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Electricity News

South African nuclear achievement crowned by US award

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 South African company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (DoE), the two... 

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike  

     22nd September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about what can be expected from Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff hike. 

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike
A look into Eskom’s double-digit tariff hike application

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions
CELL BALANCING Balancing the charge of individual cells in a battery can prolong battery life

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Digital switchgear launched in China

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is... 

Digital switchgear launched in China
Photo by Duane Daws
DIGITAL ALARM The switchgear can send alarm notifications to specific people via many channels

Legal framework offers model for enhancing transboundary infrastructure investment

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd September 2017 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) has unveiled the Model Law that provides a framework for the harmonisation of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa. The Model Law was unveiled at the yearly Nigerian... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing  transboundary infrastructure investment
Photo by Duane Daws
PAVING THE WAY The Model Law may aid in additional efficiency, transparency and accountability with regard to public and private sector engagement in transboundary infrastructure

Necsa plans to restart nuclear pebble-fuel production

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is reactivating its ability to manufacture nuclear pebble fuel, originally created to support South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) programme. The corporation is also looking for a strategic equity partner for its speciality... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas

     22nd September 2017 Suited for off-grid households’ electrification, the Mobiya TS 170S portable solar LED lantern is being distributed by electrical solutions provider Magnet Group. The Mobiya solar LED lanterns have been designed by automation systems company Schneider Electric as an appropriate, safe and reliable... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas
SHINING ROADS The lanterns can be used by rural communities that do not have access to electricity

System advantages start with modular abilities

     22nd September 2017 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand explains that the advantages of using modular systems is the integration between Legrand’s busbar trunking systems, cast resin transformers and XL³ cabinets. The modular systems include cast resin transformers, with low... 

System advantages start with modular abilities
EASY INTEGRATION Using Legrand systems allows for new technology to be easily integrated into older systems

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2017 A new report analysing Eskom’s financial position warns that the State-owned utility is simply not generating enough cash through operations and electricity sales to cover the interest on its borrowings, which will peak at around R500-billion in the coming three years. However, it also argues... 

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

Zambia State power firm to end emergency power imports next year

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 Zambian State power company Zesco expects to end emergency power imports from Mozambique in the first quarter of next year, a senior executive said on Thursday. Zambia's power generation had improved and it will largely manage to meet its electricity requirements, Zesco Director of Transmission... 

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre

By: Keith Campbell     21st September 2017 Russia’s State-owned Rosatom nuclear energy group is to establish a Nuclear Research and Technology Centre (NRTC) in Bolivia. The contract was signed in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, between Rosatom group company State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI) and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency... 

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre
Photo by Rosatom
ABEN general executive director Hortensia Jiménez Rivera (left) signs the NRTC contract with SSDI director-general Vyacheslav Galushkov (right). Bolivian Energy Vice-Minister Luis Alberto Echazú and Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev stand behind them

Eskom’s unsustainable business model in need of proactive reform – Eberhard

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom is stuck in a “classic utility death spiral” that many power companies worldwide face as the pressure to adopt new business models and proactively reform increases. Eskom’s need for higher tariffs to offset declining electricity sales amid ever-rising costs is... 

Tlou submits plans for Botswana power plant

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st September 2017 ASX- and Aim-listed Tlou Energy has submitted a proposal to the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to develop up to 100 MW of coalbed methane- (CBM-) fuelled pilot power plants in the African country. The government of Botswana earlier this year requested... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 Some three years after expanding operations into South Africa, Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power (EGP) has established a significant presence locally, boasting more than 520 MW of wind and solar projects in operation, one of which was declared a National Key Point in June. The 66 MW... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant
Lamberto Dai Pra’, Francina Shongoane, John Motebele and William Price at Enel's Tom Burke plant

ELB sees 143% increase in profitability

By: Anine Kilian     20th September 2017 With profit for the year ended June 30 up 143% to R82-million, from a loss of R189-million in 2016, JSE-listed engineering services provider ELB has seen a 147% increase in headline earnings a share to 243c, from a loss per share of 519c. “Despite political uncertainty, the volatile currency and... 

Brown receives outstanding information on Eskom’s relationship with Gupta-linked Trillian

By: African News Agency      20th September 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has received answers from Eskom to outstanding questions about its relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, her office said on Wednesday. “Minister Brown last night received Eskom’s responses to her queries. She noted  progress and Eskom will... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment 

By: Terence Creamer     20th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has sounded that warning that, even if its allowable revenue is not increased at all for the 2018/19 year, tariffs will still need to rise by 9.4% simply to accommodate a “rebasing” electricity sales volumes when compared with those approved in the third... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment

Mozambique hopes to raise $500m for renewable energy projects

By: Reuters     20th September 2017 Mozambique offered a portfolio of small renewable energy projects to foreign investors on Tuesday which it hopes will attract $500 million in investment and give everyone in the southern African country electricity by 2030. Around 60% of people living in Mozambique, which is highly indebted, have... 

