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Electricity News

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan  

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 The future structure of South Africa’s debt-laden electricity producer Eskom emerged as the central topic during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s February 7 State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which he announced that the utility would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three... 

Eskom blames new-plant faults as South Africa blackouts continue

By: Bloomberg     12th February 2019 Struggling power utility Eskom started a third day of power outages, blaming issues including failures at two huge new power stations that are also the main source of the company’s massive debt. Eskom on Tuesday implemented rotational power cuts of 3 000 MW. The utility Monday resorted to the... 

Outa calls for bold decisions to end load shedding

By: African News Agency      12th February 2019 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Tuesday called on government to make bold interventions to minimise load shedding by the State-owned power utility. This as Eskom on Monday unexpectedly began cutting off power supply with stage 4 load shedding after six power generating units tripped.... 

Outa calls for bold decisions to end load shedding

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables? 

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     12th February 2019 There is considerable support in South Africa for the notion that a transition in the electricity system from coal to renewable energy will trigger a jobs bloodbath at both Eskom and the Mpumalanga coal mines. A detailed analysis of the job numbers, however, suggests quite the opposite. In fact,... 

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables?
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering 

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 Electrical products manufacturer Zest WEG Group has added an integrated-solutions offering to its products-oriented sales strategy in a bid to penetrate market segments in which there is a growing appetite for all-encompassing solutions. The South African company is the fifth largest branch... 

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering
Zest WEG Group CEO Siegfried Kreutzfeld in conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer on the group's growth strategy. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Eskom to take 3 000 MW off the grid in rotational powercuts

By: African News Agency      12th February 2019 State power company Eskom said it would implement rolling blackouts for a third straight day on Tuesday, taking 3 000 MW off the load at any given time to ease pressure on the national grid. It said generating units that had broken down unexpectedly had returned to service, but emergency reserves... 

Eskom to take 3 000 MW off the grid in rotational powercuts

Ramaphosa says Eskom power cuts 'most worrying'

By: Reuters     12th February 2019 South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday the prospect of more power cuts by utility Eskom were "most worrying". The cash-strapped company warned of wider controlled power cuts on Monday after six additional generating units unexpectedly went offline. 

Ramaphosa says Eskom power cuts 'most worrying'
President Cyril Ramaphosa

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation  

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2019 Newly released statistics on the performance of South Africa’s small, but expanding, renewable-energy fleet point to a positive contribution from the country’s wind and solar plants during those hours towards the end of 2018 when Eskom resorted to load-shedding. Compiled by the Council for... 

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Agri SA warns of negative impact of load-shedding on agriculture

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th February 2019 Agri SA has noted its concerns about the potential negative impact of load-shedding on the agricultural sector and the broader value chain. In a statement on Monday, the company highlighted that electricity is an important input cost for many farmers, especially farmers that depend on irrigation. 

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2019 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Monday released data that found Africa and the Middle East had installed 962 MW of onshore wind power capacity in 2018 – a 300 MW increase compared with 2017. The GWEC’s global wind report forecasts that a further 6.5 GW of capacity will be added by... 

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

Gordhan meeting Eskom executives over power crisis 

By: Reuters     11th February 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is meeting executives from state power firm Eskom on Monday to find solutions to the country's electricity crisis, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Reuters. Eskom said on Monday it would cut 4 000 MW from the national grid from 13:00 after six... 

Gordhan meeting Eskom executives over power crisis
Photo by Bloomberg
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Moody's says split plan does little to solve South Africa's Eskom financial woes 

By: Reuters     11th February 2019 The South African government's plan to split struggling state power company Eskom into three entities does little to address the company's financial difficulties, credit ratings agency Moody's said in a research report. "The move paves the way for a more transparent group with more clearly... 

DA calls for parliamentary debate on Eskom

By: African News Agency      11th February 2019 As Eskom resumed load-shedding, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday demanded a parliamentary debate on the crisis gripping the power utility. Senior DA MP Natasha Mazzone said it was imperative that it takes place before Thursday, when President Cyril Ramaphosa will reply to the debate on the... 

