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Coal & Diesel News

Eskom study on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) (2017)

     12th December 2017 The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010-30 was promulgated in March 2011. It was indicated at the time that the IRP should be a "living plan" which would be revised by the Department of Energy (DoE) every two years. The IRP is the over-arching energy plan for the country of which the IRP forms an... 

DA consulting lawyers on legality of energy blueprint

By: African News Agency      11th December 2017 The Democratic Alliance said on Monday it was taking legal advice on the approval of government’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which envisions nuclear procurement. Democratic Alliance energy spokesperson, Gavin Davis, said the apparently rushed approval of the policy blueprint with no... 

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update 

     8th December 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the newly approved IRP and what this means for South Africa’s energy mix. 

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update
Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 Energy Minister David Mahlobo reported on Thursday that Cabinet approved an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity during a marathon 12-hour meeting on Wednesday and that the new plan would be published without any further public consultation. Briefing the media at an ‘Energy... 

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects
Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 President Jacob Zuma used his address at the Energy Indaba, taking place in Johannesburg this week, to assure business and investors that the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) elective conference would be “orderly and peaceful”, while promising a “seamless” handover to the new ANC... 

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate
President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Eskom inquiry postponed, suspended CFO Singh accused of delaying tactics

By: African News Agency      5th December 2017 Suspended Eskom CFO Anoj Singh was on Tuesday told he would be called to testify before Parliament’s inquiry into the power utility at a later date, after he infuriated MPs by submitting 400 pages of documentation less that 24 hours before his scheduled appearance. “We are not going to engage... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

GE reaches halfway mark of construction at Medupi power station

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2017 General Electric (GE) Steam Power Systems has received a final acceptance certificate from State-owned Eskom for the successful testing and transitioning of Unit 4 at the Medupi power station.   Unit 4 is the third of six units to be transferred to commercial operation, marking the halfway point... 

Hendrina power station may not have adequate coal, no load-shedding seen

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 South African State-owned power utility Eskom said on Thursday coal stock at its Hendrina power station might be lower than the 20-day supply requirement, but rolling power cuts known locally as load shedding were not likely. Eskom may be forced to resume the nationwide electricity cuts that... 

Hendrina power station may not have adequate coal, no load-shedding seen

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Twenty-three South African civil rights and environmental activist groups have sent a letter to Energy Minister David Mahlobo seeking clarity on the nature and purpose of the upcoming Energy Indaba, scheduled for December 7 to 8 in Johannesburg. “It appears that the indaba will relate to the... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

Pretoria court to hear application for Molefe to reimburse Eskom

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s court action to repay his R30.1-million pension, has been set down to be heard in Pretoria’s North Gauteng High Court for three days, starting on Wednesday. Molefe was taken to court by Solidarity, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, which... 

Koko disciplinary hearing 'fair and transparent' - Eskom

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 Stung by criticism, Eskom on Wednesday issued a statement declaring that it's disciplinary hearing of its suspended group executive, Matshela Koko, was being conducted in "a fair, professional, and transparent manner". The power utility said it "has noted with great concern" some media reports... 

Eskom links Medupi new coal-fired unit to national grid

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Eskom has linked unit four of its Medupi coal power station, which has been marred by delays, to the grid, the State-owned power utility said on Tuesday. The coal-fired unit in South Africa's Limpopo province is a rare example of a Medupi project that has been completed ahead of time. It was... 

Eskom inquiry cancelled for this week

By: Reuters     27th November 2017 Parliament announced on Monday that the inquiry into the mismanagement of funds at state power utility Eskom will not sit this week. In a statement, Parliament said the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises will not meet this week to conduct its inquiry on Eskom into the mismanagement of... 

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims

By: News24Wire      24th November 2017 Trade Union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would launch legal proceedings to force former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to repay the "unlawful" R30-million pension payout he received. "Unlawful actions must bear consequences. An apology and even pay back [from Molefe], is not enough,"... 

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

In shadow of Opec's noisy oil cuts, Asia's miners quietly tightened coal supplies

By: Reuters     22nd November 2017 Australian and Indonesian miners have quietly done in the last two years what Opec has been shouting about: tighten coal markets and prop up prices. The informal coal output reductions, unlike the official cuts in place since January led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2017 A major topic of discussion during recent public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application, was whether a further double-digit tariff hike could trigger a “utility death spiral”, whereby rising tariffs and utility costs spark an exodus of energy-intensive customers from the network,... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

Bushveld Energy, IDC, Eskom to test first vanadium redox flow battery

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st November 2017 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ 84%-owned energy subsidiary Bushveld Energy has deployed its first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) to power utility Eskom for testing. The power utility will, at its research, testing and development centre, in Rosherville, test the VRFB and its... 