Two more firms fire KPMG as corporate South Africa weighs links with auditor

By: Reuters     19th September 2017 A South African broker and an energy investment firm fired KPMG on Tuesday, two of a host of local firms weighing whether to ditch the auditor to distance themselves from a scandal involving business friends of President Jacob Zuma. Sasfin and Hulisani, both relatively small financial companies... 

Former Eskom R&D GM to facilitate electric tech transfer in Africa – EPRI

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s former research, testing and development GM Barry MacColl has joined international nonprofit organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as an EPRI International senior regional manager facilitating technology transfer in Africa. EPRI has... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off 

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) recorded a sharp fall in disbursements to R12.4-billion in 2017, from a record R17.1-billion in 2016, but has promised to "step up" its role as a catalyst of development in 2018, setting a R20-billion disbursement target for the year. The development... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the fall in disbursements in 2017 and plans for a 'step up' in future. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.9.2017

Kibo moves closer to concluding PPA, securing project financing for MCPP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th September 2017 Dual-listed Kibo Mining says it is near concluding a power purchase agreement (PPA), as well as securing project financing for its Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP) in Tanzania. A memorandum of understanding (MoU), as a precursor to a final PPA with Tanzania power utility Tanesco, has passed all... 

Nelson Mandela Bay chamber says 19.9% power hike would be ‘crippling’

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has expressed extreme disappointment with Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff increase from April 1, 2018, warning that such a hike would be “crippling” to business and the economy. Should the increase be approved it could translate to a 27.5% municipal... 

Nelson Mandela Bay chamber says 19.9% power hike would be ‘crippling’

Edenville pleased with progress at Rukwa mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th September 2017 Aim-listed Edenville Energy is pleased with the progress being made with the development of its Rukwa project, in Tanzania. “The first half of 2017 was an extremely busy and transformational period for the company.  Having raised funds in February to start production, we have been able to rapidly... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Equipment manufacturer inaugurates new facility

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th September 2017 Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has officially inaugurated its new parts distribution facility, near Johannesburg, in Gauteng. The 60 000 m2 facility consolidates two smaller parts-distribution sites – Linbro Park and Isando – and offers several advantages, including the ability to work... 

Equipment manufacturer inaugurates new facility
SHEER ADVANTAGE The 60 000 m2 facility allows for the ability to work more efficiently while increasing capacity to provide unmatched parts availability for customers across Africa

Labels assist in reducing domestic energy use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     15th September 2017 With all common household electronic appliances now required to display new energy efficiency labelling, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) is confident that there will be a marked improvement in energy use and cost savings in South Africa, says NRCS communications and... 

Labels assist in  reducing domestic energy use
Photo by Bloomberg
CUSTOMER PROTECTION Updated labelling informs end-users of the energy performance of household appliances, which must meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards to be sold in South Africa

Rope access pivotal in enhancing NDT inspection

     15th September 2017 The effectiveness of non-destructive testing (NDT) is enhanced by rope access, as it ensures the rapid deployment of skilled technicians to carry out this critical inspection work, posits industrial rope access specialist Skyriders. NDT is an ideal form of preventative maintenance, and is used... 

Frustration as Nersa postpones closed hearing into wind body’s Eskom complaint

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has expressed frustration over a decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to postpone a hearing into its 11-month-old complaint into the refusal of Eskom to sign agreements to buy electricity from independent power... 

Frustration as Nersa postpones closed hearing into wind body’s Eskom complaint

Smart regulation key to driving renewable energy sector

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 Smart regulation and market stimulation are key drivers for growing the renewable energy sector and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Finnish Economic Affairs and Employment Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen said on Thursday. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the... 

Exxaro, NUM to resume wage negotiations on Friday

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th September 2017 Diversified miner Exxaro has received a revised set of demands from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the parties will resume wage negotiations on Friday. “We've noted the decision by NUM to issue a strike notice. The strike action affects Grootegeluk coal mine, in Lephalale, as well as... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Stakeholders to push back at upcoming hearings into Eskom’s 2018 hike 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2017 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has outlined the process it will be following to assess Eskom’s request for a 19.9% tariff increase for the 2018/19 financial year, setting a deadline of October 13 for the submission of written comments. Nersa has approved Eskom’s request to... 

Stakeholders to push back at upcoming hearings into Eskom’s 2018 hike

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th September 2017 Southern Africa can take heed of the success of the Nordic region’s achievement of energy security through successful cross-border trade and integration, its integrated markets and other critical elements of the Nord Power Pool. This is the message that emerged from the first day of the three-day... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market
Photo by Duane Daws
Norwegian Energy and Water Resources director Ove Flataker
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