R/€ = 15.08Change: 0.17
R/$ = 13.41Change: 0.14
Au 1147.47 $/ozChange: 1.02
Pt 944.00 $/ozChange: 9.50
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jun 29, 2007

On-The-Air (29/06-2007)

© Reuse this

Every Friday morning, SAfm’s AMLive’s radio anchor Jeremy Maggs speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Maggs: Plans, I understand, are at an advanced stage to open up a new coal treasure chest in South Africa’s Waterberg region.

Creamer: South Africa is in the fortunate position of having another coalfield that is pretty hot. That is in the Waterberg. We have been relying on Mpumalanga, Witbank and Middelburg regions for decades now. Those areas are depleting as far as coal is concerned. We are lucky to have the Limpopo province alternative and already the new greenfields Medupi power station, an R80-billion power station, will rely on Waterberg coal. The coal there is far more complex, but people have been studying it for the last quarter century and they have plans to beneficiate it. This will bring the value out of that area. It needs to be developed correctly and they have the proper plans to do this. Already, you have high-value products planned there, char plants and market coke plants coming out of there. They are even talking about the Sasol-type plant to produce petrol and diesel from coal, a coal-to-liquids plant. But, whether it will be Sasol-type technology or not, is a moot point. They might go the direct liquefaction route that requires less water. It is a water-short area, which is another challenge for the area. The dam there is having its dam wall heightened to bring more water into that area. It is going to be interesting to see how this unfolds but at least South Africa has a new area to rely on for energy coal.

Maggs: We are talking about energy here and you are also telling us that Eskom is working on a new power-station project that is expected to slash costs.

Creamer: High prices are a big factor in today’s market and if you can come down the cost curve, it is very encouraging. At Majuba power-station, they have been working on a project that could lead to an integrated gasification combined cycle plant. That is a big mouthful, but it means that certain coal that cannot be mined economically, like the situation now at Majuba where you just can’t get the coal out of the ground economically, can still be used. So, what do you do with that coal? Are you going to leave it unmined in the ground or are you going to get energy out of it? The new method of getting the energy is to drill into the coal-bed underground on site and ignite that in the presence of oxygen and water and it turns into a syngas. You take that gas out of the mine where you couldn’t get the coal out of, you bring that into the power-station. This is the plan that they have got at Majuba, which will mean that they can turn that coal that would have been sterilised in the ground to account. This is an answer to a maiden’s prayer, because it also brings you down the cost curve. It can operate at about 70 % of conventional power-stations cost, even capital costs will come down as well as emissions. So it is a very clean power station with a lot of advantages.

Maggs: The good news side of the equation on this Friday morning, but you also have some concerns about the cost of Transnet’s new Durban-to-Johannesburg fuel pipeline.

Creamer: We have a very necessary fuel pipeline. We know that inland refining capacity for producing petrol, diesel and jet-fuel is limited. We know that the growth, particularly in the Gauteng heartland. We don’t want to sit in a situation where we run out of fuel like we ran out of electricity. We need to plan very quickly. This is an urgent pipeline, but it is being delayed because of regulatory issues. Nersa, which is the regulatory authority, does not have a methodology to determine what sort of tariff should be charged. Transnet wants to increase this tariff in order to fund the new pipeline. They already have an existing pipeline. This will be a multiproduct pipeline, 700-km long and coming up from Durban to Gauteng, bringing us petrol and diesel and jet-fuel. Urgently needed, particularly around 2010. We will have a lot of activity as we know around 2010 and this delay is also causing costs to soar. The initial cost of this pipeline was R9,5-billion and we are now talking about R11,5-billion. So, even though regulatory issues are supposed to keep costs down, in this case perhaps they are even encouraging costs to go up. The big issue is for us to get that fuel up here. We know that inland refinery capacity is limited and a lot more fuel is being imported directly and this pipeline will give us a total capacity of 25-billion litres a year, which is around what we are going to need looking forward.

Maggs: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he’ll be back with us at the same time next week.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Video News
Latest News
Updated 15 minutes ago World-renowned fuel cell scientist Dr Sharon Blair would like to see South Africa supply 25% of the global demand for fuel cells by 2020, stating that the country has a tremendous opportunity to develop the industry and capture a share of the growing sector. However,...
Updated 38 minutes ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown should table an uncensored contract agreement between Eskom and one of its coal suppliers owned by the Gupta family, the Democratic Alliance (DA) urged on Wednesday. The Sunday Times reported on September 13 that Gupta-owned...
Updated 54 minutes ago Cosatu's provincial general secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, had strong words for government and higher income groups as union members marched to Parliament on Wednesday. “We want them to tax the people who live in Clifton and Sea Point,” he demanded, saying workers...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Sphere Holdings CEO Itumeleng Kgaboesele
Black-owned investment holding company Sphere Holdings plans to raise a further R1-billion in the coming months in support of its strategy to become a leading black industrial enterprise, which could ultimately seek a listing on the JSE.
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme.   LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96