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Electricity News

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI  

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler confirmed on Monday that the energy and chemicals group made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with its request for information (RFI) on possible emergency electricity solutions that could be “grid-connected in the shortest time at... 

Industry strongly opposed to further tariff increases for Eskom 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Monday hosted the last of its public hearings on Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) application for the 2018/19 financial year, with various organisations having expressed their opposition to the granting of further tariff increases... 

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’  

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has indicated that its capital expenditure (capex) will continue to taper during its 2020 and 2021 financial years as the group seeks to deleverage a balance sheet that reached “peak gearing” of close to 65% in the six months to December 31, 2019. Sasol’s gearing... 

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’
Sasol CFO Paul Victor on how capex will be tapered as it seeks to navigate its 'peak gearing' phase. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

SAB calls for ‘clear process’ on self-generation licence applications

By: Simone Liedtke     24th February 2020 South African Breweries (SAB) on Monday published a call for a clear process to be implemented with regard to generation license applications above 10 MW, which it says will assist the company in achieving its sustainability vision. The company welcomed the government’s commitment in this year’s... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce

By: Sane Dhlamini     24th February 2020 The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry labelled the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ plan to save ailing power utility Eskom using Government Employees Pension Fund funds as immoral. Cosatu recently suggested saving Eskom by using R250-billion from the Public Investment Corporation,... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce
Photo by Supplied by Cape Chamber
President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs

Mboweni’s budget unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s budget this week is unlikely to convince Moody’s Investors Service that he has a credible plan to rein in government debt. Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll... 

No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom

By: African News Agency      24th February 2020 No load-shedding is expected on Monday, as the power generation outlook is positive, with four generation units returning to service, Eskom said. "With the planned return of four generation units, as well as adequate emergency reserves, Eskom does not expect to implement rotational load-shedding... 

 No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom

Solar energy storage demand drives LoggerV2 sales

By: Tracy Hancock     24th February 2020 Interest in affordable energy-storage monitoring amid current power constraints and the green energy drive has been exponential in driving the uptake of the LoggerV2, says local lithium-ion battery storage solutions manufacturer Solar MD. “Demand is increasing for Solar MD’s energy-storage... 

Solar energy storage demand drives LoggerV2 sales

Nigeria clears hurdle for Africa’s second-biggest hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2020 Nigeria will build the second-largest hydroelectric plant in Africa after the government settled a legal dispute that was delaying the project, Power Minister Sale Mamman said. “We have now overcome the major problem stopping this project and it is nearly over,” Mamman said in an interview in... 

Busa warns electricity tariff increases will hold industry back 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st February 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has said it broadly opposes Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) application for 2018/19 and any future RCA applications that would result in electricity price increases excessively beyond those already granted by the National Energy Regulator of South... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 As South Africa prepares to restart its electricity procurement programmes, following a five-year hiatus, the global popularity of competitive auctions as the preferred instrument for procuring renewable energy has again been highlighted in a newly released report. Published by the International... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions

Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

By: News24Wire      21st February 2020 Eskom says that stage 2 load-shedding will continue until 6 am on Sunday morning due to a loss of additional units. "While we expect three generation units to return to service [on Friday], we lost a further two units last night to unplanned breakdowns," the utility said in an power update.... 

 Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

Eskom’s survival cannot be based on continuing tariff increases, says Minerals Council

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 The Minerals Council South Africa has reiterated the significant job losses that may result from power utility Eskom being granted the additional R27.3-billion in revenue it is seeking. In a media release issued ahead of a submission at public consultations held by the National Energy Regulator... 

Eskom’s survival cannot be based on continuing tariff increases, says Minerals Council
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven

Glencore to harness heat energy from residual flare gas to generate electricity at Lydenburg smelter  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Glencore Operations South Africa (GOSA) on Tuesday signed an energy conversion service agreement with clean-tech company Swedish Stirling. Swedish Stirling will install, operate and maintain an estimated 9.9 MW facility at GOSA’s Lydenburg ferrochrome smelter.  

