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Electricity News

Fitch downgrades Eskom

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st January 2018 Ratings agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded State-owned power utility Eskom on the back of weakening liquidity and uncertain capacity to fulfil its short-term financial commitments. The ratings agency downgraded the parastatal’s long-term local currency issuer default rating and unguaranteed... 

Eskom permanently suspends Maritz pending investigation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st January 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom has permanently suspended chief information officer Sean Maritz pending an investigation into allegations of impropriety. The parastatal temporarily suspended Maritz last week, pending a hearing, held on Tuesday. 

Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe plans to appeal court order to repay pension benefits

By: African News Agency      31st January 2018 The former boss of state power utility Eskom, Brian Molefe, is seeking leave to appeal a high court order compelling him to repay a pension payout it said he was not entitled to.  

Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe plans to appeal court order to repay pension benefits
Photo by Duane Daws
Brian Molefe

Eskom cannot commit to nuclear expansion – acting CFO 

By: Reuters     30th January 2018 South Africa's power utility Eskom cannot afford a nuclear power station expansion, acting Eskom chief financial officer Calib Cassim said on Tuesday during the release of its financial results. South Africa's government has said it will push ahead with its nuclear expansion plan but will now do... 

Eskom cannot commit to nuclear expansion – acting CFO
Acting Eskom CFO Calib Cassim on the utility’s inability to take on a new nuclear build programme, owing to its balance sheet stresses. Video and video editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded 30.1.2018

Eskom looking beyond shareholder to tackle ‘unsustainable’ capital structure 

By: Terence Creamer     30th January 2018 Having secured “in principle” commitments from funders to enable Eskom to meet looming debt obligations of R20-billion by the end of February, the new leadership at the power utility has started weighing various options, including asset sales, for shoring up the group’s fragile balance sheet.... 

Eskom looking beyond shareholder to tackle ‘unsustainable’ capital structure
Newly appointed Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza and acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe speak on governance, sustainability and Eskom’s immediate liquidity challenge. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded:30.1.2018

AfDB renews commitment to connect 29.3m Africans to electricity grids

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th January 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to provide 29.3-million people on the continent with access to electricity by 2020. Speaking during meetings of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, at the weekend, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina pledged support for the New... 

AfDB renews commitment to connect 29.3m Africans to electricity grids

Eskom H1 profits down 34%, new board aims to stabilise firm

By: Reuters     30th January 2018 South African State-run power utility Eskom said on Tuesday interim profits were down 34% to R6-billion ($504-million) on the back of declining sales and higher finance costs. Eskom, which has been embroiled in a governance crisis and allegations of undue influence in awarding tenders, said in a... 

Eskom H1 profits down 34%, new board aims to stabilise firm

Brown says boards of State-owned enterprises must shape up 

By: African News Agency      30th January 2018 Embattled Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday told MPs she expected the boards of South Africa's corruption-stricken, cash-strapped parastatals to perform or be replaced. "The message to the boards of all SOCs is that they must shape up or ship out. If they are unable to instill... 

Brown says boards of State-owned enterprises must shape up
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Rosatom JV signs contract for hydro facility in South Africa 

By: Anine Kilian     29th January 2018 Hungarian-Russian joint-venture company Ganz Engineering and Energetics Machinery, which forms part of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, recently signed a contract with South African partner Blue World Power Energy and Resources to supply hydro-electric equipment for the... 

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan hope to break Nile dam talks deadlock in one month 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand... 

Botswana power plant expansion plan stalls over terms 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 A planned $800-million expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Botswana by Japan's Marubeni Corp and South Korea's Posco Energy has been put on hold due to a disagreement over terms, the energy minister said on Monday. Marubeni and Posco Energy were due to start work in January last year on a... 

Akuo secures €78m to build Mali solar plant

By: Schalk Burger     29th January 2018 French independent power producer (IPP) Akuo Energy has secured €78-million in financing to build the 50 MW Akuo Kita Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in southern Mali. Private sector infrastructure funding organisation Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) reports that the plant will be... 

Anglo to sell New Largo assets to Seriti, partners for R850m

By: Anine Kilian     29th January 2018 LSE- and JSE-listed Anglo American is making further progress with its strategy of disposing of its Eskom-tied coal assets, announcing on Monday that it will sell its New Largo thermal coal assets, which are owned by its 73%-held subsidiary Anglo American Inyosi Coal, to New Largo Coal, for... 

