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Transmission & Distribution News

Zambia plans to transform state power utility into viable firm

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago Zambia has started implementing measures aimed at transforming State-owned Zesco into a viable and efficient public power utility company, the government said on Thursday. Zesco has in the recent past been experiencing serious operational challenges, the chairman of the team put in place to... 

South Africa must consider charging strategies before investing in EVs

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th November 2018 South Africa needs to develop controlled charging strategies before it embarks on large-scale investment in electric vehicles (EVs), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research research engineer Paseka Mabina said during the South African Energy Efficiency Confederation conference, on... 

Energy industry steadily embracing digitalisation, 4IR

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th November 2018 Internet traffic data has grown from 2 TB in 1987 to 1.1 zettabytes, or 1.1 ZB, in 2017, meaning digitalisation is already upon us, and not a distant dream, said national Cleaner Production Centre industrial energy efficiency project manager Alfred Hartzenburg. Speaking at the South African... 

Municipal debt to Eskom climbs to R17bn

By: African News Agency      13th November 2018 The debt owed to Eskom by South Africa's municipalities continues to grow and had now reached R17-billion, Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize told MPs on Tuesday.. "We have noted that debt stood at R14.3-billion and currently has gone up to R17-billion and that's just for Eskom and a... 

USAID transmission roadmap guides electricity development in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th November 2018 A roadmap to unlock electricity trade, published by US Agency for International Development (USAID), could guide leaders in identifying and focusing on specific projects that will bring electricity to millions of people, while bringing down the cost of power and driving economic growth. The... 

USAID transmission roadmap guides electricity development in Africa

Is there a risk of load-shedding this summer? 

7th November 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom’s plant performance challenges, whether there is a risk of load-shedding and the importance of determining the future energy availability factor at Eskom’s coal-fired power plants. 

Is there a risk of load-shedding this summer?
Is there a risk of load-shedding this summer?

African Development Bank plans R10bn in loans to Eskom 

By: Reuters     7th November 2018 The African Development Bank plans to lend South African power utility Eskom around R10-billion ($720-million) in 2019 and 2020, the bank's president Akinwumi Adesina said. "We plan to lend around $620-million for the Medupi power plant, and around $100-million for Eskom's transmission network,... 

African Development Bank plans R10bn in loans to Eskom
Photo by Reuters
AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina

South Africa joins the IEA as an association country 

By: Kim Cloete     6th November 2018 South Africa has joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) as an association country in a move it believes will bring it closer to the cutting-edge of technology and global energy governance. It is the first country in Africa to be afforded this status. 

South Africa joins the IEA as an association country
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol and Energy Minsiter Jeff Radebe

Eaton develops 10 000 operation switchgear for Shoprite’s warehouses

2nd November 2018 Shoprite Holdings commissioned engineering professional services firms WSP Africa to design a medium voltage (MV) power distribution system for its new Cilmor Distribution Centre, to provide reliable, continuous power to three large warehouses despite regular utility load shedding issues which... 

Eaton develops 10 000 operation switchgear for Shoprite’s warehouses
Photo by Creamer Media
SHOP RIGHT Shoprite is expected to continue to benefit from their choice of Xiria E over the lifetime of the switchgear

Digitisation set to shake up the energy sector

By: Kim Cloete     1st November 2018 Energy experts believe there are great opportunities to save money and boost efficiency with a move towards more digitisation in the energy sector. They are preparing for a shake-up, spurred on by a move away from conventional generation systems, a surge in renewable energy and the introduction... 

DA to tackle Eskom's 'monopoly' via new bill

By: News24Wire      29th October 2018 Introducing competition in the energy sector will keep electricity prices down, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA). DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday announced plans at a briefing to address "Eskom's monopoly" in the energy sector, through the introduction of a private member's bill known... 

 DA to tackle Eskom's 'monopoly' via new bill

NGOs criticise IRP public hearings process

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 Energy Governance South Africa (EGSA) has expressed concern about the way the public hearings process into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has been conducted in Parliament, saying it had been a "one-way flow of information, without interrogation and interaction". The organization has penned a... 

