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Transmission & Distribution News

Robust energy base key to industrialisation

By: Simone Liedtke     16th February 2018 Public-private partnership South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) CEO Chiboni Evans states that Africa's industrialisation can occur only if countries have a robust energy base. 

Growing need to fuel power demand in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     16th February 2018 Energy transformation in Africa is necessary to ensure that the 600-million people on the continent who do not have access to energy gain access, says regional event Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, who adds that the growing population and need for African industrialisation will continue... 

Growing need to fuel power  demand in Africa
LIZ HART The growing population and need for African industrialisation will continue to fuel the demand for power

WSP to develop 330 kV Zambia-DRC electricity transmission line

By: Dylan Slater     13th February 2018 The Southern African Power Pool has appointed UK-based engineering consultancy WSP to develop a proposed 330 kV electricity interconnector between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  

Criminal charges laid against Molefe over R30m pension payout

By: African News Agency      6th February 2018 Trade union Solidarity on Tuesday laid criminal charges against embattled former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe and former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane over the R30-million pension awarded to Molefe when he left the struggling state-owned power utility. “The charges focus specifically... 

PIC advances R5bn bridging loan to fund Eskom through February

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2018 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) announced on Monday that it is advancing R5-billion to cash-strapped power utility Eskom in the form of bridging finance to fund the company’s operations during February. The one-month loan, which has been advanced on behalf of the Government Employees... 

PIC advances R5bn bridging loan to fund Eskom through February

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

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

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

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... 

Prish Govender quits SAfrica's Eskom

By: African News Agency      24th January 2018 Eskom's acting head of group capital Prish Govender resigned on Tuesday, South Africa's power utility said. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe first Tweeted, and later confirmed the news on the phone that Govender had left the embattled power utility with immediate effect. 

I can start State capture inquiry as soon as Zuma gives me terms of reference – Judge Zondo

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2018 Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who will chair the commission of inquiry into allegations of State capture, says he is ready to get going, but still needs to receive the terms of reference from President Jacob Zuma. During a press briefing in Midrand on Tuesday, Justice Zondo told reporters... 

Nersa to host hearings into R66.6bn Eskom claw-back applications in May

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will hold public hearings across all of South Africa’s nine provinces between May 7 and May 25 to consider three revenue claw-back applications, collectively valued at R66.6-billion, submitted by cash-strapped power utility Eskom. The... 

Nersa to host hearings into R66.6bn Eskom claw-back applications in May

Suspended Eskom CFO resigns

By: African News Agency      23rd January 2018 Suspended Eskom chief financial officer (CFO), Anoj Singh, resigned on Monday, South Africa's power utility said. "Eskom has today [on Monday] received, through Mr Anoj Singh’s attorneys, a formal letter of resignation by Mr Singh from his position as the Chief Financial Officer, in line with the... 

Suspended Eskom CFO resigns
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh

Botswana to spend $495m to extend power grid to northwest

By: Reuters     22nd January 2018 The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) on Monday launched a P4.8-billion ($495-million) project to build an electricity transmission line to connect the northwest of the country, a centre of copper mining and tourism, to the national grid. Domestic consumers in the region currently rely on imports... 

New Eskom board will provide 'comfort' to markets – Phasiwe

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2018 The newly appointed Eskom board will provide the reassurance markets have been seeking around issues of corporate governance at the power utility, said spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe. Speaking to Fin24 by phone on Monday, Phasiwe explained Eskom and Treasury would be approaching financial... 

Business welcomes government’s 'commitment' to restore confidence with new Eskom board

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2018 Business leaders have welcomed the appointment of Eskom’s new board as a sign that there is political will to restore confidence in state-owned enterprises. Government announced on Saturday that Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza will chair Eskom’s board as part of a host of measures to “stabilise... 

Eskom board had to be fast tracked – Brown

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2018 The new Eskom board had to be fast tracked because the parastatal is in a precarious financial position, Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has said. “Fast-tracking the appointment of Eskom’s new Board was [necessitated] by the company’s precarious liquidity position and the previous... 

Eskom board had to be fast tracked – Brown
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Eskom challenges need to be addressed urgently, or South Africa will sink – Gigaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday painted a grim picture of the financial challenges facing power utility Eskom, stating that the national fiscus would be unable to bail the State-owned enterprise (SOE) out in the event of a default. Speaking at a pre-World Economic Forum (WEF)... 

