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Electricity News

$20m Zambia–DRC powerline project begins

By: Laura Franz     24th January 2003 The Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) in Zambia, together with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government, has embarked on the erection of a second 220kV line that is 136 km long. Once completed, the line is expected to run from Luano near Chingola in Zambia to Karavia in the DRC. 

Efficient way to cool silicon chips

By: Karel Smrcka     24th January 2003 Today’s silicon chips generate more heat than their predecessors because of the faster speeds at which they operate. 

Big power users can bypass Reds

By: Joanne Delaurentis     17th January 2003 South Africa’s six new regional electricity distributors (Reds) will not benefit from revenue from the countries 150 largest electricity consumers, which will be allowed to continue to buy electricity directly from the power utility Eskom. 

Eskom launches probe into Duvha explosion

By: Martin Czernowalow     10th January 2003 South African power utility, Eskom has launched an investigation into an explosion at its Witbank power station on Wednesday morning, said a spokesperson yesterday. 

R100m E Cape windfarm on track for 2003

By: Martin Czernowalow     9th January 2003 A R100-million windfarm, in Kouga in the Eastern Cape, is on schedule and should be operational by the end of the year, project coordinator Dr Andries van der Linde tells Engineering News Online. 

Brazil gives N-technology priority

By: Keith Campbell     9th January 2003 Brazil's new Science and Technology Minister, Roberto Amaral, has told the BBC’s Brazilian Service that the development of nuclear technology will be one of the top research and development (R&D) priorities for the new administration of President Luiz In 

The mystery of the burnt-out switch panel: Part II

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     13th December 2002 In Part I Machoy has gone to 221a Baker Street to visit Sherlock Ohms and his assistant, Dr. Wattson, seeking help to solve the mystery of the burnt out switch panel. 

Namibia utility plans Okavango hydro project

     13th December 2002 Namibia's power utility NamPower announced plans yesterday for a hydropower project on the Okavango River, expected to cost over R300-million ($33-million) and supply power to neighbouring Angola and Botswana. 

'Poor-quality global bids should not halt SNO'

By: Joanne Delaurentis     13th December 2002 The two consortia shortlisted for the 51% stake in the second network operator (SNO) are not of the calibre initially expected, chairperson of the SNO’s 19% empowerment partner Nexus Connexion Kennedy Memani confirmed in an interview. 

Electricians to be registered with Ecsa 

By: Zonika Botha     10th December 2002 After long and protracted negotiations it seems that the Engineering Council of South Africa (Ecsa) will be accredited as the registration authority for electrical practitioners. 

Coega IDZ metallurgical cluster gets power supply

     9th December 2002 The installation and commissioning of temporary power lines to the metallurgical cluster at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is well underway, bringing the readiness of the site for investors in the metals and aluminium sector closer to realisation. 

Work starts on DRC-Zambia interconnect

By: Laura Franz     6th December 2002 The Copperbelt Energy Company in Zambia has embarked on the erection of a second 220kV line between Luano near Chingola and the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The mystery of the burnt out switch panel (Part 1)

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     6th December 2002 The streets of London were nearly deserted. The yellow fog lingered on the window panes, lingered on the pools and drains . . . curled once around the house . . . and fell asleep. A heavily cloaked figure (in fact the figure of Machoy, Engineering News columnist) strode with deliberate tread down... 

Electricity vending goes wireless

     4th December 2002 Global vending company, Actaris, has moved to a wireless vending solution running on MTN South Africa's MTNdataLive (GPRS) and the company expects to reduce its transaction costs by almost 80%, while increasing efficiency through real-time exchanges. 

Portugal meeting fails to break Cahora Bassa deadlock

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     3rd December 2002 A top-level meeting held in Portugal last week failed to break the tariff impasse between Hidroel 

The beauty of 900 V systems

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     29th November 2002 The other day I was with Peter and Dave in the Huguenot tunnel. For those of you from Natal, this is a tunnel which bypasses Du Toits Kloof pass, the last mountain pass on the way to Cape Town. 

PBMR test-rig start-up a world first

     29th November 2002 South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project achieved a major milestone, with the successful start-up of a test-rig for the power conversion system. 

KZN households get non-grid power

     28th November 2002 A new housing energisation project, called Switch On, was launched yesterday in Nkwelesheni, a rural KwaZulu Natal village near Ixopo. 

More on cards for SA power utility in Uganda

By: Martin Czernowalow     28th November 2002 Yesterday’s announcement that Eskom Enterprises has won a 20-year concession from the Ugandan government, over hydroelectric stations at Owen Falls, could be a taste of things to come for the South African power utility in that country. 

DRC moves to stabilise electricity system

By: Martin Czernowalow     26th November 2002 The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) power utility, Societe Nationale d'Electricite (SNEL) has signed a contract for the implementation of the Kinshasha network normalisation and prepayment metre project. 


By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     22nd November 2002 Electricity company Hidroel 

Nigeria awards power contracts to Chinese firms

     22nd November 2002 Nigeria said on Wednesday it had awarded contracts totalling $720-million and €390-million ($391,3-million) to two Chinese firms to build three new gas turbines, aimed at boosting the African country's power generation. 

Eskom launches world class billing system

     21st November 2002 South African power utility, Eskom, has launched a new billing system. 

Innovative partnership lowers the risk of bird electrocution

By: Joanne Delaurentis     15th November 2002 A joint venture between State-owned electricity supplier Eskom and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has engineered a number of ingenious inventions to deal with the problems associated with bird interactions with electricity infrastructure. 

Malawi is to borrow $8m for hydroelectric projects

By: Marcel Chimwala     15th November 2002 Malawi - The Malawian government is intending to borrow US$8-million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to cater for hydroelectric power development projects. 

SA energy firm may enter $500m Uganda power venture

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2002 South Africa’s State-owned Eskom Enterprises has been asked to participate in the controversial $550-million Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda. 

Cahora Bassa power flows, talks continue

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     15th November 2002 Electricity company Hidroel 

African energy fund should be running by year end

     14th November 2002 It is anticipated that the African Energy Fund - a joint initiative by State power utility Eskom, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), to support energy-related projects in Africa - will be up and running by the end of the year. 

World Bank backs E Cape power project

     14th November 2002 A R100-million clean power generation plant is to be established in Kouga in the Eastern Cape. 

R100m prepayment contract awarded

     13th November 2002 Durban-based company, Conlog has been awarded a massive 80% of the total Eskom National Contract for the supply of prepayment metres for 2002/03, valued at over R100-million. 

African regulators establish forum

     11th November 2002 The formalisation of the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR) took place in Tshwane (Pretoria) last week. 

SA energy firm may enter $500m Uganda power venture

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2002 South Africa’s State-owned Eskom Enterprises has been asked to participate in the controversial $550-million Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda. 

Three groups mull participation in PBMR

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2002 Three potential investors from Europe and Asia are seriously considering equity participation in South Africa’s pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR) project. 

Electric technology generates aircraft change

By: Karel Smrcka     1st November 2002 The evolution of electrical power on civil aircraft has been slow. Proved technologies have become an industry mainstay and years pass before new technologies are accepted. 

Vinyl vs. CD: back for more

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     1st November 2002 Mr Andrew Freebord has taken some trouble to reply to my comments on MP3 compression: Here is what he says… 

Regulator approves 8,4% power tariff increase

     29th October 2002 The board of the National Electricity Regulator (NER), at its meeting held on Friday, approved an average price increase of 8,4% for Eskom for 2003. 

When I was young and handsome III

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     25th October 2002 In previous columns I wrote about how when I was young and handsome I would go to various mines to do vacation training. 

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