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Gauteng open for business as InvestSA OSS launched

By: Simone Liedtke     10th April 2018 Boosting investor confidence is critical to positioning South Africa as a premium destination for foreign direct investment. To assist in achieving this, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies, together with Gauteng Premier David Makhura, on Tuesday launched the InvestSA One Stop Shop (OSS) in... 

Skyriders scores full marks for NDT inspection at Eskom power stations

10th April 2018 Rope-access specialist Skyriders has been honing its Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) expertise since 2002, having received the stamp-of-approval from Eskom to conduct this specialist service at its power-station fleet, including Kendal in Mpumalanga. NDT forms part of a holistic Wear Failure System... 

Ramaphosa refers Eskom allegations to Special Investigating Unit

By: News24Wire      6th April 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa referred allegations of mismanagement and graft at state power utility Eskom and rail and ports group Transnet to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). The SIU, which probes corruption and maladministration in the government, must include “any alleged serious... 

ATProM to provide solutions for Eskom around ageing energy infrastructure

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2018 A new research group Applied Thermo Fluid Process Modelling Research Unit (ATProM) is working on a study – based on an existing collaboration between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and State-owned power utility Eskom – to provide engineers with up-to-date research, students with real-world... 

South Africa’s renewables focus shifting from costs to jobs and transformation

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2018 The themes of transformation and employment in the renewable-energy sector have started to eclipse traditional concerns over cost and reliability following government’s highly contested, and much delayed, decision to press ahead with the signing of agreements for another 27 renewables independent... 

Consortium appointed as EPC contractor for Mpumalanga biomass project

By: Simone Liedtke     5th April 2018 A consortium comprising engineering consultant ELB Engineering Services, environment equipment manufacturer KC Cottrell and the ELB Educational Trust, has been appointed as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Ngodwana Energy’s 25 MW biomass project, in Mpumalanga.... 

WWF welcomes energy minister signing renewable energy contracts

By: African News Agency      5th April 2018 The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on Thursday applauded South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe's signing off of a R56-billion contract with Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Radebe on Wednesday signed the hotly-contested renewable energy agreements with 27 independent power producers on... 

Num hits out at Radebe on IPP deal, threatens to end ANC support

By: News24Wire      5th April 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) has threatened to end its support for the African National Congress (ANC) if government continues with its renewable energy programme, saying clean power will destroy jobs and create ghost towns in coal mining areas. “Workers of this country will not... 

SoE governance, operating models under the spotlight 

4th April 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the shift in conversation away from only focusing on governance problems at State-owned enterprises (SoEs) to also include discussions on the operating models of these entities and particularly for Eskom and... 

Long-delayed renewables IPP agreements to be signed on Wednesday

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced on Tuesday that agreements for 27 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects, which have been delayed since 2016, will be signed on Wednesday, April 4. The projects have a collective investment value of R55.92-billion. 

EIUG scrutinises Eskom application for recovery of costs

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2018 The Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) of Southern Africa on Tuesday submitted its comments to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) regarding State-owned power utility Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) applications for 2014/15 to 2016/17 and says Nersa should allow only... 

Eskom says plants run low on coal as Gupta mines undersupply

By: Bloomberg     2nd April 2018 South Africa’s state-owned power utility said it’s running low on coal at six stations as mines owned by the Gupta family failed to meet their contractual supply obligations. The Optimum and Koornfontein mines, which supply Eskom Holdings SOC plants, are owned by companies linked to the Guptas... 

Wadeville microgrid using second-hand car batteries for storage

By: Schalk Burger     30th March 2018 Power management multinational Eaton has launched a microgrid that powers its factory and campus in Wadeville, Gauteng, using second-hand lithium-ion electric car batteries for its storage component. The batteries come from Nissan Leaf electric vehicles driven in Europe, and have about 4.5 years... 

Oversight opportunity not to be missed

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2018 One of the few positives arising from the disastrous period during which President Jacob Zuma occupied the Union Buildings is the fact that it appears to have woken up Parliament, albeit belatedly, to the oversight role envisaged for it in the Constitution. As Institute for Security Studies... 

Court rules against Numsa on renewable energy IPP application

By: Anine Kilian     29th March 2018 The North Gauteng High Court on Thursday ruled against the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and civic group Transform RSA’s urgent application to stop State-owned Eskom from signing contracts with private renewable energy projects. Numsa had asked the court to block the... 

Nersa to make earlier decision on Eskom RCA applications

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th March 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has moved forward public hearings into Eskom’s regulating clearing account (RCA) applications for 2014/15 to 2016/17.  

South African court dismisses bid to block $4.7bn renewable deals 

By: Reuters     29th March 2018 A South African court on Thursday dismissed a bid to block $4.7-billion in renewable power contracts, an energy ministry spokeswoman said, removing an obstacle to the first major investment deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa. The last-minute legal challenge was lodged earlier this month by the... 

Moody's downgrades Eskom's ratings to a negative outlook 

By: African News Agency      29th March 2018 Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday, announced a decision to downgrade to B2 from B1 the long-term corporate family rating (CFR) of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited (Eskom) and the zero coupon eurobonds to B2 from B1 in line with the CFR.  "The rating action reflects the fact that, despite a number... 

Construction set to begin on ‘flagship’ 40 MW Moz solar project

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2018 Oslo-listed renewable-energy developer Scatec Solar, which has its African regional hub in Cape Town, South Africa, expects to begin constructing a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Mozambique in the coming weeks after the project reached financial close in early March. GM and VP for... 

