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Upcoming protest not the first amid talks of transition away from coal – SAWEA

By: Simone Liedtke     16th November 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has defended the industry’s job creation potential. This comes ahead of a peaceful march by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is planned for November 17, to protest potential job losses in the coal-fired power generation sector as a... 

Morwe signals strategy shift as he prioritises restoration of trust amid ‘turbulance’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2018 Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe is prioritising the restoration of trust, internally and externally, which he acknowledges has been affected by the “turbulence” associated with recent action taken by the board to tackle corruption and recover money “siphoned” from the State-owned company. However,... 

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. 

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,... 

Big power users call for inflation-linked tariff ‘compact’ and industry review 

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2018 The Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) has called for an electricity price compact that sustains tariff increases as close to consumer price inflation as possible for the coming five years. The proposal is made in a precursor to the EIUG’s official response to Eskom’s latest revenue application,... 

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... 

Load-shedding spectre returns as unplanned outages rise  

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2018 The spectre of load-shedding, which has haunted South Africa and its economy since 2008, but has lifted somewhat in recent years, appears to have returned. State-owned electricity producer Eskom confirmed with Engineering News Online on Thursday that the system had become vulnerable once again,... 

New Eskom report warns of possible generation gaps in coming five years  

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2018 Eskom’s newly released Medium-Term System Adequacy Outlook (MTSAO) report highlights several risks to South Africa’s electricity supply for the period 2018 to 2023 and indicates that additional capacity will be required during the period to restore generation adequacy should the energy... 

Greenpeace Africa affirms Mpumalanga is a nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th October 2018 Greenpeace Africa states that analysis from satellite data between June 1 and August 31 shows that Mpumalanga is the world’s largest nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot across six continents. The data points to coal and transport as the two principal sources of the nitrogen dioxide air... 

Fossil Fuel Foundation sees clean coal as a solution for South Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF) has advocated strongly for coal to be retained as a sustainable part of South Africa's energy mix for the short to medium term. “Contrary to the popular belief that ‘coal is dead’, South Africa’s coal resources are abundant and can provide low-emitting,... 

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... 

Business concerned about coal sector job losses

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Business Council (BBC) have called for amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, telling Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy, on Friday, that the draft plan, with its emphasis on renewable energy rather than coal,... 

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... 

On-The-Air (26/10/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2018 South Africa is ahead of the world in the new race to develop innovative ‘power fuels’ that prevent climate change. An Australian company is selling its four big South African coal mines in Mpumalanga to new black owners. The Mandela Mining Precinct this week took its first steps towards the... 

Eskom welcomes Fitch Ratings’ decision

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2018 Ratings agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed Eskom’s long-term local currency issuer default rating and unguaranteed local currency senior unsecured ratings of ‘BB-’ . Fitch also maintained the national long-term rating at ‘A(zaf)’ and the national short-term rating at ‘F1(zaf)’.  

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 An analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) recommended plan in the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) shows that there will be a 30 000 net increase in employment in the electricity industry to 2030, despite a 100 000 fall in coal jobs over the period. In its formal response to... 

Sasol poised to improve operational performance in 2019

26th October 2018 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol reported that it is well positioned to continue improved operational performance in the 2019 financial year despite electricity supply interruptions, as its sales volumes increased by 1% for its performance chemicals business owing to robust market... 

Study examines impact of strikes on South African economy

26th October 2018 Amid continued protest action at chemical and petrochemicals heavyweight Sasol, university-led research foundation the Mandela Initiative has released conclusions on its research into the topic of local strikes and labour unrest. Sasol employees and members of trade union Solidarity have been on... 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 As forecast, 2018 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the South African energy sector, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Brenda Martin tells Engineering News. Bolstering South Africa’s energy sector is much-improved policy certainty, transparent decision-making and public... 

Klawer awaits PPA signature, while Roggeveld surges ahead

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 Having received preferred bidder status three years ago, Cape Town-based wind farm developer G7 Renewable Energies’ Klawer wind farm project awaits a power purchase agreement (PPA) signature before undertaking the 18 months of construction needed to add 5 MW of electricity to the national grid. 

Wind energy investors watching S Africa closely

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 For the last several years, from the wind industry’s perspective, the South African government has done everything it can to discourage investor confidence; however, that has changed with the new government, states Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

Potential issues with charging electric vehicles

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     26th October 2018 All the big automotive manufactures are making electric vehicles (EV). Why? I mean that, right now, internal combustion (IC) engines, gearboxes, drive systems, instrumentation . . . the whole lot . . . are pretty much sorted for the conventional cars (let us call them IC cars), so why retool for... 

IRP decision time

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 The comment period for the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 has closed and it’s now up to the Department of Energy (DoE) to sift through the responses and assess whether or not any adjustments should be made before asking Cabinet to approve the final version. The draft has been generally... 

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... 

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Concerned citizens have their say on IRP 2018 

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 Concerned citizens and activists have come to Parliament to speak out about the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), with fracking, high electricity tariffs and coal-fired power stations among their concerns. Ann October from the Eastridge Women’s Circle in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, said... 

Cosatu calls for overhaul of draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has rejected the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, calling for an overhaul. It also called for a firm commitment not to retrench workers as well as tougher, hard-hitting plans to halt looting and recover money stolen from Eskom. 

Mboweni calls for ‘open-minded’ approach to reconfiguration of State firms 

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2018 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has called for a reconfiguration of South Africa’s debt-laden State-owned companies (SoCs) and has appealed to stakeholders to adopt an open-mind with regard to the form such restructuring could take, particularly in the cases of Eskom and South African Airways... 

NGOs call for more time to deliberate on the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     23rd October 2018 Earthlife Africa has called for more time to deliberate on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), saying the 60-day period for public comment is "highly ambitious" and many citizens have been left out of the process. Makoma Lekalakala of Earthlife Africa said South Africans had a right to... 

Nersa unveils adjudication schedule for Eskom’s 15% hike application

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South African (Nersa) has unveiled its adjudication timetable for Eskom’s fourth multiyear price determination (MYPD4) revenue application, which will include public hearings in all nine provinces between January 14 and February 1, 2019. The regulator has also... 

Anglo’s portfolio performs well in Q3  

By: Nadine James     23rd October 2018 Diversified miner Anglo American’s focus on driving efficiency and productivity across the business resulted in another strong quarter, with volumes for the third quarter 1% higher year-on-year, Anglo CE Mark Cutifani commented on Tuesday. “Production per employee has increased by 5% [so far this... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd October 2018 The advent of technologies such as energy storage, small-scale embedded generation and smart grid solutions are set to fundamentally change South Africa’s electricity landscape, outgoing Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender said during an opening address at the SA Energy Storage... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Mboweni walks budget tightrope to fix ailing economy

By: Reuters     22nd October 2018 South Africa's new finance minister will target spending on agriculture, infrastructure and job creation projects in his inaugural budget speech on Wednesday in a bid to haul the economy out of a recession. With the government facing a ballooning debt, stubbornly high unemployment, struggling... 

Nersa initiates public consultation process on two Eskom applications

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has initiated a public consultation process on two Eskom applications. The first application is the regulatory clearing account (RCA) application of R21.6-billion for the fifth year (2017/18) of the multiyear price determination (MYPD) 3... 

Eskom director resigns

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th October 2018 Eskom nonexecutive director George Sebulela has resigned, effective immediately, chairperson Jabu Mabuza confirmed on Friday. Sebulela resigned after considering legal advice on his continued role as an Eskom director after the board was made aware of certain conflicts of interest.  

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... 

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