Anglo to sell New Largo assets to Seriti, partners for R850m
Norman Mbazima

‘Any nuclear new build a poor choice for South Africa’, not just a Russian build

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2018 Not just Russian but any nuclear new build is a poor choice for South Africa, Rocky Mountain Institute chief scientist Amory Lovins and University of Cape Town (UCT) emeritus professor Anton Eberhard argue in a newly release occasional paper published by the UCT Graduate School of Business.... 

‘Any nuclear new build a poor choice for South Africa’, not just a Russian build
Photo by Duane Daws
Professor Anton Eberhard

Nersa welcomes Mkhize as petroleum pipelines regulator

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     26th January 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has appointed Muzuvukile Mkhize as full-time regulator member responsible for petroleum pipelines regulation, following Cabinet approval. Mkhize will fill the role for a five-year term from January 16 this year to January 15, 2023. His... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility

By: Nadine James     26th January 2018 Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom’s African subsidiary Rosatom Africa sponsored an all expenses paid trip to Russia for winners of the yearly student competition, held for the third time last year. The students visited the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as its training... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility
RED SQUARE The prize comprised of a site visit to a Nuclear Power Plant and a cultural tour of Moscow, including Red Square and the Museum of Cosmonautics

Growing global trend for small, compact and cost-saving VSDs

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to a global trend in cost efficiency and going green, drive engineering specialist SEW-Eurodrive sales engineer Sean Tibbott foresees the demand for a small, compact and cost-saving variable-speed drives continuing to grow worldwide. 

Growing global trend for small, compact  and cost-saving VSDs
MOVIGEAR MECHATRONIC DRIVE UNIT The units are able to reduce installation and start-up efforts and costs

High-performance chain offers enhanced strength and reliability

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 To ensure greater strength and durability, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG’s range of Tsubaki high-performance product chains now includes the robust Workhorse elevator series. 

Increasing energy cost prompts need for drive systems

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 The ever-rising cost of energy and the increasing pollution associated with power supply systems are continuously driving the need for alternating current drive systems with low harmonics and power regeneration, says Midrand-based variable-speed drive (VSD) and automation equipment supplier... 

Increasing energy  cost prompts need  for drive systems
U1000 MATRIX DRIVE The U1000 matrix drive does not require any additional filtering to achieve low harmonics

Misaligned pulleys affect belt efficiency and life span

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Misaligned pulleys are one of the biggest contributors to premature failed belts, negatively affecting drive efficiency and shortening the life of the belt significantly, states engineering consumables and components distributor BMG power transmission GM Carlo Beukes. 

Misaligned pulleys affect  belt efficiency and life span
FENNER DRIVE ALIGNMENT LASER The Fenner Drive Alignment Laser is designed for accurate pulley and sprocket alignment

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more compatible installations

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to the installation of electrical products onto panels and enclosures being time-consuming and costly, electric solutions provider Magnet Group MD Brian Howarth says product installations need to be made simpler and more compatible with existing wiring through the supply of cost-effective... 

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more  compatible installations
EASYPACT TVS The EasyPact TVS range encompasses nine sizes of contactors that cover a broad range of current ratings

Multifunction vibration meter redefines vibration screening

     26th January 2018 Sandton-based distribution centre Comtest is offering electronic test tools manufacturer and distributor Fluke’s latest vibration meter, the Fluke 805, which provides quantifiable information on a bearing and the overall health of motors and other rotating equipment. 

VFD adoption triggers need for bearing protection rings

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 As the adoption of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) increases, so too will the need for the reliable mitigation of destructive shaft voltages, which will lead to increased demand for bearing protection rings, says bearing protection solutions provider AEGIS sales and marketing manager Adam... 

Economisers the key to boiler success

     26th January 2018 Fitting an economiser on a boiler is a small addition that can provide big results in terms of helping companies reduce their operating costs and decrease their environmental impact, says heat and energy generation equipment provider Steam Generation Africa MD John Rundle. 

Efficient boiler inspection saves downtime at power station

By: Robyn Wilkinson     26th January 2018 Inspection and certification services provider TÜV SÜD South Africa’s successful completion of an outage inspection project at State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi Unit 5 has ensured that the power station’s boiler meets the highest standards in terms of quality and safety. 