Salga calls for new electricity demand forecasts

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has called for a reduced demand forecast for electricity to be included in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, in line with the slowdown in electricity sales and a drop in customer demand. Salga says the forecasts contained in the draft... 

Eskom to add 6 500 km of high-voltage transmission lines by 2028

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th October 2018 Power utility Eskom plans to add about 6 500 km of high-voltage transmission lines and 46 000 MVA of transformer capacity in the next ten years, its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), for the period from 2019 to 2028, shows. The TDP, which was released on Thursday, also demonstrates... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 German electronics manufacturer Siemens on Wednesday launched, at its headquarters in Midrand, its end-to-end distributed energy system (DES) as a solution to assist the African continent in its energy transition. The DES provides for the targeted use of renewable energy, combined heating and... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siemens HQ and its solar car park in Midrand, Johannesburg

Growing risk of ‘reform by default’ as South Africa battles to adapt to electricity transition 

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2018 There is a growing risk of “reform by default” in South Africa’s electricity industry, which is already showing symptoms of the “proverbial utility death spiral”, whereby sales volumes fall as tariffs rise, with consumers opting for alternatives. This argument is outlined in a paper titled ‘The... 

Growing risk of ‘reform by default’ as South Africa battles to adapt to electricity transition

City of Johannesburg, Eskom reach agreement to electrify Zandspruit

By: News24Wire      17th October 2018 Eskom and the City of Johannesburg have reached an agreement to rid the Zandspruit informal settlement of illegal electrical connections. The area has been rocked by protests, which flared up when two children were reportedly electrocuted last week. The protests entered their second day on... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th October 2018 The Rwandan government has signed a €229.20-million funding agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the country’s electricity supply improvement programme and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II). This builds on... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme
African Development Bank power, energy, climate change and green growth VP Amadou Hott

Eskom executive for generation Thava Govender quits

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 Eskom's group executive for generation, Thava Govender, on Monday tendered his resignation after assuming the position only in March this year, the power utility's spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said. Govender, who was also acting group executive of risk and sustainability, has worked for Eskom for... 

Medupi’s fifth unit synchronised to the national grid – Eskom

By: Simone Liedtke     9th October 2018 Unit 2 at Eskom-owned Medupi power station, in Limpopo, was loaded to 400 MW on Sunday afternoon, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid. The unit produced first power on Sunday morning, at around 11:53. 

Lazard report on Eskom asset sale options due within days – Eskom chair

By: Reuters     8th October 2018 Financial adviser Lazard will conclude its assessment of which assets South Africa's State-owned power firm Eskom can put up for sale in the next few days, Eskom's chairperson Jabu Mabuza said on Monday. "We have hired Lazard to look at what assets, if any, we can dispose of on our balance... 

Lazard report on Eskom asset sale options due within days – Eskom chair
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Eskom won't need more government cash over next year – Minister 

By: Reuters     8th October 2018 State-owned power firm Eskom does not require government cash injections over the next 12 months, the country's Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday. Cash-strapped Eskom is critical to Africa's most industrialised economy as it supplies more than 90 percent of its power but... 

Eskom won't need more government cash over next year – Minister

Eskom suspends head of assurance, forensics pending investigation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th October 2018 Eskom has placed its senior GM of assurance and forensics Molefi Nkhabu on a precautionary suspension pending an investigation into circumstances surrounding internal audit investigation reports pertaining to transactions that he signed off on, which contain inferences or conclusions which had... 

Eskom to recoup R32.7bn RCA balance over four years

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced on Tuesday that Eskom would be allowed recover the R32.7-billion already approved as part of its adjudication of three separate Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) applications over a four-year period, beginning in the 2019/20... 

Eskom to recoup R32.7bn RCA balance over four years
Photo by Dylan Slater
Nersa regulators at RCA hearings in May

Eskom expresses pride on its improved electricity access

By: News24Wire      28th September 2018 South Africa’s power utility Eskom on Friday said electricity access had improved from 36 percent in 1994 to 90 percent to date. Eskom said in 1994, at the “the dawn of democracy”, only 36 percent of the country had access to electricity, with 12 percent being rural electrification. To date, the... 