NUM postpones planned coal sector strike

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will postpone its planned strike in the coal sector, as some coal companies have decided to table new offers to NUM members. The union on Friday said the coal companies would present the new wage offers on Monday, after which the union would decide to... 

Eskom’s business model is ‘no longer fit for purpose’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2017 Organised business made an impassioned plea this week for government to urgently review Eskom’s business model, which it said was “no longer fit for purpose”. In a presentation to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, business also warned that, in the absence of a holistic view within... 

Eskom’s business model is ‘no longer fit for purpose’
Photo by Duane Daws
Busa VP Martin Kingston

Eskom’s ‘business-as-usual’ tariff application comes under fire 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The “business as usual” stance adopted by Eskom in its application for a 19.9% increase in tariffs for 2018/19 came under sustained attack during the Gauteng leg of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) public hearings on Thursday. Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz kicked off the... 

Eskom’s ‘business-as-usual’ tariff application comes under fire
Photo by Duane Daws
Nersa's Chris Forlee, Khomotso Mthimunye, Mbulelo Ncetezo, Jacob Modise and Nomfundo Maseti

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The CSIR Energy Centre has published updated research outcomes indicating that South Africa’s least-cost electricity mix, by 2050, includes predominantly solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind contributing nearly 80% of the country’s electrical energy. The research outcomes, which were released... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2017 A new study argues that cash-strapped Eskom could make immediate costs savings of up to R17-billion and boost its liquidity, without undermining security of supply, by accelerating the decommissioning of three of its older coal-fired power stations and by halting construction of units 5 and 6 at... 

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency
Meridian MD Dr Grové Steyn

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

Eskom says has 'healthy' coal stockpiles ahead of strike

By: Reuters     14th November 2017 South Africa's State-run power utility Eskom said on Monday it had healthy stockpiles across its coal-fired power stations and was building them further ahead of a potential coal wage strike by the National Union of Mineworkers. "To mitigate the impact from this impending strike, the utility is... 

Eskom admits liquidity is ‘not at desired levels’

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2017 State-owned electricity producer Eskom acknowledged on Monday that its liquidity levels were “not at the desired levels” and indicated that securing the balance of its funding requirement for the current financial year would depend on addressing pressing governance and leadership issues.... 

Eskom admits liquidity is ‘not at desired levels’
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz

Innovative civil engineering solution to social ills – Manuel

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th November 2017 Unless South Africa and its citizens deal with the issue of widespread corruption, the country will not be able to provide the “kinds of engineering services” that it ought to provide to people, former Finance Minister and Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel has said. Speaking at a South... 

Innovative civil engineering solution to social ills – Manuel
Photo by Duane Daws
Trevor Manuel

Ncondezi signs non-binding agreement to develop Mozambique project

By: Anine Kilian     9th November 2017 Aim-listed solar energy equipment supplier Ncondezi Energy has signed a non-binding offer (NBO) with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and General Electric (GE) South Africa to develop, construct and operate the integrated Ncondezi 300 MW coal-fired power project and openpit coal... 

Trillian whistleblower says Eskom’s Singh paid R30.6m for no reason

By: African News Agency      3rd November 2017 A whistleblower on Friday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom the power utility settled a fraudulent invoice from Trillian for R30.6-million. Former Trillian Management Consulting (TMC) chief executive Bianca Goodson said she found her signature on a cover letter to the invoice that was... 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2017 Leading US public interest energy and environmental research organisation the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is aiming to increase its relevance and impact in Africa by integrating the problem of energy poverty into its portfolio of research activities. Senior regional manager Barry... 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty
EPRI senior regional manager Barry MacColl

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity
Photo by Duane Daws
LEON VILJOEN This system makes it the ideal solution, not only for the environment, but also from a business perspective

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2017 A new report has been released in an effort to mobilise South Africans behind the vision of creating a million ‘climate jobs’ as part of the country’s response to the threat posed by climate change. Published by the Alternative Information and Development Centre, the 60-page report has been... 

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

Treasury grilled on R74bn deviation procurement

By: News24Wire      2nd November 2017 Treasury's Director General Dondo Mogajane was grilled by members of SCOPA on Wednesday on how it was possible for state entities and institutions to have been allowed to deviate from required procurement processes to the tune of a total of R74-billion in 2016/17. While the public procurement... 

Eskom gave Tegeta prepayment on day Optimum purchase price was due, inquiry hears

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 A business rescue practitioner on Wednesday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom that the power utility agreed to pay Tegeta almost R600-million in advance for coal on the same day it became clear that the Gupta-affiliated company was short of that same sum to purchase the Optimum coal mine.... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG 

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 Irregular expenditure by government departments and State-owned entities has ballooned by over 50% in 2016/2017 when compared to the previous financial year, topping R45-billion, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed on Tuesday. “Irregular expenditure has increased by 55% since the previous year... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu
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