DA calls for parliamentary debate on Eskom

Stage 2 load-shedding to start at 09:00

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th February 2019 Power utility Eskom on Monday said Stage 2 load-shedding would start at 09:00 and would likely continue until 22:00.   "Although a number of generating units have returned to service as per the nine-point recovery plan, regrettably additional units continue to trip. This results in a shortage of... 

Stage 2 load-shedding to start at 09:00

Eskom says risk of rotational power cuts high for Monday

By: African News Agency      11th February 2019 State power utility Eskom said the risk for staggered powercuts was high for Monday after implementing the first loadshedding since early December on Sunday. "The probability of rotational loadshedding remains high tomorrow as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of generating units... 

Eskom says risk of rotational power cuts high for Monday

Industry shares sentiments on Eskom, energy landscape following SoNA 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2019 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday evening, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said it concurred on the urgent need to implement an effective turnaround strategy at Eskom.  The organisation also welcomed the general thrust of policies mapped out... 

Industry shares sentiments on Eskom, energy landscape following SoNA

DBSA wins global award for renewable energy project financing 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th February 2019 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has won the African Renewable Energy Programme Award. The award was presented to the DBSA, in London, in the UK, by Project Finance International (PFI), an institution that organises the global awards. 

Ramaphosa promises ‘meaningful consultation’ as he confirms split of Eskom into three units 

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday that South Africa’s embattled State-owned electricity producer would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution – in an effort to bring credibility to the turnaround of the utility and to... 

Ramaphosa promises ‘meaningful consultation’ as he confirms split of Eskom into three units
Photo by Reuters
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Sort out Eskom or beneficiation will suffer, warns Mantashe

By: Kim Cloete     7th February 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has expressed concern about progress in beneficiating minerals, while Eskom is still battling. “If we don’t sort out Eskom problems, we are going to be in trouble with beneficiation. There must be an arrangement for certain categories of customers for an... 

Sebenza substation officially opened

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th February 2019 City Power on Thursday officially launched the newly-built Sebenza 400 kV – 275/132 kV intake substation, built and project managed by Consolidated Power Projects (Conco) on behalf of City Power. The ribbon cutting marking the opening was undertaken by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and City... 

Sebenza substation officially opened
Photo by Tasneem Bulbulia
The Sebenza substation was officially launched on Thursday

Steel group to approach Nersa for power-tariff relief  

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it will submit site-specific applications to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to secure tariff relief from Eskom for its operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The submissions will be made in line with... 

Steel group to approach Nersa for power-tariff relief
AMSA CEO Kobus Verster on the threat posed by power hikes and on the group's plan to approach the regulator for relief. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 7.2.2019

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland 

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2019 Mining can and will deliver massive benefits if all stakeholders work together, Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday Speaking on the third day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he outlined the huge potential of collaborative government,... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland
Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland speaks about the winds of change blowing in South Africa and the DRC and the benefits mining companies, African governments and communities can reap if all parties work together. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Sanedi ready to support the mining industry in energy efficiency

By: Kim Cloete     6th February 2019 The mining sector has been encouraged to use more renewable energy and tighten up on energy efficiency, with the support of the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi). Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said the mining industry would need innovative and novel solutions to reduce... 

Sanedi ready to support the mining industry in energy efficiency

South Africa to unveil Eskom support package in coming days – Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     5th February 2019 South Africa will in the coming days unveil a package of measures to shore up State-owned Eskom's finances and address structural issues facing the struggling power firm, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday. "In the coming few days we will be announcing a package of measures to stabilise as... 

Nersa to make Eskom tariff decision before March 15  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says it will make a ruling on Eskom’s heavily contested revenue application before March 15, but has not committed to a firm date for the release of the determination. Full-time regulatory member Nomfundo Maseti, who chaired the marathon... 