Glencore to harness heat energy from residual flare gas to generate electricity at Lydenburg smelter
Glencore's ferrochrome smelter, in Lydenburg

Electricity sector developments 

21st February 2020 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest developments in South Africa’s electricity sector, with Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe having announced this week that the Section 34 Ministerial Determinations required to... 

Electricity sector developments
Electricity sector developments

Cape Town adds more energy to Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The decision to host this year’s Africa Energy Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on March 3 and 4, rather than in Johannesburg, where it was hosted previously, has resulted in increased interest from African and global delegates to attend the event, says Africa Energy Indaba... 

Cape Town adds more  energy to Indaba
ENERGISING AFRICA The sub-Saharan and East African regions will feature strongly at the indaba as electricity demand in these regions, and the rest of Africa, is growing

Power cuts push businesses towards alternative solutions

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2020 With the prevalent load-shedding now a part of South Africa’s long-term reality, the private sector is increasingly seeking solutions to minimise the operational and financial implications of the crisis. In the spotlight as an alternative to the national grid is the deployment of battery storage,... 

Energy institute to focus on IRP at Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The publication of the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in October last year will be a significant focus area for State-owned energy researcher the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) at this year’s Africa Energy Indaba. “The publication of the IRP provides... 

Energy institute to focus on IRP at Indaba
BARRY BREDENKAMP We certainly don’t have to re-invent the wheel, there are many African countries doing exceptional work in this area, and we can learn from them

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 This year’s Africa Energy Indaba will provide light-emitting-diode (LED) technology provider Grandstage Trading with opportunities to explore how it will achieve its objectives through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will be a significant topic... 

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba
CHRISTINE MASAITI An important factor of the discussions at the indaba which could be of great benefit is encouraging the public to move to LED lighting technology

Indaba increases prospect of project funding

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The Africa Energy Indaba provides an ideal opportunity for State-owned export credit agency (ECA) the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) to become more involved in the funding of significant energy infrastructure projects. “The Indaba raises the ECIC’s profile as an... 

Indaba increases prospect of project funding
ATTRACTING THE GLOBE The ECIC’s mandate from government is to make local exports attractive to international buyers to attract foreign income, stimulate local economic growth and create jobs

Company launches lithium solar battery range

21st February 2020 Lithium iron phosphate batteries – the battery of the future – provide powerful solutions to consumers and commercial enterprises alike, particularly in solar installations.  For South Africans, however, taking advantage of these batteries has been hindered by a high price tag as a result of... 

Company launches lithium solar battery range
SUNNY SIDE UP With the Max Li range, home owners and small businesses will have a battery solution to help use solar technology - be it off-grid or grid-tied

Specialist on course despite pressures

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st February 2020 Despite the local manufacturing sector being under pressure, mouldered product specialist DEMS’ rubber manufacturing division – which operates within a very niche and specialised market – has not been affected negatively, says DEMS MD Mark Baptie. 

Specialist on course despite pressures
ALWAYS ON EDGE DEMS is always investigating and looking for opportunities to remain competitive and continue to have an edge in the market

Bleak outlook for rubber SMMEs in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st February 2020 With the industrial market aspect of its rubber business having declined in 2019 by 25%, rubber compounding specialist National Rubber Matmin (NRM) MD Mike Stuart says 2020 is “not looking much better”. 

Bleak outlook for rubber SMMEs in 2020
MIKE STUART National Rubber Matmin has had success in supplying products to the Australian mining sector

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Africa can meet its major sustainable energy and development goals without becoming more energy intensive, as it has a unique opportunity to use renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency to meet its development needs and provide reliable and modern energy services. This is the... 

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

DBSA provides funds to Mozambican supplier of solar home systems

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has committed project funding to Ignite Mozambique, a local company that aims to supply solar home systems in rural Mozambique. The DBSA made the announcement during the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo 2020, on Thursday, adding that it would... 

I'm not dithering on more energy capacity, says Mantashe 

By: African News Agency      20th February 2020 Mineral Resources And Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Thursday said there was no deliberate delay on his part in bringing more renewable power to the grid to solve South Africa's energy crisis, but simultaneously declined to commit to timelines on signing up additional capacity. "One of the... 

