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Electricity News

Guptas oppose application to freeze R1.75bn coal mine rehab funds – Outa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd October 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says the business group owned by the Gupta family is opposing its application to freeze the R1.75-billion mine rehabilitation funds for two of its coal mines. Outa last week succeeded in obtaining an interim order from the Pretoria High Court which... 

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?

     29th September 2017 In this opinion piece, Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa expresses the hope that both the current moratorium on new renewable-energy projects and the proposed 77c/kWh tariff cap will be reconsidered during industry consultations.  

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?
Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

Delayed hearing into wind body’s Eskom complaint moves ahead

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2017 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) hosted a closed hearing on Friday as part of its investigation of a complaint by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) against Eskom. SAWEA, which lodged the grievance in October 2016, alleges that the State-owned utility’s refusal... 

Delayed hearing into wind body’s Eskom complaint moves ahead

SAPVIA member appointed Global Solar Council director

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) programme manager Niveshen Govender has been elected to serve as director on the Global Solar Council (GSC) board. The GSC was established during the twenty-first Conference of Parties climate dialogue, held in Paris, France, in 2015. It... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule
SOARING CONSTRUCTION The 100-m-tall Siemens wind turbines, which allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming favourable weather

International bodies sign agreement to promote sustainable energy

By: Ilan Solomons     29th September 2017 The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) and the World Energy Council (WEC) have signed a joint declaration to support the global dissemination of sustainable energy solutions. Under the new partnership, Unido and the WEC have committed to develop the leadership skills and... 

International bodies sign agreement  to promote sustainable energy
Photo by Duane Daws
CHRISTOPH FREI Energy leaders of tomorrow will need to rely on different skill sets from the energy leaders of the past

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

LED best fit for energy-hungry smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 Energy efficiency is critical to sustaining smart cities, especially as the levels of urbanisation are expected to increase, and light-emitting diode- (LED-) technologies will be a key component, says electronic multinational Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Reggie Nxumalo. “As much as 78% of... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry  smart cities
REGGIE NXUMALO The well-established use of energy-efficiency systems supports industrial development in Africa

Growthpoint launches South Africa’s first dual-certified property portfolio

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th September 2017 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has launched the first and only property portfolio in South Africa to be highly rated by the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). This premier portfolio, named... 

Growthpoint launches South Africa’s first dual-certified property portfolio
Growthpoint Properties office division director Rudolf Pienaar

Unreasonable electricity price curve contributing to weak business climate – EIUG

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2017 The Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) has called for urgent intervention to halt what it describes as the current “downward spiral” of a shrinking electricity sales base and increasing and unaffordable electricity tariffs. The EIUG represents 32 mostly mining and industrial... 

Unreasonable electricity price curve contributing to weak business climate  – EIUG
Dr Tsakani Mthombeni

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet

By: News24Wire      28th September 2017 Business Leadership South Africa on Thursday booted out State-owned entities Eskom and Transnet for their involvement in corruption and State capture with immediate effect. The announcement comes as BLSA launched its #BusinessBelieves campaign in Cape Town, where it signed a “contract” with South... 

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet
Photo by Duane Daws
BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale

CAIA calls for independent audit of Eskom

By: Anine Kilian     27th September 2017 The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) has called on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to conduct a comprehensive independent audit of Eskom’s operations, as well as its capital expenditure. Nersa will, on December 7, make its decision on Eskom’s revenue... 

Auditing firm cuts ties with Gupta’s Oakbay

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th September 2017 The board of auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo (SNG) has resigned as auditors of Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited and its related entities. The auditing firm’s statement stipulates that this decision was made after a thorough assessment of its relationship with the company which... 

Auditing firm cuts ties with Gupta’s Oakbay

Court freezes mine rehab billions from Gupta-owned mines

By: News24Wire      26th September 2017 Anti-corruption advocacy group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Tuesday won an urgent interim interdict to freeze some R1.75-billion in mine rehabilitation funds from two Gupta-owned coal mines. The group’s urgent application was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. In a... 

 Court freezes mine rehab billions from Gupta-owned mines

AHI changes name to SBI

By: Anine Kilian     26th September 2017 Members of the Afrikaanse handelsinstituut (AHI) have adopted a new memorandum of incorporation and a new name, the Small Business Institute (SBI). “We would be proud if, over time, SBI becomes synonymous with credible research and public positions on all matters of interest to small business.... 

South African nuclear achievement crowned by US award

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 South African company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (DoE), the two... 

South African nuclear achievement crowned by US award
Photo by Necsa
NTP Group Executive for Operations Gavin Ball

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike  

     22nd September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about what can be expected from Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff hike. 