Wescoal’s primary objective to optimise operations, extract organic growth

By: Nadine James     28th March 2018 JSE-listed Wescoal is seeking to extract organic growth by optimising its existing operations and diversifying its revenue base, says Wescoal CFO Izak van der Walt. During a media site visit to the miner’s Elandspruit operation, on Tuesday, he noted that the acquisition of Keaton Energy, in 2017,... 

Eskom raises R43bn as it begins to attract more investors 

By: Kim Cloete     27th March 2018 Acting Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said on Tuesday that the State-owned enterprise had raised R43-billion from the market and that it would come up with a comprehensive, integrated strategy for the entity by September. “As of today, I’m happy to announce that Eskom has been able to raise in gross... 

Glencore is said to mull buying back Gupta-linked coal mine

By: Bloomberg     27th March 2018 Glencore is considering a bid for the Optimum coal operations in South Africa, which it sold in 2015 to a company part-owned by the politically connected Gupta family, according to two people familiar with the matter. Optimum supplies fuel to state power utility Eskom Holdings and became a... 

Lowering SoE risk to fiscus requires governance and business-model reform - S&P

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2018 The risk posed to government’s fiscal position as a result of contingent liabilities linked to South Africa’s State-owned enterprises (SoEs) will be only partly alleviated by governance reforms, S&P Global Ratings warns, arguing that greater attention will also have to be given to reforming SoE... 

Eskom goes to Parliament to argue its case for a higher tariff increase 

By: Kim Cloete     27th March 2018 Eskom’s top officials have gone to Parliament to argue their case for a higher tariff increase, saying the 5.23% tariff increase for 2018/19 granted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would seriously harm the utility. “The 2.2% price increase for 2017/18 has strained the... 

Roadblocks ahead for South Africa's Ramaphosa after Moody's win

By: Reuters     27th March 2018 South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa will need to call on all his dealmaking skills to overhaul ailing State-owned firms and tackle land reform if he wants to capitalise on Moody's decision not to downgrade the country's debt to junk. Moody's said its decision to keep South Africa's... 

‘Clamping’ down on safety: Vital Engineering’s Vitaclamps enhance safety in the power generation and other industrial sectors

26th March 2018 When it comes to quality, reliability and safety, companies responsible for supplying the nation with power cannot afford to make mistakes. That is why Vital Engineering, a long-established manufacturer of gratings, stair treads, expanded metals, pressed floors and safety handrail, was selected... 

South Africans saved 410 MW during Earth Hour - Eskom

By: African News Agency      26th March 2018 South Africans joined the rest of the world when they switched off their lights for Earth Hour from 20:30 to 21:30 on Saturday night and together they saved 410 MW, Eskom has announced. Earth Hour is a global call for the protection of the planet and for people to take a stand against climate... 

South Africa mulling privatisation in Ramaphosa reform drive – Treasury chief

By: Reuters     26th March 2018 South Africa will consider partially privatising struggling State-owned companies as part of wide-ranging reforms set in motion by President Cyril Ramaphosa since he came to power last month, the head of the National Treasury said on Saturday. Dondo Mogajane said South Africa was at the end of a... 

Moody's announcement signals positive sentiment, says Busa

By: African News Agency      26th March 2018 The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to retain South Africa’s international and domestic credit rating at investment grade and the change in outlook to stable is a mark of greater confidence in the country, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said on Saturday. On Friday night, Moody's said it... 

AMCU demands summit to discuss renewable energy jobs

By: Anine Kilian     23rd March 2018 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has called for an urgent summit with labour, State-owned Eskom and government to discuss renewable energy and jobs. The trade union said in a statement on Friday that the Departments of Trade and Industry and Economic Development had to... 

Partnerships key to sustaining high-quality industrial training programmes

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2018 A combination of partnerships and an adherence to high-quality standards of training are necessary to provide the broadest, most impactful and valuable youth development initiatives for industries, says testing, inspection and certification multinational SGS South Africa certification and... 

Decisive shift in energy debate

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2018 South Africans should be in no doubt that the content and tone of the conversation about electricity has shifted decisively, notwithstanding the unexpected decision by the Department of Energy to refrain, last week, from signing long-awaited agreements for 27 renewable-energy projects. Prior to... 

Municipalities seek new rules to facilitate transition to decentralised electricity system 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2018 South African Local Government Association (Salga) president Parks Tau has called for an overhaul of the policy and regulations governing electricity supply in South Africa to facilitate a transition towards a more decentralised electricity system. Addressing a well-attended Salga Energy Summit... 

Civil society organisations oppose coal IPP generation licence applications

By: Simone Liedtke     20th March 2018 Civil society organisations will use next week’s public hearings into the generation licence applications for the Thabametsi and Khanyisa power station projects to raise their objections to the new coal-fired power stations that private developers plan to build in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The Life... 

Eskom warns the public against tender scams

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom is warning members of the public against tender scams where fraudsters pretend to represent the Eskom supply chain management section and issue orders and invitations to tender for Eskom contracts.  

Eskom to cut electricity supply to Free State municipality

By: African News Agency      16th March 2018 Power utility Eskom said on Friday it was left with no choice but to intermittently cut electricity supply to Free State's Tokologo Municipality after debt repayment negotiations failed. ''After allowing the municipality a grace period to meet Eskom’s terms to settle its outstanding debt of R36... 

Wind body dismisses as ‘false’ link between IPPs and tariffs surge

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has dismissed as a “falsehood” claims by the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and Transform RSA that the 27 renewable-energy projects, which the two organisations are seeking to block through a court challenge, will raise the cost of... 

Renewables advisory firm still bullish on South African prospects despite setbacks

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 International renewable-energy advisory firm K2 Management remains convinced that, despite recent setbacks, the role of wind and solar will continue to rise in the South African electricity mix. Therefore, the company is preparing to expand its presence in the country, as well as the rest of... 

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