Eskom expresses pride on its improved electricity access

AfDB extends R2.87bn loan to Eskom to expand its transmission network

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th September 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a R2.87-billion loan for South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom for the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities. The funding supports the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555 km... 

Electrical equipment range expanded

21st September 2018 Power distribution system supplier Magnet Group has expanded on its Carlo Gavazzi range by introducing multi-channel power analyser and automation products. These include WM50 multi-channel power analysers, which efficiently measure main electrical variables as well as voltage and current... 

Electrical equipment range expanded
MULTI-CHANNEL POWER ANALYSERS The Magnet Group specialises in the supply, implementation and support of electrical equipment

Eskom implements smart meters in Gauteng

21st September 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom is currently implementing an electricity network infrastructure programme in Gauteng that aims to improve the services rendered to customers through ensuring reliable supply and empowering them to control and manage their own consumption. The implementation process... 

Eskom implements  smart meters in Gauteng
Photo by Bloomberg
ESKOM’S INNOVATIVE SYSTEM The company is rolling out smart prepaid meters in Sandton and Midrand

Eskom needs to be 'rightsized' – Mabuza

By: Kim Cloete     28th August 2018 Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza says the utility is up to 33% overstaffed at all levels and may need to be "rightsized" in time. “We don't know whether we will downsize but we are determined to rightsize. We will do that within the confines of the Labour Relations Act. We can’t tell people here how... 

Eskom to sue Trillian; warns some dismissed Eskom employees still have their tentacles in the utility

By: Kim Cloete     28th August 2018 Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe says Eskom will continue to tighten the screws on implicated former and current employees and suppliers who have drained the utility of its resources and plunged it into debt. He told Parliament on Tuesday that Eskom would also sue Gupta-linked Trillian later this year... 

Maimane asks Ramaphosa to table terms, conditions of R33bn Eskom-China loan in Parliament

By: African News Agency      24th August 2018 Main opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he table in Parliament within 14 days, the full terms and conditions of a R33-billion loan agreement state power firm Eskom recently signed with the Chinese... 

Eskom begins stakeholder interactions on ‘Strategy 2035’  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd August 2018 South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom has initiated a series of interactions with stakeholders as part of a review process designed to deliver a new long-term strategy, dubbed ‘Strategy 2035’, for the beleaguered organisation. The new leadership at the State-owned company, together with Public... 

Eskom begins stakeholder interactions on ‘Strategy 2035’

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg

By: African News Agency      20th August 2018 The judicial commission of inquiry into alleged capture of the South African State and its entities, referred to as ''State capture'', is set to begin on Monday in Johannesburg. At the centre of the hearings are the fugitive Gupta family, who have since left the country as allegations of... 

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

NUM says ready to sign Eskom's wage offer

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday it was ready to sign a three-year wage offer from state power firm Eskom provided the utility agrees not to discipline staff who went on strike illegally. Investors want to see a resolution to the standoff between workers and Eskom as any... 

Hawks investigate cases related to Gupta-loot worth more than R40bn

By: News24Wire      16th August 2018 The Hawks are investigating cases related to the Guptas' state capture project that involves more than R40 billion which has been plundered from state coffers. Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya presented the Hawks' progress in several cases of state capture to the Portfolio Committee on Police on... 

Numsa rejects Eskom disciplinary action proposal against striking workers

By: African News Agency      16th August 2018 The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa has rejected Eskom's proposal to institute disciplinary action against workers who participated in industrial action during protracted wage negotiations, on the grounds that the power utility is an essential service.  On Wednesday Eskom declared a... 

Kibo to acquire 60% stake in UK energy company

By: Simone Liedtke     15th August 2018 Africa-focussed energy company Kibo Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of a 60% equity interest in UK company Mast Energy Developments (MED). Under the terms of the MoU, Kibo can acquire a 60% shareholding in MED for £300 000 payable to existing MED... 

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