load coal-fired station - by accelerating the development of its so-called 'Project Charlie'.... 

New BEE infrastructure fund eyes Kelvin power station

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2007 A R649-million black economic-empowered (BEE) private-equity fund, which will target infrastructure investments in South Africa and the region, was officially launched on Wednesday evening, with the initiators suggesting that the fund's first disbursement would take place in the first half of the... 

Nersa study to get to grips with SA's electricity resale market

By: Mariaan Webb     24th January 2007 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) plans to get the country's first research study into the size and scope of its electricity resale market off the ground in 2007, the regulator's head of customer services, Margie Nkalashe, said on Wednesday. She said that South Africa had very... 

Higher interest rates won't slow power demand - Investec

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd January 2007 The 200 basis point interest hike that the South African Reserve Bank imposed last year is unlikely to slow down electricity demand, investment bank Investec said on Tuesday. 

Construction of Bethlehem hydro scheme under way

By: Helene Le Roux     19th January 2007 Construction has started on South Africa’s first purely commercial independent power project (IPP), the Bethlehem Hydro scheme, in the Free State. 

Ipsa plans February start-up for KZN cogeneration plant

By: Nelendhre Moodley     19th January 2007 Independent Power South Africa (Ipsa) on Friday unveiled the timetable for its new power plant located in Newcastle, in KwaZulu-Natal, which it plans to bring into commercial operation - providing steam and power - on February 23. The R120-million combined heat and power plant, will produce 15 MW... 

SA hit by widespread blackouts as Koeberg unit trips again

By: Matthew Hill     18th January 2007 National electricity utility Eskom warned on Thursday that it was experiencing nation-wide power outages because of generating unit outages, including a shutdown of its nuclear power station Koeberg's Unit 1 early on Thursday morning, which would result in it load shedding some 9% of its current... 

EU bank concludes €80m loan to Eskom for North-South transmission project, €300m more in the offing

By: Terence Creamer     16th January 2007 The European Investment Bank (EIB), which finances development projects primarily in the European Union (EU), had concluded a loan-finance deal with South African power utility Eskom, which would see it commit €80-million, or some R760-million, to the upgrading of the north-south power... 

Electricity distribution to provinces increases by 4,5%

11th January 2007 The estimated distribution of electricity to the provinces for the first eleven months of 2006 increased by 4,5 percent compared with the first eleven months of 2005. 

Yet-to-be-launched R649m BEE infrastructure fund already mulling a scale-up

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2006 A newly announced R649-million black economic-empowered (BEE) private-equity fund, which will target infrastructure investments in South Africa and the region, is already considering a second fund, given growing interest in the sector among asset managers. The fund, which will be launched... 

State power utility mulls various ways to meet 47 252-MW target for 2025

By: Jade Davenport     1st December 2006 In a bid to meet South Africa’s phenomenal growth in electricity demand, State-owned utility Eskom is currently evaluating an elaborate capacity project funnel that comprises 17 375 MW is potential new projects. 

SA power generation grew 4,6% in October

30th November 2006 South Africa increased its power production in October by 4,6% to 954 gigawatt-hours (GWh), Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Thursday. 

$2,7bn Alcan smelter poised to be first recipient of new power incentive

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2006 International aluminium producer Alcan appears set to emerge as the first recipient of South Africa's newest industrial incentive, known as the 'Developmental Electricity Pricing Programme', or DEPP, which was signed off by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa late last week. The DEPP... 

Proposals sought for second phase of Malawi hydroelectric scheme

By: Marcel Chimwala     17th November 2006 The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), is inviting proposals for the provision of engineering services for the second phase of the Kapichira hydroelectric power scheme in the lower Shire River area. 

Alstom SA targets black control by Jan 2007

17th November 2006 Alstom South Africa's target is to be a black-controlled company by January 1, 2007, group MD Mark Wilson tells Engineering News in an exclusive interview. Already, Alstom SA's black economic-empowerment (BEE) shareholding is at the comparatively high level of 47%, reflected in eight of its 12... 

Uncertainty lifted but . . .

