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Cameco, Kazatomprom restructure JV Inkai

By: Henry Lazenby     11th December 2017 Canadian uranium producer Cameco and the National Atomic Company of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom) have agreed to restructure their joint venture over the Inkai in situ recovery uranium mine, in south Kazakhstan. Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov and Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel... 

DA consulting lawyers on legality of energy blueprint

By: African News Agency      11th December 2017 The Democratic Alliance said on Monday it was taking legal advice on the approval of government’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which envisions nuclear procurement. Democratic Alliance energy spokesperson, Gavin Davis, said the apparently rushed approval of the policy blueprint with no... 

Rosatom says planned Egypt nuclear plant to cost $21bn

By: Reuters     11th December 2017 Russian state nuclear company Rosatom said on Monday a power station it will build in Egypt will cost up to $21-billion and is expected to be finished by 2028/29. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will sign an agreement on the project on Monday,... 

Khoza to continue as Eskom chair

By: Anine Kilian     8th December 2017 Zethembe Khoza will continue in his position as chairperson of State-owned power utility Eskom until the 2018 annual general meeting, according to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who announced the State-owned power utility’s new board on Friday. The new board – comprising Khoza, Dr Pat... 

Forced self-correction

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2017 I could not agree more with Energy Minister David Mahlobo’s recent Parliamentary reply, in which he stated that there was no longer a need to build large power generation units, owing to the availability of low-cost smaller generation alternatives. In response to Economic Freedom Fighters MP... 

Phase angles

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     8th December 2017 I was in a courtroom the other day and the public prosecutor was asking questions . Unfortunately they were not engineering questions and I am an engineer. Thus, I did not understand the questions or why they were being asked. As a true engineer, I would say, "Ah, if you mean . . .", and I would... 

Shurton high-voltage substation, England

By: Sheila Barradas     8th December 2017 The project entails the construction of a 400 kV substation to integrate electricity produced by the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, in Somerset, south-west England. 

South Africa to scale down nuclear expansion plan

By: Reuters     7th December 2017 South Africa will proceed with plans to expand nuclear power generation but coal will remain the main energy source, Energy Minister David Mahlobo said on Thursday. South Africa's nuclear plans are shrouded in controversy, with local activists and the media raising concerns about transparency and... 

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... 

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... 

Necsa shuts down key unit because of compliance failure

By: Keith Campbell     1st December 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has executed an immediate shut down of its NTP Radiochemical Facility, because of non-compliance with licensing conditions. NTP produces radioisotopes for both industrial and an especially medical purposes, and many cancer and other patients in... 

Medupi power station project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     1st December 2017 Eskom has linked unit four of its Medupi coal power station to the grid. 

Nato mulls 'offensive defence' with cyber warfare rules

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 A group of Nato allies are considering a more muscular response to State-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyberattacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said. The United States, Britain, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands are drawing up cyber warfare... 

Academy of engineers calls for nuclear procurement halt until IRP consensus is reached

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2017 The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) has called for a moratorium on the procurement of new electricity generation capacity, including nuclear power, until consensus has been reached on a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which should be the outcome of “proper consultation in an open... 

Comments on the Latest Development Regarding the Integrated Resource Plan and Nuclear Procurement Programme in the Department of Energy

     30th November 2017 South African Academy of Engineering   The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) is a voluntary organisation comprising fellows elected by their peers on account of their eminence as engineers with proven records of significant contributions towards the engineering profession in South... 

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... 

Grid operators turning to batteries as costs fall and need for flexibility rises

By: Terence Creamer     28th November 2017 The standalone cost of battery energy storage remains above South Africa’s prevailing, albeit rising, electricity tariffs, but could already be commercially viable in some instances when the “stacked benefits” of the technology are taken into account. A levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) study... 

Mahlobo’s call for ‘modular’ electricity roll-out at odds with nuclear ambition

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2017 Energy Minister David Mahlobo’s latest Parliamentary reply, in which he argues that there is no longer a need to build large generation units, owing to the availability of low-cost smaller generation options, is at odds with his support for a large-scale nuclear build programme. In response to... 

Renewable energy, critical to meeting Africa’s energy needs by 2040

     27th November 2017 Africa, filled with many developing nations, provides the ideal opportunity for the application of renewable energy solutions and technologies.  About 635 million Africans still live without electricity and demand for energy is rising rapidly.   Given the lack of power supply, especially in the... 

Growing domestic demand at heart of plan to create a million manufacturing jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2017 The Manufacturing Circle released a plan on Friday outlining how South Africa could create a million jobs over a ten-year period through pursuing a series of reforms designed at stimulating demand for South African manufactured products and improving the investment climate. The 48-page document,... 

