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Electricity News

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2016 The decision by Eskom not to sign any new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) beyond those selected in the latest competitive bidding round could have a “chilling” effect on investment and undermine industrialisation efforts under way in the green economy,... 

An update on the state of the electricity system 

     22nd July 2016 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer tells Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst about Eskom’s latest media briefing. 

An update on the state of the electricity system
An update on the state of the electricity system

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges 

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 One hundred of Africa’s most innovative youth gathered at the Brightest Young Minds (BYM) 2016 summit, held in Johannesburg last month, to discuss and find innovative solutions for Africa’s socioeconomic challenges. “BYM is a nonprofit public-benefit organisation aimed at providing a platform for... 

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges
Absa corporate and investment banking CEO Stephen van Coller and Brightest Young Minds (BYM) CEO Dhiren Govender discusses the 2016 BYM summit. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Call for expressions of interest for S Africa’s gas-to-power plan

     22nd July 2016 The Department of Energy (DoE) announced, early in May, a call for expressions of interest (EoI) for the appointment of strategic partners to assist State-owned companies (SoCs) in the development of a 600 MW gas-fired power plant, says international law firm White & Case.  

Call for expressions of interest for S Africa’s gas-to-power plan
Photo by Duane Daws
GAS PIPELINE The push to use gas for power generation presents a significant opportunity for liquefied natural gas, gas and power sector participants

Eastern Cape gas-to-power hub plans on track

     22nd July 2016 The Eastern Cape’s plan to host a gas-to-power hub is well advanced with the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) now clearly the province's preferred location for the development says Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo.  

Eastern Cape  gas-to-power hub  plans on track
Photo by Duane Daws
GAS-TO-POWER HUB Coega, as the province’s preferred site for the gas-to-power hub, has led the charge and continues to press ahead with preparations

Gas gensets a sustainable power alternative  

By: Sebastian Whyle     22nd July 2016 Engine, filtration and power-generation product manufacturer Cummins notes that gas-powered gensets are a sustainable power solution, owing to natural gas being methane-rich and occurring naturally. This makes it a cost-effective alternative energy source, compared with wind and solar power.  

Gas gensets a sustainable power alternative
Cummins South Africa director power Kenny Gaynor discusses the implications of gas-fired power generation in Africa.

Greenpeace International executive director visits Africa for the first time

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 Greenpeace International executive director Bunny McDiarmid visited the Greenpeace Africa office in Johannesburg, earlier this month, to show solidarity and gain further insight into the key issues. The visit was McDiarmid’s first to Africa since taking office in April. 

Rosebank office awarded top green rating

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 Green-focused architecture consultancy Solid Green Consulting’s Rosebank offices were recently awarded 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification for the incorporation of ecofriendly aspects into their offices.  

Rosebank office awarded top green rating
GREEN CERTIFICATION Solid Green Consulting’s new Rosebank office has 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification

S Africa to use fuel-flexible turbines as interim power supply solution

     22nd July 2016 South Africa’s gas-to-power programme, aimed at delivering 3 726 MW of electricity, is expected to come on line between 2019 and 2025, says power generation plant and product provider APR Energy regional sales director Mark Makanda.  

South Africa draws up plans for gas-generated power

By: Sebastian Whyle     22nd July 2016 In South Africa’s search for viable long-term gas import partners to meet demand in the power sector, Nigeria has been identified as a strong contender, owing to its large natural gas reserves, says professional services firm KPMG.  

South Africa draws up plans for gas-generated power
Photo by Duane Daws
MEETING GROWING DEMAND Global demand for energy will increase as the global economy expands

Training courses improve engineering skills, businesses and future stability

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd July 2016 South African Energy and Water Skills Education Training Authority-accredited training provider Terra Firma Academy believes that South Africa’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and its intention to provide a sustainable energy and water supply can be supported through appropriate short... 

