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Electricity News

Gas-to-power essential for South Africa’s future energy mix - Siemens

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 With a fall in gas prices and a stagnant economy, gas-fired power plants may not be as attractive an option as they were a few years ago, but they will still form a vital part of South Africa’s energy mix in future, believes Siemens. Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo said... 

Brown to talk to Zuma, Ramaphosa to 'resolve Molefe matter' 

By: News24Wire      17th May 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she will talk to President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to resolve the controversial return of Eskom boss Brian Molefe. Brown was summoned to Luthuli House on Monday and ordered to rescind Molefe's return to the power utility. She... 

Brown to talk to Zuma, Ramaphosa to 'resolve Molefe matter'
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
GreenTower inventor Andre Nel

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

World Bank cautions African utilities against mounting debt 

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 A survey undertaken by the World Bank has shown that less than half of the utilities in sub-Saharan Africa are able to cover their operating expenditures and that several countries lose in excess of $0.25 for every kilowatt-hour that gets sold.  The sobering assessment of the financial health of... 

Certainty needed to drive energy projects in Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Private sector players have called on African governments to be reliable and predictable in their energy policies and programmes. "Investors want to know that the rules won’t change in the middle of a project,” Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz told delegates at Africa Utility Week on... 

Absence of Eskom CEO rattles opening of African Utility Week 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Despite great anticipation ahead of his address, reinstated Eskom CEO Brian Molefe did not open the annual African Utility Week, in Cape Town, as planned. The CEO was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary, attended by several thousand energy and water experts, but pulled out... 

Kubayi expresses support for 3 700 MW gas-to-power vision amid IPP uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi expressed her support on Tuesday for the country’s proposed gas-to-power programme, assuring delegates to a conference in Cape Town that government intended proceeding in line with the existing “vision and policy objectives” for gas infrastructure. “Over the past... 

Kubayi expresses support for 3 700 MW gas-to-power vision amid IPP uncertainty
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Standard Bank provides $120m debt package to increase energy supply in Zimbabwe

By: Anine Kilian     16th May 2017 Standard Bank has finalised a $120-million debt package with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure at the Kariba South hydropower station and the Hwange thermal power station. The transaction is a continuation of a previous funding arrangement with... 

Necsa signs skills-related MoU with French utility

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and French electric utility company Electricité de France (EDF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance training of and development of technical skills and, for the continuous education and training of technicians, in the... 

Molefe could 'obstruct' investigations – DA

By: News24Wire      16th May 2017 The reinstatement of Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO places him in a "position to frustrate or obstruct" any investigations against him, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says in court papers. The party on Monday brought an application in the High Court in Pretoria, asking it to rule Molefe's reinstatement... 

Molefe could 'obstruct' investigations – DA
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

City Power offers one-time reprieve for meter-tampering customers

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th May 2017 Johannesburg’s City Power on Monday said customers who have illegally tampered with their electricity meters have an opportunity to claim amnesty and normalise their meters “no questions asked”, but only until June 30. Customers approaching City Power during the amnesty period to “register” the... 

AMSA insists 12% hot-rolled-coil safeguard won’t translate into abrupt price hike

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2017 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) insists that the institution of a 12% safeguard duty on hot-rolled coil (HRC) from July 1 will not result in a commensurate rise in domestic prices for the primary-steel product, owing to a pricing agreement with government that regulates the... 

AMSA insists 12% hot-rolled-coil safeguard won’t translate into abrupt price hike
Photo by Duane Daws
AMSA CEO Wim de Klerk

Eskom demands R6.2bn from Mpumalanga coal supplier

By: African News Agency      15th May 2017 Eskom is demanding R6.2-billion from Mpumalanga billionaire pastor and coal baron Ramesh Joe Singh after his firm Just Coal supplied the power utility’s Tutuka Power Station with sub-optimal coal worth R5.8-billion. The poor-quality coal put the operations of Tutuka Power Station at risk. 

DA to file urgent interdict against Molefe’s reappointment

By: African News Agency      15th May 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday it would be filing for an urgent interdict at the North Gauteng High Court in a bid to stop Brian Molefe’s reappointment as Eskom chief executive. DA spokesperson for public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, said that Molefe was not a “fit and proper”... 

DA to file urgent interdict against Molefe’s reappointment

DoE won’t appeal nuclear ruling, but Kubayi leaves door open for new nuclear determination ahead of IRP update 

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Saturday that government would not appeal the April 26 ruling of the Western Cape High Court, which declared the processes hitherto used to procure new nuclear capacity to be unconstitutional and illegal, along with three nuclear-related... 

DoE won’t appeal nuclear ruling, but Kubayi leaves door open for new nuclear determination ahead of IRP update
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Brown defends shock Molefe reinstatement, as Koko takes leave amid forensic probe 

By: Terence Creamer     12th May 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has defended her decision to accept the Eskom board’s much-criticised recommendation that Brian Molefe be reinstated as CEO and see out his five-year contract to 2020 on the basis that it offered “better value” than the alternative of paying him a... 

