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Electricity News

Solutions specialist expands product range

By: Simone Liedtke     26th May 2017 Electrical solutions specialist Magnet Electrical – a subsidiary of Magnet Group – has extended its range of automation solutions with the addition of automation systems company Schneider Electric’s new Altivar ATV320 variable-speed drives (VSDs). 

Work-based experience for graduate interns

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th May 2017 Technology ecosystem company Resolution Circle has welcomed 115 South African graduates to its graduate internship programme, which aims to develop them into high-quality, employable individuals that can excel in South Africa’s economy. Resolution Circle, an ‘idea-to-barcode’ ecosystem that... 

Work-based experience  for graduate interns
GAINING EXPERIENCE Resolution Circle’s internship will provide the 115 participants with practical skills in decision making and client services

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy
Bokpoort CSP

High Court dismisses applications to have power interruptions declared unconstitutional

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 The Pretoria High Court this week dismissed applications by AfriForum and other businesses to have Eskom’s scheduled electricity interruptions to defaulting municipalities declared unconstitutional, confirming the parastatal’s right to do so. “Astral, Bridgestone, AfriForum and Mediclinic had... 

High Court dismisses applications to have power interruptions declared unconstitutional

Brown to set up Eskom corruption probe headed by retired judge 

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has announced that she will institute a “broad scope” investigation into allegations of corruption currently hanging over State-owned electricity producer Eskom. The terms of reference and form of the investigation were still to be finalised, but Brown... 

Brown to set up Eskom corruption probe headed by retired judge
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Central Energy Fund to be restructured 

     25th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s plans to restructure the Central Energy Fund, as well as the Minister’s promise to provide some certainty regarding a resolution to the renewables impasse. 

Central Energy Fund to be restructured
Central Energy Fund to be restructured

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned 

     25th May 2017 The African Utility week saw an important and welcome announcement. Eskom’s Chief nuclear officer revealed that Eskom was reconsidering the Pebble Bed Modular reactor (PBMR). For whatever reason, work on this ground-breaking project was stopped by the South African Government in 2010. The latest... 

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned
Rob Jeffrey

Koeberg Unit 2 restarted after maintenance shutdown

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2017 Koeberg nuclear power station’s Unit 2 has reconnected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s national electricity grid following a 36-day planned maintenance outage. The outage, dubbed Outage 222, as it is the twenty-second outage on Unit 2, has become the second shortest outage performed in the... 

IDC approves R218m loan for development of Free State natural gas project 

By: Terence Creamer     24th May 2017 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has approved R218-million in loan finance to support the further development of a natural gas resource in the Free State through the creation of a 107-km pipeline network and associated gas processing facilities. The funding,... 

IDC approves R218m loan for development of Free State natural gas project
Photo by Duane Daws
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

AfriBusiness launches investigation into Transnet’s multiproduct pipeline 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th May 2017 Nonprofit business rights watchdog AfriBusiness will launch an application against Transnet regarding the new multi-product pipeline’s (NMPP’s) completion and implementation. The NMPP, which entailed the building of a pipeline for the transportation of various fuels from Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal,... 

NNR CEO elected president of nuclear safety convention review meeting

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th May 2017 National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) CEO Dr Bismark Tyobeka has been elected to serve as president of the sixth review meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Nuclear Fuel Management and Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. The joint convention was adopted on September 5, 1997, and... 

Eskom tests microgrid technology in Free State

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 The Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D) unit is building a MicroGrid technology demonstration plant in a rural unelectrified village, near Ficksburg, in the Free State. “This project is a demonstration of next-horizon technology that supports Eskom’s future strategic objectives, as... 

Thos Begbie’s global quality status boosted by on-the-spot Dekra 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2017 The same-site working relationship that Thos Begbie has established with global quality inspectorate Dekra Industrial RSA is giving the prolific exporter of copper castings a commercial edge in its global dealings with mining and smelter-related customers worldwide. Thos Begbie now hosts the... 

Thos Begbie’s global quality status boosted by on-the-spot Dekra
Engineering News Online’s Martin Creamer talks to Thos Begbie’s Edwin Dreyer and Dekra’s Johan Gerber. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Gordhan lays into Eskom board over Molefe

By: African News Agency      23rd May 2017 Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday called for the Eskom board to be fired and a full investigation into not only Brian Molefe’s return to the power utility, but his actions in his previous job at Transnet. Gordhan told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises, of... 

Gordhan lays into Eskom board over Molefe
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

I was under the impression that Molefe had resigned, Brown reveals 

     23rd May 2017 When Eskom’s Board approached me to inform me of its decision to bring Mr Molefe back, I said I would support it on the proviso that it was legal. I also made this point repeatedly when addressing media on the matter, though – curiously – none of them thought it worthy of reporting. 

I was under the impression that Molefe had resigned, Brown reveals
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Business body urges ANC NEC to pressurise Zuma to set up State capture inquiry 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2017 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has added its voice to growing calls for the establishment of an independent judicial commission of inquiry into “State capture”, which it says is necessary to restore confidence in the economy and the future of the country. The big business body has also... 

Business body urges ANC NEC to pressurise Zuma to set up State capture inquiry
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

Builders Warehouse launches its first store featuring renewable energy

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The North Riding-based Builders Warehouse, which forms part of the Builders Warehouse chain of stores owned by management company Massmart, has installed a 126 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which comprises 400 roof-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant will provide 70% of the store’s... 

Parly inquiry into Eskom must include Duduzane Zuma’s ‘fake intelligence report’ – DA

By: African News Agency      22nd May 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask Parliament’s chair of chairs Cedric Frolick to include an investigation into the most recent evidence of possible political interference in Eskom, this time by Duduzane Zuma, in the course of the inquiry the DA has requested. Just over a week ago, the DA... 

