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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... 

Irregular expenditure

By: Riaan de Lange     19th October 2018 Take a moment to reflect on the phrase 'irregular expenditure'. What thoughts does it evoke? Anything? These two words, I wager, have been rendered devoid of their impact, owing to excessive use. 

Renewable energy industry comments on draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 The renewable energy sector in South Africa has welcomed the draft Integrated Resource Plant (IRP) 2018, but has also expressed concerns. “While the IRP forecasting is rational in its choices, it unfortunately requires us to accept some overly optimistic assumptions,” said the South African... 

Organisations raise objections to the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 Industry bodies and organisations have welcomed aspects of the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 but have also raised concerns during public hearings held in Parliament on Wednesday. They are hoping that their suggestions will be included in a final plan for South Africa’s energy future. 

GE calls for more coal power within the IRP 

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 General Electric (GE) has called on the South African government to reconsider investing in a further 1 600 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity, describing it as "the lifeblood" of South Africa’s economy, a significant job creator and important source of foreign exchange. “The removal of 1... 

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... 

Calls for greater transformation in the energy industry 

By: Kim Cloete     16th October 2018 Calls for greater participation by black professionals in the energy industry were made during public hearings into the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), held at Parliament, on Tuesday. The Black Energy Professionals Association, an organisation of black professionals that practice their trade... 

Organisations oppose coal in IRP public hearings 

By: Kim Cloete     16th October 2018 Public hearings into the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) kicked off in Parliament on Tuesday, with several organisations voicing their concerns about the plan’s provision for new coal-fired power stations. Attorney Robyn Hugo of the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) told Parliament’s... 

CSIR seeks municipal partners for energy master plan pilot project 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aims to partner with a metropolitan council and a district municipality to compile pilot municipal energy master plans for electricity (MEMPs), which will provide the two councils with insight into the best electricity supply blends for... 

Surge Technology and DEHN Africa: celebrating 30+ years of doing business together

15th October 2018 JOHANNESBURG –September 16, 2018 – Surge Technology and DEHN Africa are proudly celebrating over 30 years of doing business together in the surge and lightning protection industry. This is according to Paul van As, LV divisional manager of Surge Technology, who says, “The history of the two... 

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... 

Renewable energy sector could provide jobs boost to SA

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 The renewable energy sector could provide an unexpected but much-needed jobs boost to South Africa’s employment levels, as the sector continues to mature, solar enery company SOLA Future Energy said on Monday. SOLA Future Energy is the company that replaced Robben Island’s diesel-powered... 

Exxaro looks to fill Eskom coal shortage

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 Exxaro Resources said on Friday it was looking to supply coal to state-owned power utility Eskom, which has been hit by supply shortages, posing a threat to the power supply in Africa's most industrialised economy. Eskom, which has fewer than 20 days of coal supply at 10 of its power stations,... 

Eskom optimistic plan to boost coal stocks will prevent power outages

By: Paige Müller     12th October 2018 The continuing coal supply shortage at State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings is considered a crisis by industry commentators. Although conceding that it “is not an ideal situation”, Eskom has assured Parliament that it is implementing a recovery plan to prevent any unplanned capacity loss.... 

Electrically mobile 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2018 Following a somewhat questionable hiatus in September, petrol and diesel prices resumed their sheer climbs in October, leaving motorist with the financial equivalent of altitude sickness. The decision to freeze prices last month (apart from a 4.9c/l increase to cater for a wage settlement) was... 

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