Efficient boiler inspection saves downtime at power station
ENSURING GOOD FUNCTION The detection of wear and damages plays a key role in preventing costly equipment failures

Natural gas boilers offer hidden benefits

By: Robyn Wilkinson     26th January 2018 The benefits of natural gas as fuel for boilers in industrial processes are too often overlooked by companies who continue to favour traditional coal-fired boilers, which they erroneously believe to be a more cost-effective option, says oil, gas boiler and burner specialist Combustion Technology... 

Natural gas boilers offer hidden benefits
Photo by Reuters
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS While coal appears to be the more cost-effective boiler fuel option, there are a number of overlooked benefits of natural gas, which must be considered in cost calculations

Boiler supplier secures largest order in 30 years

     26th January 2018 Boiler supplier Dryden Combustion has experienced significant growth since it was acquired by energy solutions provider Energy Partners at the end of 2016, with the successful synergy between the companies enabling Dryden to secure the largest single order in its 30-year history last year. 

Boiler supplier secures largest order in 30 years
MAKING PROGRESS The shell of the first of four new 10 t/h coal-fired steam boilers is complete, with the project on schedule for hand over to the client in October

Emerging markets using latest energy technologies to improve competitiveness

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2018 With the advent of new energy generation, storage and management technologies, developing country companies are using the capabilities of new integrated microgrid systems to improve their efficiency and lower costs, says electrical equipment and services multinational ABB Asia, Middle East and... 

Emerging markets using latest energy technologies  to improve competitiveness
CHUNYUAN GU Natural resources, accessible labour and more readily available energy can be leveraged to grow industry in Africa, if industrial operations become more efficient

Investments accumulated to catalyse off-grid energy development

By: Dylan Slater     26th January 2018 Multilateral development bank African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) board approved a $30-million investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF) last month.  

Microgrids using solar energy to meet energy demands

     26th January 2018 Communities and producers in Africa are struggling with energy deficits caused by a lack of infrastructure access in some cases and poor energy quality and high-power costs in others, explains procurement and construction services provider Black & Veatch. As a result, Black & Veatch has... 

Microgrids using  solar energy to meet energy demands
SOLAR SOLUTION Providing power through solar power projects is just one of many solutions that could grant electricity access to communities

Need for more energy increases demand for solar power

By: Victor Moolman     26th January 2018 With electricity demand in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region increasing, Stellenbosch University Faculty of Engineering’s Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies senior researcher Karin Kritzinger believes that solar water heaters can be one of the major... 

Need for more energy increases  demand for solar power
Photo by Duane Daws
WIDESPREAD POWER There are several solar farms across the member countries of the Southern African Development Community

Solar energy can reduce tariff hike strain on consumers

     26th January 2018 With the ruling of the Constitutional Court having allowed power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, solar energy equipment supplier Energy Partners Home Solutions believes that this could lead to... 

Three-year project reaches completion

By: Victor Moolman     26th January 2018 Technology solutions provider Jasco has completed its three-year solar farm project, which has reduced its maximum electricity demand by 27% and its reliance on State-owned power utility Eskom by 33%. “Phase 1 of the project – which started in April 2015 – resulted in the installation of 53 kWp... 

School installs solar system at boarding house

     26th January 2018 The South African College High School (SACS), in Cape Town, made a commitment to clean energy by installing a solar system at its Rosedale Boarding House. The solar system was installed in November by Energy Partners Home Solutions, part of the PSG group of companies. SACS deputy headmaster Barry... 

'We have excess power and no money' – Ramaphosa on nuclear plan

By: African News Agency      25th January 2018 South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday reiterated that a proposed nuclear build programme will only be considered in the broad context of affordability, but warned "we have excess power and we have no money". Ramaphosa, who was asked at a press conference at the World... 

'We have excess power and no money' – Ramaphosa on nuclear plan

Kenyan startup’s solar refrigeration solution wins energy prize 

     25th January 2018 Kenyan startup SolarFreeze, which has developed an offgrid solar-powered refrigeration solution for smallholder farmers and traders, has been named the winner of the Africa Energy Prize. The award is a joint initiative between energy multinational Enel and Swiss-based Seedstars World, which... 

Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project 

     25th January 2018 The installation of a photovoltaic system for South African retailer Pick n Pay’s Longmeadow distribution centre will be fully operational by the end of the month. The solar PV system, installed by Energy Partners Solar, is believed to be the largest solar PV installation in South Africa. Nadine... 

Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project
Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project

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