'We'll make it happen' : Mantashe says plan for new power utility a 'reality'

By: News24Wire      20th February 2020 Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa not bringing up the establishment of a new power generating entity in his economics-heavy State of the Nation Address, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the plan is a "reality". Mantashe on Thursday briefed the media on the energy-related... 

 'We'll make it happen' : Mantashe says plan for new power utility a 'reality'
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Nigeria to review privatisation of power assets after supply fails to improve

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2020 Nigeria will review the sale of power assets to private investors after they have been unable to improve power supply in Africa’s most populous country. The buyers of the assets are making technical and commercial losses and only distribute a fraction of existing capacity to end-users, the Power... 

Eskom to resume rolling blackouts after few days reprieve

By: News24Wire      20th February 2020 South Africa's electricity utility Eskom said on Thursday it would resume rotational power cuts from 9 am after a few days' reprieve and this would likely continue over the weekend. Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of the country's electricity, has been forced to intermittently apply... 

 Eskom to resume rolling blackouts after few days reprieve

Arnot OpCo launched to transfer mine to former employees  

20th February 2020 Exxaro Resources this month officially launched Arnot OpCo, the consortium through which the Arnot coal mine in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, will be owned and managed by the mine’s former employees. Tasneem Bulbulia tells us more. 

Arnot OpCo launched to transfer mine to former employees
Arnot OpCo launched to transfer mine to former employees

ARCH invests $16.5m in African distributed solar provider

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th February 2020 London-based advisory firm ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Power Fund will provide CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) with up to $16.5-million in equity funding. This will help CBE develop and finance new commercial and industrial solar assets, which will in turn provide businesses... 

ARCH invests $16.5m in African distributed solar provider

Mantashe says Ministerial Determinations needed to unlock IRP 2019 are finalised and await Nersa’s concurrence 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe announced on Wednesday that the Section 34 Ministerial Determinations required to give effect to the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 had been finalised and were currently serving before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa in order to... 

Mantashe says Ministerial Determinations needed to unlock IRP 2019 are finalised and await Nersa’s concurrence
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Grid-scale containerised energy storage system launched in South Africa

By: Darren Parker     19th February 2020 Energy solutions company BlueNova Energy, part of JSE-listed Reunert Group, on Wednesday launched its grid-scale Intelligent Energy Storage System (iESS) at Reunert Park, in Midrand, where the first unit has been installed to support businesses occupying the office park. The BlueNova Energy iESS,... 

Grid-scale containerised energy storage system launched in South Africa
The BlueNova iESS

New Concor chief sees surge in issuance of large tenders as sign of possible construction turnaround 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2020 Newly appointed Concor CEO Lucas Tseki believes the strong flow of tenders in the last quarter of 2019 could signal that the domestic construction market is finally bottoming out. He is also cautiously optimistic that infrastructure-focused departments and State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are, at... 

New Concor chief sees surge in issuance of large tenders as sign of possible construction turnaround
Concor CEO Lucas Tseki

Eskom asks customers to reduce demand as likelihood of power cuts grows

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Eskom has warned of an increased possibility of power cuts later on Wednesday after it lost additional generation capacity due to unplanned breakdowns at some of its power plants.  While the utility is not currently implementing load-shedding, it urged customers to keep reducing demand and use... 

 Eskom asks customers to reduce demand as likelihood of power cuts grows

South Africa's permission for ACWA plant expires, lawyers say

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2020 ACWA Power has been informed by the South African government that its environmental authorisation to build a 306 MW coal-fired power plant in the country has expired, according to lawyers opposing the project. The authorisation for the Khanyisa coal-fired plant lapsed on October 31, 2018, and the... 

Eskom CEO says it wants hand in negotiating IPP pricing 

By: African News Agency      18th February 2020 Eskom wants to play a role in negotiating the price at which new and existing independent power producers sell electricity to the embattled utility, CEO Andre de Ruyter told MPs on Tuesday, "It is very important that [with] the roll-out of the new IPP programme that Eskom, as the ultimate buyer... 

 Eskom CEO says it wants hand in negotiating IPP pricing
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
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