Parly inquiry into Eskom must include Duduzane Zuma’s ‘fake intelligence report’ – DA

Eskom wants to keep lights on this winter 

By: News24Wire      19th May 2017 Eskom is promising to keep the lights on this winter, it said in a statement issued on Friday afternoon. It undertook to do this despite severe weather conditions that have already started to grip the country. 

 Eskom wants to keep lights on this winter

Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2017 A joint departmental task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task... 

 Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubay

Eskom questions timing of Ramatlhodi’s claims

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th May 2017 Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane on Friday said former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s claims that he was placed under pressure by the parastatal to carry out certain decisions were “barefaced lies”. Earlier this week, Ramatlhodi said Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and Ngubane had, in 2015,... 

SA to start renegotiating nuclear accords next month – Energy Minister 

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The South African government will start renegotiating its inter-governmental agreements on nuclear cooperation with five nations, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Friday. This comes after the government decided last week not to appeal a high court ruling that effectively halted... 

US awards grant to SA renewable energy company

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power developer based in Johannesburg. Wednesday’s grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Free State province of South... 

Advances in PBMR designs demonstrate possible cost, efficiency benefits – Eskom 

By: Kim Cloete     19th May 2017 Advances have been made in the new Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) design, which show promise for being both cheaper and less complicated than previous designs, says Eskom. The design for PBMRs were initially developed in South Africa. Research into PBMRs was mothballed in 2010, but has since... 

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th May 2017 Water solutions company Amanziflow Projects have installed more than 400 of its locally developed Fluid Dynamic Systems automatic diaphragm valves (FDS-DVs) across Southern Africa to date.  

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone
AUTOMATIC APPLICATION The equipment requires no electrical supply or labour to operate

Eskom Academy trains over 500 contractors

     19th May 2017 Over the last three years, State-owned power utility Eskom’s enterprise development programme, the Contractor Academy, trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces, with the youth accounting for about 60% of participants. The programme started as a pilot programme in 2008 and has since grown... 

Eskom Academy trains over  500 contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
ESKOM CONTRACTOR ACADEMY The academy trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces

Expo creates new opportunities for young scientists

     19th May 2017 Earlier this month, three learners departed to participate in the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, US. The three learners did exceptionally well in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Finals in October last... 

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit

     19th May 2017 Five mobile transformers were delivered to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Mkondeni unit in KwaZulu-Natal in March.  The plan to purchase the five 132/88-22/11KV mobile transformers started in 2011 and was followed by a rigorous procurement process. Industrial corporation Siemens was awarded... 

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit
ALTERNATIVE POWER Five mobile transformers delivered to Eskom’s Mkondeni unit can be used to replace existing equipment during scheduled maintenance

Geosynthetic products supplied for substation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th May 2017 Manufacturer and comprehensive supplier of geosynthetic products Fibertex South Africa is providing an ongoing supply of its geosynthetic products for use in the construction of State-owned power utility Eskom’s Pinotage substation, in the Western Cape. This new large electrical substation is... 

Geosynthetic products supplied for substation
GEOSYNTHETIC SUPPLY Fibertex South Africa is providing an ongoing supply of a range of geosynthetic products for use in the construction of the Eskom Pinotage substation

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 Following State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision last year not to sign a number of contracts with independent power producers (IPP) and the delay in doing so since, industry leaders are warning that a loss in investments in the renewables sector could lead to a severe plateau in... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector
Photo by Bloomberg
NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY Eskom is responsible for generating about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and the firm mainly relies on coal for its power generation

Millions invested in renewables, research excellence

     19th May 2017 Last month, State-owned power utility Eskom says over an extended period of time, funded research work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University has ostensibly benefited research in the renewables space. “Eskom’s unique role in driving... 

New water-heating solutions provider unveils product offering

By: David Oliveira     19th May 2017 South Africa has a new entrant into the commercial, industrial and residential water-heating market following the April 2017 launch of water-heating solutions provider HydraTherm’s own basket of water-heating products, which aims to significantly reduce consumer’s electricity costs relating to... 

Rope access services provided for coal-fired power station

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th May 2017 Industrial rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists is providing rope access services for State-owned power utility Eskom at its Kendal power station, located about 40 km southwest of Witbank, in Mpumalanga. Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn tells Engineering News that the company... 

Rope access services provided for coal-fired power station
CIRCUMVENTING BOILING POINT Skyriders conducted boiler safe access inspections for Eskom at one of its coal-fired stations

Young innovative entrepreneurs offer renewable-energy solutions

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s Development Foundation’s yearly Business Investment Competition (BIC) continues to discover businesses bringing about positive socioeconomic changes to the benefit of communities and the country. The latest such business is solar energy company Lamo Solar, which... 

Young innovative  entrepreneurs offer  renewable-energy solutions
LAMO SOLAR Co-owners Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu and Elmond Khoza

Thyspunt nuclear power plant would bring great benefits to the region – CDC 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 The Eastern Cape is holding out hope that the planned Thyspunt nuclear power plant will be built in the province despite the nuclear deal being put on ice for now. Coega Development Corporation (CDC) energy business development manager Sandisiwe Ncemane said the plant would hold great economic... 

No corruption in nuclear negotiations, Eskom chief nuclear officer assures 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 Eskom’s chief nuclear officer David Nicholls is still firmly committed to the principle that nuclear is the way to go for a sustainable energy future and says he knows of no corruption in negotiations on a deal to procure new nuclear energy capacity. “I’ve been in the middle of this deal for... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th May 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Thursday said that Eskom’s justifying the proposed closure of some its coal-fired power plants, in Mpumalanga, as being the result of signing power purchase agreements for new renewable energy projects, is misleading. “Coal plants have a... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

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