Friday, February 12, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Mariaan Webb.
Making headlines today:
President Jacob Zuma reported in his State of the Nation address last night that an inter-Ministerial committee on energy has been created to develop a 20-year integrated resource plan for new generation capacity for power-stressed South Africa.
The committee would also look at the participation of independent power producers (IPPs), and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.
Zuma promised that government would establish an independent system operator (ISO), separate from Eskom Holdings.
Such a structure was seen as crucial to levelling the playing field for IPPs. IPPs felt that the current model that set Eskom up as the "single buyer" of power generated by private producers to be a constraint to investment. The Department of Energy had promised progress on the legal framework for such an ISO, which would probably need to be capitalised by government and backed by a State guarantee, by March.
Nearly 50% of the Gautrain rapid-rail link's 150 kilometres of track had been laid by the end of January.
All the train depot facilities, including the maintenance workshops, the train system administration buildings and operations control centre, are already completed and operational.
The control centre is set to be the heartbeat of the train system, and will house the signalling, telecommunications, automatic fare collection, traction power and overhead distribution, closed-circuit television cameras and maintenance capacities.
The 25,4-billion-rand rail project will start full system trial operations on the first phase section between Sandton station and the OR Tambo International Airport, in March.
Also making headlines:
An economist believes that South Africa's growth is likely to exceed Treasury's forecast.
The Eassy fibre-optics cable will be switched on by mid-year.
South Africa's trade activity rebounds in January.
And, the Johannesburg Development Agency adds ‘green buildings' to the inner city regeneration awards.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.