Eskom challenges need to be addressed urgently, or South Africa will sink – Gigaba
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Editorial: Eskom requires surgery not a Band-Aid

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2018 Eskom’s debt refinancing is undoubtedly a critical burning platform. The clock is most definitely ticking and the consequences of not closing the immediate financial chasm will be dire not only for the utility, but also for citizens. That said, government is extremely unlikely to allow Eskom to... 

Editorial: Eskom requires surgery not a Band-Aid

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2018 The outlook for solar and wind electricity costs to 2020 “presages historically low costs for new renewable electricity”, which could create new economic and industrial opportunities, a new International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) report argues. Released in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab... 

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

Eskom's bonds face suspension from South Africa exchange

By: Reuters     15th January 2018 South Africa's stock exchange has not received Eskom's interim results on time and if they are not submitted by Jan. 31 trading of the power utility's debt may be suspended, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) said on Monday. Cash-strapped Eskom, the sole power supplier in Africa's most... 

Eskom's bonds face suspension from South Africa exchange

Aggreko 28 MW HFO plant comes online in Madagascar

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th January 2018 Electricity solutions provider Aggreko has started to supply stable power in Madagascar, using 28 MW of its heavy fuel oil- (HFO-) generated energy from its Noor 2 turbine, running alongside its joint venture partner Jovena’s Noor 1 turbines. This forms part of an extension to a 50 MW agreement... 

Calls made for far-reaching Eskom restructuring as sustainability risks mount

By: Terence Creamer     9th January 2018 Eskom’s current financial situation makes it difficult to see any other path to sustainability than that of drastic cost-cutting, restructuring and bringing private equity into the business, Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) past chairperson Piet van Staden argues. In an... 

Calls made for far-reaching Eskom restructuring as sustainability risks mount

Canyon Coal connects local community to electricity grid

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st December 2017 Mid-tier coal mining and exploration group Canyon Coal, which has operations and projects in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, connected families who live next its Phalanndwa colliery in Delmas, to its electricity grid. Phalanndwa GM Alan Mabbett noted the company was “excited” to provide free electricity... 

Canyon Coal connects local community to electricity grid
Photo by Duane Daws
The Phalanndwa colliery

ABB, SNC-Lavalin joins forces for substation projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th December 2017 Automation company ABB and infrastructure company SNC-Lavalin have signed an agreement to form a joint venture (JV) for the execution of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects for electrical substations. SNC-Lavalin will have majority and controlling interest in the JV. 

Nersa grants Eskom's tariff hike, but not 20% 

By: News24Wire      15th December 2017 South Africa's National Energy Regulator (Nersa) has declined Eskom request for a 20% hike, instead granting Eskom a 5.2% hike. The regulator is due to publish a document outlining the decision in the next couple of days, Nersa chair Jacob Modise said. The 5.23% tariff increase, announced by... 

Nersa grants Eskom's tariff hike, but not 20%

CPV plant’s success contributes to economic growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 Being the only concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power plant of its kind in South Africa currently, independent power producer Pele Energy Group senior asset manager Ziska Mc Gilton says the 36 MW ac Touwsrivier CPV project is continuously providing economic upliftment and support for surrounding... 

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 President Jacob Zuma used his address at the Energy Indaba, taking place in Johannesburg this week, to assure business and investors that the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) elective conference would be “orderly and peaceful”, while promising a “seamless” handover to the new ANC... 

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate
President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Twenty-three South African civil rights and environmental activist groups have sent a letter to Energy Minister David Mahlobo seeking clarity on the nature and purpose of the upcoming Energy Indaba, scheduled for December 7 to 8 in Johannesburg. “It appears that the indaba will relate to the... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims

By: News24Wire      24th November 2017 Trade Union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would launch legal proceedings to force former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to repay the "unlawful" R30-million pension payout he received. "Unlawful actions must bear consequences. An apology and even pay back [from Molefe], is not enough,"... 

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd November 2017 Through innovation in the energy sphere, Africa is slowly starting to overcome historical blockages that have prevented the continent from achieving economic growth and creating sustainable jobs, according to energy consultancy Africa House director Duncan Bonnett. Speaking at a PowerGen and... 

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2017 A major topic of discussion during recent public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application, was whether a further double-digit tariff hike could trigger a “utility death spiral”, whereby rising tariffs and utility costs spark an exodus of energy-intensive customers from the network,... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 Breaking all-time records, renewables currently account for two thirds of global net capacity additions, according to one of several reports about how renewable energy is powering ahead. The trend is set to continue. “All renewables will grow at double the velocity of fossil fuels within the next... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

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