Apr 03, 2008
Daily podcast - April 3, 2008Back
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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
State-owned electricity producer Eskom issued a shocking warning on Wednesday that it could be forced to cut back or even halt certain of its projects if it was unable to secure adequate revenues, which could only be achieved through a substantial increase in electricity tariffs, or material shareholder support.
The utility had requested that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa revise upwards the 14,2% tariff increase, which came into force on April 1, to 60%, in a bid to close the ever increasing gap between its rising operational costs and prevailing tariffs.
This suggestion had received an icy reception from the South African public at large, which was already reeling from the negative effects of ongoing load shedding.
Eskom Chief Operating Officer Brian Dames
It was now common cause that, while the utility continued to receive coal within its specified quality band, this supply had tended to migrate to the bottom end of a template that measures energy content, material abrasiveness, and acceptable levels of fine material.
This reduced quality, together with low levels of stock and unplanned events, such as boiler-tube leaks, had led to massive load losses and disruptions. In fact, at times, up to 25% of Eskom's generation capacity was simply unavailable, forcing the utility to deploy an unpopular load-shedding regime.
Eskom Chief Operating Officer Brian Dames
The leading financial daily revealed that the DME's decision had emerged, owing to the fact that the AES Corporation could not meet its obligations.
News of the termination came only a day after State-owned power utility Eskom said that it welcomed independent power producer participation, and that it was still optimistic that the AES facilities could be added to the grid by 2010.
Input cost rises to drive up steel prices, says Lakshmi Mittal
In political news:
Mugabe loses control of Zimbabwe parliament
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Intellectual Property Law News
Pharmaceutical companies typically invest substantial amounts of money into research and development. Their research, however, is not only aimed at discovering new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Instead, some companies make small modifications to existing...
A controversial patent process known as ‘ever-greening’ is being carried out by many pharmaceutical brands, and is preventing medications from being made available as generics, affecting many South Africans who are struggling to keep up with the cost of medication....
It has been over six years since the government began developing the draft policy on intellectual property (IP) that has been the focus of major public controversy following the PharmaGate scandal, which involved a leaked pharmaceutical industry email by Knowledge...
Updated 6 hours ago Protech Khuthele Holdings on Wednesday said, in a cautionary note to shareholders, that, as the failed company unwound, investigations were ongoing into its affairs. The company provided no indication of the completion date.
Updated 6 hours ago Private equity investors are increasingly becoming more active in Africa’s bid to narrow the $90-billion a year infrastructure funding gap constraining the continent’s growth. This was according to a survey by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity...
Updated 7 hours ago The shortlist of innovations in the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation was announced on Wednesday, comprising 12 new innovations from seven African countries. The shortlist announced by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) included innovations in...
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