Nersa to make Eskom tariff decision before March 15
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim pictured during the marathon Gauteng leg of nationwide public hearings, which started in Cape Town on January 14

Energy megaprojects on South Africa's radar as utility falters

By: Bloomberg     5th February 2019 South Africa is looking to spend-billions of rand to secure energy from megaprojects on the continent at a time when state power utility Eskom is broke and struggling to supply enough electricity. The government has signaled a willingness to buy 5 000 MW of power from a planned $18-billion... 

Eskom’s own survival at risk should big hikes be permitted, EIUG warns  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) has added its voice to the overwhelming chorus of societal opposition to Eskom’s latest tariff submission, warning on Tuesday that above-inflation hikes would have “immediate, catastrophic and irreversible” consequences for South Africa’s mining and... 

Eskom’s own survival at risk should big hikes be permitted, EIUG warns
Photo by Dylan Slater
Nersa panel members listen to submissions during the marathon Gauteng leg of the regulator's nationwide public hearings process

Unions oppose potential split of Eskom 

By: Reuters     5th February 2019 South African trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday that it opposed a proposal to split up Eskom into three different entities, adding that it would not solve the struggling utility's governance and debt problems. "We don't support unbundling... 

High Court to hear environmental organisations’ application for access to coal IPP documents 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th February 2019 The Pretoria High Court will, on Wednesday, hear an application brought by environmental organisations, groundWork and Earthlife Africa, for the handover of various documents relating to the judicial review of the environmental authorisations granted to two coal-fired power station preferred... 

Expect some tough announcements on Eskom soon – Davies 

By: News24Wire      5th February 2019 Eskom is in deep trouble financially and operationally and South Africa is facing enormous challenges in the electricity industry, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said on Tuesday. Davies was a guest speaker at a round table discussion hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry on... 

Expect some tough announcements on Eskom soon – Davies
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

South32’s South Africa Energy Coal expresses concern about Eskom’s fragile state 

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Mining and metals company South32 says it is concerned about the challenges that have increasingly threatened the stability of South African power utility Eskom and needs to ensure the continuity of supply of its coal to Eskom in the long run. South32’s South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC) company... 

South32’s South Africa Energy Coal expresses concern about Eskom’s fragile state
Globally diversified mining and metals company, South32, says it is concerned about the challenges that have increasingly threatened the stability of Eskom. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Unbundle Eskom to make it sustainable – CEO  

By: News24Wire      4th February 2019 Decisions that need to be taken at Eskom might end up being painful, but they have to be taken, the power utility’s CEO, Phakamani Hadebe told delegates at Mining Indaba 2019 on Monday. Of his appointment as Eskom CEO, he told delegates that nothing prepares one to deal with an institution where... 

 Unbundle Eskom to make it sustainable – CEO
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe

Corruption Watch files Eskom board delinquency papers

By: Bloomberg     4th February 2019 South African civil-society organization Corruption Watch said it has launched an application in the High Court of Pretoria to have former Eskom board members declared delinquent. The application “focuses on the violation of fiduciary duties and gross negligence on the part of former board... 

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to suspend its methodology for setting power tariffs and to grant Eskom only inflation-linked increases until the electricity supply industry has been restructured. In a presentation during Gauteng... 

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured
Photo by Dylan Slater
BUSA’s Martin Kingston

Global demand for coal rises despite uncertainty

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Despite a move to renewable energy, particularly in Europe, demand for coal globally soared in 2018, led by low calorific value (CV) coal demand. The strongest import markets were China and India, while Indonesia performed extremely strongly on the supply side. China’s demand for coal... 

Coal exports have not risen since 2008, with the IRP posing a further threat, says Minerals Council

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Coal production, exports and investment in the industry have remained stagnant since 2008, despite higher export prices and South Africa’s abundant coal reserves, says the Minerals Council South Africa. “Even as the coal export price soared, export volumes failed to respond,” Minerals Council... 

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that its loss for 2018/19 will be worse, at R20-billion, than the R15-billion loss it had projected earlier and that it will be followed by another big loss in 2019/20 even if it receives hikes it is currently seeking from the regulator. CFO Calib... 

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

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