Game Changers

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2017 Without doubt, the problems at Eskom, together with the ongoing debate over nuclear, are making it extremely difficult for South Africans to pay proper attention to some of the game-changing shifts under way in global energy markets – ones that have real and far-reaching implications for this... 

Tax, spend, squander provide toxic backdrop for nuclear plans

By: Keith Campbell     24th November 2017 On November 7, France ran out of money. Or, rather, France ran out of its own money; that is, it ran out of all the money the French State had gathered in taxes and other imposts. Between November 7 and December 31, the French State is running on borrowed money. This fascinating calculation was... 

Talking openly about selective application of local content requirements for valves

     24th November 2017 The Association of Valve Importers South Africa (AVISA) is a voluntary association of valve importers whose mission is to ensure that its members are treated in a fair and equitable manner by national, provincial or local spheres of government. AVISA supports local manufacturing in South Africa... 

Marcoule nuclear research site waste project, France

By: Sheila Barradas     24th November 2017 The Atomic & Alternative Energies Commission is recovering and encapsulating low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Marcoule nuclear research site.  

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... 

Sudan's Bashir: we want to discuss nuclear power cooperation with Russia

By: Reuters     23rd November 2017 Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday he wanted to discuss nuclear power cooperation with Russia. Bashir was speaking before talks with Putin in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Thursday. 

South African nuclear body shuts down key unit because of compliance failure 

By: Keith Campbell     22nd November 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has executed an immediate shut down of its NTP Radiochemical Facility, because of non-compliance with licensing conditions. NTP produces radioisotopes for both industrial and an especially medical purposes, and many cancer and other patients in... 

Two South Africans shortlisted for engineering innovation prize

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 Two young South Africans are among the 16 engineers hailing from seven countries in Africa, who have been chosen for the shortlist of the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. University of the Witwatersrand chemical engineering research fellow Collins Saguru has developed AltMet,... 

Indian oil firms shift focus to Israel from Iran amid changing geopolitics

By: Ajoy K Das     20th November 2017 Changing geopolitical alignments and receding investment prospects in Iran are prompting a consortium of Indian oil companies to push for domestic energy security through wider exploration and production projects in Israel and Latin American countries. With the $5-billion investment offer to... 

A little nuke never hurt nobody

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     17th November 2017 I recently told a group of people at a pub (a pub, can you believe?) that I thought Donald Trump was a "good idea".  There was the sort of silence that you get when the stage magician vanishes completely and then the sort of shouting that follows when Sandra Bullock asks who would like to go with... 

We have a demand problem, Minister 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2017 National Energy Regulator of South Africa and Eskom executives will naturally be relieved that hearings into the State-owned utility’s revenue application for 2018/19 have drawn to an end. However, it is somewhat of a pity that Energy Minister David Mahlobo did not have an opportunity to attend.... 

Eskom raised during Gigaba’s recent meeting with World Bank

By: Bloomberg     17th November 2017 South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba met with representatives of the World Bank earlier this month to discuss issues relating to Eskom Holdings. Gigaba met with the bank to discuss the financing of the State-owned power utility’s Medupi project, his spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said by... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The CSIR Energy Centre has published updated research outcomes indicating that South Africa’s least-cost electricity mix, by 2050, includes predominantly solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind contributing nearly 80% of the country’s electrical energy. The research outcomes, which were released... 

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2017 A new study argues that cash-strapped Eskom could make immediate costs savings of up to R17-billion and boost its liquidity, without undermining security of supply, by accelerating the decommissioning of three of its older coal-fired power stations and by halting construction of units 5 and 6 at... 

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 The World Energy Outlook 2017, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London on Tuesday, presents a base case scenario that foresees the world’s growing energy needs being met increasingly by renewables and natural gas over the coming 25 years, as “coal strikes out” and nuclear’s... 

Environmental activists to appeal enviro authorisation for proposed new nuclear power station

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th November 2017 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, Greenpeace Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) have officially filed a notice informing the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) that they intend to jointly appeal the environmental authorisation for the... 

Inside the green economy

By: Saliem Fakir     10th November 2017 It is often assumed that the green economy only relates to a specific type of technology or shifts in energy demand. The notion of the green economy has been in existence in South Africa for a long time. Conceptually, the green economy notion gained prominence in South Africa after 2007 and many... 

Australian uranium hopefuls welcome Cameco production cuts

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     10th November 2017 Australia’s uranium hopefuls have welcomed a decision from uranium major Cameco to shutter its McArthur River mining and Key Lake milling operations, in Canada. Cameco this week announced its plans to remove some 10% of the current global uranium supply, on the back of continued uranium price... 

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