Training courses improve engineering  skills, businesses and future stability
Photo by Duane Daws
SHORT COURSES Offer engineers quick and intense training sessions on specific topics

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2016 News of Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson – seeking clarity on the approach the utility should take to contracting in future with independent power producers (IPPs) – sent shock waves through the private power community, which is only just starting to find its feet in a... 

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane

Uranium is the dirty underbelly of nuclear – scientist

By: News24Wire      21st July 2016 Antinuclear sentiment tends to focus on nuclear waste or operational risks, but more focus should be on the “dirty underbelly” of uranium mining, according to a science adviser. “Whenever people get excited about nuclear power stations, they kind of forget where the actual uranium comes from,” Dr... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2016 Global engineering firm Siemens says it is committed to South Africa’s renewable-energy revolution and supports the country’s imminent procurement of gas-to-power infrastructure.  Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Power-Gen Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg,... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential
Siemens CEO Sabine Dall'Omo

Zimbabwe regulator turns down power tariff hike request

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Zimbabwe's energy regulator has turned down an application by the state-run power distributor to raise electricity tariffs by nearly 50 percent because it would hurt a struggling economy, it said on Thursday. The southern African nation has experienced a devastating drought that has left millions... 

IDC, AFD sign €60m credit agreement for green projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has signed an agreement with France's development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for a €60-million credit line aimed at local small-scale green projects. The facility, a collaboration under the Sustainable Use of Natural... 

Geothermal exploration for S Africa a possibility, funding a major challenge

By: Anine Kilian     20th July 2016 While geothermal energy is renewable and can be used for baseload supply, the major challenge surrounding this type of energy in South Africa is that geothermal exploration is expensive, which is why it has yet to be undertaken in the country, says Royal Haskoning energy consultant David Johnson.... 

Geothermal exploration for S Africa a possibility, funding a major challenge

Senwes to save from completed solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 The installation of 2 392 solar panels at South African agribusiness Senwes’s head office, in Klerksdorp, will save a projected 1 172 t/y of carbon emissions, equivalent to 270 running cars or 481 t/y of coal. CEO Joe Maswanganyi says the project, which was completed in June, will save about 1 kg... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2016 Less than 30% of renewable energy projects in Africa reach financial close, with the development process highlighted as the riskiest part of the development cycle, according to advisory firm Castalia Africa practice leader Patrick Longmire. “Renewable energy project development is expensive and... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

Recent events show need for 'nuclear rethink' – professor 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2016 South Africa needs to tread carefully if it is to pursue its nuclear build plans, particularly in light of recent events that require a “nuclear rethink”, suggests University of Johannesburg Department of Physics head Hartmut Winkler. Over the past five years, the dynamics of the nuclear... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2016 State-owned electricity producer Eskom expects to finalise commercial terms with the New Development Bank (NDB), of the Brics grouping, for a $150-million facility in the next quarter, CFO Anoj Singh reports. A term sheet has been signed with the NDB and Singh reports that, once consummated, the... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Eskom moves to raise exports as it closes in on 80% plant-availability goal 

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2016 State-owned electricity producer Eskom says it is on course to achieve its stated goal of achieving an energy availability factor (EAF) of 80% well ahead of its 2021 target, reporting a steady recovery in the performance of its fleet of coal-fired power stations. As a consequence, the utility... 

Eskom moves to raise exports as it closes in on 80% plant-availability goal
Eskom CEO Brian Molefe outlines progress regarding the energy availability factor at its power stations. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 19.7.2016

Solidarity urges unions to review Eskom salary increase demands

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th July 2016 Trade union Solidarity has called on other trade unions in the bargaining unit, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers, currently negotiating salaries with parastatal Eskom, to review their demands after the parties reached a... 

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2016 The Pele Energy Group (PEG), which is owned and managed by a group of 30-something black professionals, is making strides in its stated objective of evolving from an energy investor into a fully-fledged independent power producer (IPP) and, ultimately, a private utility company. Headquartered in... 