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike
A look into Eskom’s double-digit tariff hike application

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Legal framework offers model for enhancing transboundary infrastructure investment

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd September 2017 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) has unveiled the Model Law that provides a framework for the harmonisation of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa. The Model Law was unveiled at the yearly Nigerian... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing  transboundary infrastructure investment
Photo by Duane Daws
PAVING THE WAY The Model Law may aid in additional efficiency, transparency and accountability with regard to public and private sector engagement in transboundary infrastructure

Necsa plans to restart nuclear pebble-fuel production

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is reactivating its ability to manufacture nuclear pebble fuel, originally created to support South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) programme. The corporation is also looking for a strategic equity partner for its speciality... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions
CELL BALANCING Balancing the charge of individual cells in a battery can prolong battery life

Digital switchgear launched in China

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is... 

Digital switchgear launched in China
Photo by Duane Daws
DIGITAL ALARM The switchgear can send alarm notifications to specific people via many channels

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas

     22nd September 2017 Suited for off-grid households’ electrification, the Mobiya TS 170S portable solar LED lantern is being distributed by electrical solutions provider Magnet Group. The Mobiya solar LED lanterns have been designed by automation systems company Schneider Electric as an appropriate, safe and reliable... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas
SHINING ROADS The lanterns can be used by rural communities that do not have access to electricity

System advantages start with modular abilities

     22nd September 2017 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand explains that the advantages of using modular systems is the integration between Legrand’s busbar trunking systems, cast resin transformers and XL³ cabinets. The modular systems include cast resin transformers, with low... 

System advantages start with modular abilities
EASY INTEGRATION Using Legrand systems allows for new technology to be easily integrated into older systems

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2017 A new report analysing Eskom’s financial position warns that the State-owned utility is simply not generating enough cash through operations and electricity sales to cover the interest on its borrowings, which will peak at around R500-billion in the coming three years. However, it also argues... 

Eskom not generating enough cash to cover interest on debt – report

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre

By: Keith Campbell     21st September 2017 Russia’s State-owned Rosatom nuclear energy group is to establish a Nuclear Research and Technology Centre (NRTC) in Bolivia. The contract was signed in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, between Rosatom group company State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI) and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency... 

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre
Photo by Rosatom
ABEN general executive director Hortensia Jiménez Rivera (left) signs the NRTC contract with SSDI director-general Vyacheslav Galushkov (right). Bolivian Energy Vice-Minister Luis Alberto Echazú and Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev stand behind them

Eskom’s unsustainable business model in need of proactive reform – Eberhard

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom is stuck in a “classic utility death spiral” that many power companies worldwide face as the pressure to adopt new business models and proactively reform increases. Eskom’s need for higher tariffs to offset declining electricity sales amid ever-rising costs is... 

Tlou submits plans for Botswana power plant

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st September 2017 ASX- and Aim-listed Tlou Energy has submitted a proposal to the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to develop up to 100 MW of coalbed methane- (CBM-) fuelled pilot power plants in the African country. The government of Botswana earlier this year requested... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 Some three years after expanding operations into South Africa, Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power (EGP) has established a significant presence locally, boasting more than 520 MW of wind and solar projects in operation, one of which was declared a National Key Point in June. The 66 MW... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant
Lamberto Dai Pra’, Francina Shongoane, John Motebele and William Price at Enel's Tom Burke plant

ELB sees 143% increase in profitability

By: Anine Kilian     20th September 2017 With profit for the year ended June 30 up 143% to R82-million, from a loss of R189-million in 2016, JSE-listed engineering services provider ELB has seen a 147% increase in headline earnings a share to 243c, from a loss per share of 519c. “Despite political uncertainty, the volatile currency and... 

Brown receives outstanding information on Eskom’s relationship with Gupta-linked Trillian

By: African News Agency      20th September 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has received answers from Eskom to outstanding questions about its relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, her office said on Wednesday. “Minister Brown last night received Eskom’s responses to her queries. She noted  progress and Eskom will... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment 

By: Terence Creamer     20th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has sounded that warning that, even if its allowable revenue is not increased at all for the 2018/19 year, tariffs will still need to rise by 9.4% simply to accommodate a “rebasing” electricity sales volumes when compared with those approved in the third... 

‘Rebasing’ for lower Eskom sales to trigger 9.4% hike even before any revenue adjustment

Former Eskom R&D GM to facilitate electric tech transfer in Africa – EPRI

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s former research, testing and development GM Barry MacColl has joined international nonprofit organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as an EPRI International senior regional manager facilitating technology transfer in Africa. EPRI has... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off 

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) recorded a sharp fall in disbursements to R12.4-billion in 2017, from a record R17.1-billion in 2016, but has promised to "step up" its role as a catalyst of development in 2018, setting a R20-billion disbursement target for the year. The development... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the fall in disbursements in 2017 and plans for a 'step up' in future. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.9.2017

Kibo moves closer to concluding PPA, securing project financing for MCPP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th September 2017 Dual-listed Kibo Mining says it is near concluding a power purchase agreement (PPA), as well as securing project financing for its Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP) in Tanzania. A memorandum of understanding (MoU), as a precursor to a final PPA with Tanzania power utility Tanesco, has passed all... 

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