Oct 29, 2010
Power connectivity rules have changeBack
London|Africa|CoAL|Eskom|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|Xstrata|Africa|South Africa|Electricity Supply|Energy|Energy Consumption|Energy Initiatives|Energy-intensive Projects|Less Electricity|Mining|Resources|Peet Nienaber|Power|Mpumalanga|Premus Technology
© Reuse this
It is also arguably indicative of just how difficult it is going to be for mining businesses to align themselves with government’s mineral beneficiation policy aspirations.
Unlike previous beneficiation projects, when electricity supply was a given and it was merely a matter of securing the best price, the Xstrata-Merafe chrome venture was forced to undertake various energy initiatives to unblock the expansion project – a 360 000 t/y smelter that will increase Xstrata-Merafe’s total ferrochrome capacity to more than 2,3-million tons a year.
Firstly, it had to prove that it was doing all it could to reduce its energy consumption. Much of this was achieved through the deployment of its proprietary Premus technology, which consumes about one-third less electricity than other available smelting technologies – an industry leading average of 2,2 MW/t to 2,4 MW/t. It also introduced pelletising, which has reportedly improved overall efficiency, and committed to a range of other energy-saving endeavours.
But in order to secure a supply agreement from Eskom, Xstrata will also augment this grid supply through own generation. The company is studying the exploitation of discard-coal opportunities at its Tweefontein mines, which could eventually deliver 600 MW. This generation capacity could be built using four off-the-shelf modules of 150 MW each.
In announcing the project, Xstrata Alloys CEO Peet Nienaber even argued that the project was aligned with South African’s draft integrated resource plan 2010, owing to its energy efficiency and the use of electricity to create sus- tainable jobs.
Before reaching this point, the project had been marking time, while a firm Eskom power allocation was being negotiated.
Things have certainly changed since the days of those first smelter agreements.
Edited by: Terence Creamer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Editorial Insight News
Updated 2 minutes 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...
Updated 23 minutes ago Cement production at Sephaku Holdings subsidiary Sephaku Cement’s (SepCem’s) Aganang integrated plant, in the North West, was scheduled to start this month, following the successful start of clinker production in August, the company announced on Wednesday. Further,...
Updated 46 minutes ago Following a slump in new vehicle sales in recent months, September surprised by delivering an 11.5% increase in sales compared with the same month last year. Data released on Wednesday showed that September new vehicle sales improved to 60 854 units, up from 54 571...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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 network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 5 hours ago The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.