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP
The five PEG founders

South Africa's Eskom, unions fail to reach wage deal 

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 South African power utility Eskom and union leaders failed to reach an agreement on workers' pay on Friday, a union spokesperson said, raising the prospect of a strike at the sole provider of electricity in Africa's most industrialised economy. A strike at the state-owned firm could lead to power... 

Côte d'Ivoire to begin construction of two power plants by 2017 

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 Côte d'Ivoire will start building a gas-fired power station near its commercial capital Abidjan later this year with work on a second plant due to start by 2017 at the latest, a government official said on Thursday. The world's top cocoa grower has emerged from a decade-long of crisis as one of... 

Electronic bike hubs piloted in Sandton business district 

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement

     15th July 2016 Wind energy developments project management company Kipeto Energy, is one step closer to delivering additional clean energy to the people of Kenya following an announcement that it formally signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power last month. 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
ENERGY UPGRADES The increase in energy production forms part of Kenya’s Vision 2030

Infrastructure projects to proceed in African country

     15th July 2016 Fibre-optic sensors manufacturer and supplier Augusta Industries announced that the Trans Africa Pipeline (TAP) group entered into a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania last month. 

Infrastructure projects to proceed in African country
COMPLETE UPGRADE Augusta is helping to improve and upgrade the infrastructure of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized building contractors

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th July 2016 The 2016 Interbuild Africa, Africa’s largest building, building services and construction exhibition, will predominantly target the small and medium-sized building contractor companies, as this market remains fairly resilient, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio... 

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized  building contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
TARGET MARKET While some construction majors had struggled in in the past year, market growth is expected to stem from smaller industry players

New leadership for project management company

     15th July 2016 Effective from May, project management consulting and training firm Project Management Solutions (PM Solutions), which is dedicated to helping organisations drive performance and operational efficiency, appointed project management professional (PMP) Dr Al Zeitoun as president of PM Solutions. 

New leadership for project management company
Photo by Bloomberg
NUCLEAR POWER Dr Al Zeitoun has worked for nuclear energy company Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation in the United Arab Emirates

SolarAfrica, Aquion Energy install offgrid solar system in Kenya

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2016 Solar energy services firm SolarAfrica on Thursday said it had, along with Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries and energy storage systems manufacturer Aquion Energy, completed the installation of an offgrid microgrid at the wildlife research and ecotourism hub Loisaba Conservancy, in Kenya. The offgrid... 

New rail loop adds coal export capacity for Waterberg mines

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2016 The capacity of South Africa’s coal export corridor to transport material mined in the Limpopo province’s Waterberg coalfields has been increased with the completion of a new 1.8 km passing loop at Matlabas, Transnet reports. The loop, which enables 100-wagon trains to cross without disrupting... 

New rail loop adds coal export capacity for Waterberg mines

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters 

     14th July 2016 Automation technology group ABB has commissioned an integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation at its 96 000 m2 Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg. This is the group’s first microgrid in South Africa. Mia Breytenbach tells us more.  

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters
ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters

Eskom, local universities sign Phase 2 of the EPPEI funding agreement

By: Samantha Herbst     13th July 2016 Eskom will next week sign Phase 2 of the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI) funding agreement, which will see the State power utility committing R155-million to execute and enhance eight interuniversity programmes in South Africa, integrating research efforts and creating synergy... 

South Africa should consider onshore LNG regasification, Fluor argues 

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2016 Global engineering and construction group Fluor argues that South Africa could consider both onshore and offshore storage and regasification options for the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), however it believes that onshore facilities could offer a number of advantages. The South... 

South Africa should consider onshore LNG regasification, Fluor argues
LNG jetty expansion project in Belgium

Black & Veatch eyeing South Africa’s gas-to-power opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2016 Despite falling electricity demand in South Africa, global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group Black & Veatch remains optimistic about prospects for the country’s power market, as well as energy prospects across Africa, where increased attention is being given to addressing the... 

Black & Veatch eyeing South Africa’s gas-to-power opportunity
Black & Veatch Sub-Saharan Africa business development director Webb Meko
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