By: Jade Davenport     10th November 2006 . . .Much to be finalised before implementation of six Reds by end 2007 

Alcan, Eskom within 'spitting distance' of deal, says Gcabashe

By: Matthew Hill     10th November 2006 One of the world's leading aluminium producers Alcan and State-owned electricity utility Eskom were in “spitting distance” of completing their negotiations for the electricity-supply contract for a new aluminium smelter to be built at Coega, in the Eastern Cape. Speaking to... 

Eskom's power-station demothballing hit by cost pressures

By: Matthew Hill     10th November 2006 South African State-owned power utility Eskom had increased the estimated return-to-service spend on its three mothballed coal-fired power stations, owing to cost pressures, which were “literally going up by the month”, CEO Thulani Gcabashe said on Friday. Published resources... 

Bidding deadline for new R26bn power station

By: Martin Creamer     9th November 2006 November 10 is the deadline for the submission of bids for Project Alpha, South Africa's first coal-fired base-load power station in decades, which is expected to be the country's most expensive ever at R26-billion. Engineering News Online learns that bidding packages on the three-unit... 

BEE, techno partners selected for SA soya-to-diesel plant, but economics still a concern

7th November 2006 Petrochemicals group Sasol and the State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) have selected Siyanda Biodiesel as their black economic-empowerment (BEE) partner in a proposed 100 000-t/y soya-bean based biodiesel production plant in South Africa. Sasol said in a statement issued on Tuesday that it... 

SA's first gas-fired cogen plant under construction

By: Helene Le Roux     3rd November 2006 The first gas-fired co-generation plant by an independent power producer in South Africa is being constructed in Newcastle, in Kwazulu-Natal. 

New propulsion system under test for army's fighting vehicles

By: Keith Campbell     3rd November 2006 South Africa’s defence acqui-sition, disposals and research and development (R&D) agency, Armscor, will next year start a combat vehicle electric-drive technology test programme for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), using a modified Rooikat armoured fighting vehicle, as the... 

Chamber of Mines welcomes power-distribution certainty

1st November 2006 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa on Wednesday added its support to Cabinet’s approval to establish six regional electricity distributors (Reds) as public entities under the auspices of EDI Holdings. 

Revised Reds legislation to be finalised early 2007, says EDI Holdings

By: Mariaan Webb     31st October 2006 Revised legislation to enact South Africa's R59-billion regional electricity distribution initiative would be finalised by early next year, EDI Holdings, the State-owned company mandated to implement the project, CEO Phindile Nzimande said on Tuesday. 

Fuelling energy

By: Mariaan Webb     27th October 2006 Petrochemicals group Sasol’s cogeneration study should reach financial closure for a 200 MW open-cycle gas-turbine (OCGT) plant before June, Sasol Synfuels energy manager Sydney Zeederberg said. 

New 1 000 MW gas project could be operational in W Cape by winter 2008

By: Jade Davenport     27th October 2006 South African State-owned enterprise Eskom is in the process of authorising a new gas turbine energy project that will provide an additional 1 000 MW to the Western Cape region by the winter of 2008. 

Ipsa to become first AltX- and Aim-listed firm

18th October 2006 Power-generation firm Independent Power South Africa (Ipsa) Group will on Thursday become the first company to be listed on both the JSE Alternative Exchange (AltX) and London's Alternative Investment Market (Aim), it said in a statement to shareholders on Wednesday. 

Regional power-pool members look to accelerate generation projects

By: Marcel Chimwala     13th October 2006 Members of the Southern African Power Pool (Sapp) have resolved to speed up implementation of various electricity projects in order to tackle the problem of diminishing generation capacity in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. 

Eskom chief to step down, search for successor launched

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2006 State-owned power utility Eskom has announced that current CEO Thulani Gcabashe will stand down in December 2007 after 15 years with the organisation, eight of which were served as CEO. The utility said in a statement that the search for the new chief executive had been launched. Earlier in the... 

Eskom calls for Braamhoek access-tunnel bids, says R8,9bn pumped-storage project advancing well

By: Mariaan Webb     26th September 2006 State-owned electricity supplier Eskom's R8,9-billion Braamhoek pumped-storage scheme is “well advanced” and the utility is gearing up to start building the main access tunnel. Eskom Enterprises' Neo Mosinyi said on Tuesday that the company, which issued an invitation to tender for... 

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