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Friday, November 14, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Guy Copans.
Making headlines today:
Power producer Eskom expects electricity demand in South Africa to fall in 2009. This is as many of its key industrial customers adjusted outputs in light of the global economic downturn.
Eskom demand-side management general manager Andrew Etzinger said that the impact of the global slowdown, as well as the commodity cycles, was affecting the iron and ferroalloy customers. He mentioned that a number of ferrochrome furnaces would be decommissioned.
However, he emphasised that in terms of the medium- to long-term, the utility could not make any capacity decisions based on the operational decisions of these customers to shut off the furnaces.
He said that this put Eskom in a difficult position, because if a company experienced a quick turnaround in demand, a furnace could be very quickly restarted. Thus, Eskom could not adjust its long-term growth forecast.
Department of Minerals and Energy acting deputy director general of hydrocarbons and energy planning Tseliso Maqubela said that the DME would publish its Nuclear Energy Policy by the end of the week.
He said that the policy would be available on the department's website, and would then go on to be gazetted.
Maqubela said that nuclear energy required substantial upfront investments. Decisions made in this regard were difficult even in the best of economic climates, and would be even more difficult considering the current global turmoil. He said that it was never easy, but at some point a decision had to be made.
Also making headlines:
Greenpeace urges South Africa to end its dependence on coal.
South Africa reviews its nuclear programme in the face of the economic turmoil.
The fire-hit Engen refinery could take up to 4 months to repair.
And, Illovo is still forecasting higher year earnings, despite the sugar price decline.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.