Brown defends shock Molefe reinstatement, as Koko takes leave amid forensic probe
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Molefe goes back to Eskom as CEO

By: African News Agency      12th May 2017 It was widely reported on Friday morning that Eskom’s former chief executive, Brian Molefe, would return as head of the state-owned utility on Monday. The news was confirmed by Eskom spokesman Khulani Qoma in a radio interview: “Definitely‚ he is coming back on Monday.” 

Molefe goes back to Eskom as CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Brian Molefe

Atomic agency looks to increase assistance to nuclear hopefuls

     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Russian State-owned atomic corporation Rosatom have reached an agreement that is aimed at strengthening IAEA assistance to member States that are considering introducing or expanding nuclear power programmes. Under... 

Atomic agency looks to increase assistance to nuclear hopefuls
Photo by Duane Daws
NUCLEAR AMBITIONS Ghana may soon erect a nuclear power station, making it the second African country to do so

Cement and concrete affected by faltering construction industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th May 2017 The construction industry in South Africa – which is tied directly to the state of cement and concrete – is stuttering, but there is scope to improve, says chemicals solutions provider Chryso Southern Africa (Chryso) CEO Norman Seymore. It has been widely reported that the construction industry... 

Cement and concrete affected by faltering construction industry
Photo by Bloomberg
NOTHING CONCRETE A lack of major infrastructure projects in South Africa is negatively affecting the construction industry, thereby hindering the state of cement and concrete

Court ruling means new approach needed for SA’s nuclear programme

By: Keith Campbell     12th May 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) called for “caution and common sense” in the press release it issued on April 28 in response to the Western Cape High Court judgement on April 26, which set aside as unconstitutional and unlawful certain policy decisions and intergovernmental... 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 With innovations in the extraction and application of uranium constantly being made, the Uranium 2017 International Conference will provide a platform for the discussion of advances in the industry and a forum for generating new ideas. 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price
LOCATION IS KEY The Uranium 2017 International Conference will include a site visit to Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine – the longest running uranium mine in the world

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th May 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project run by North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Minister Senzeni Zokwana and NWU Faculty of Engineering Prof LJ Grobler survey the SUNfarming Food & Energy project

Huawei's SA OpenLab to focus on safe city, smart grid solutions

By: Schalk Burger     12th May 2017 Information and communication technology multinational Hauwei has launched an OpenLab in South Africa that will focus on safe city and smart grid technologies, says Huawei South Africa deputy CEO Alex Du. The research and development laboratory is one of seven Huawei OpenLabs that will be opened... 

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

By: Dylan Slater     12th May 2017 The expansive Pretoria campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is increasingly being taken off-grid with the roll-out of renewable-energy projects as part of its drive to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to the domestic energy industry.  

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy is the only provider of secure, reliable, clean and affordable baseload power that, from a total lifecycle cost perspective, offers one of the most affordable electricity sources, states the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa). Niasa supply chain development... 

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power
Photo by Duane Daws
PELINDABA Some South African companies have already achieved local nuclear regulatory standards and requirements and have been implementing them on the Koeberg and Pelindaba's Research Reactor with success

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Implementing a nuclear build programme in South Africa would be extremely difficult because of the associated expenses as well as the controversy surrounding nuclear power, says financial services company Thomson Reuters. “Globally, government decisions regarding nuclear programmes are delayed... 

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial
ROBERT FISH The costs associated with constructing the necessary infrastructure added to the costs of importing most of the nuclear technology, fuel and materials, will incur large amounts of debt

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The recent nuclear ruling, which set aside the Ministerial determinations designed to facilitate the procurement of nuclear power stations, may also carry risks for the legality of the various independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, which are proceeding on the basis of... 

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes

South African solar firm in 50 MW India win after intense online bidding 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 A South African solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer won the right this week to build a 50 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan, India, following an intensive competitive-bidding process. Phelan Energy Group (PEG), based in Cape Town, prevailed in an online reverse auction involving 14... 

South African solar firm in 50 MW India win after intense online bidding
PEG chairperson Paschal Phelan

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The electricity subcommittee of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will recommend that the Energy Regulator institute a formal investigation into a complaint that Eskom was flouting the conditions of its licence by refusing to conclude power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37... 

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence

Eskom board to report this week on probe into acting CEO 

By: African News Agency      11th May 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Wednesday said she was expecting the Eskom board to report back to her this week on a forensic investigation into the awarding of contracts worth around R1-billion to the stepdaughter of the utility’s acting chief executive Matshela Koko. “At the moment... 

Eskom gives Zimbabwe month-end deadline to pay up 

By: African News Agency      8th May 2017 Eskom said on Monday that it had given the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) until the end on this month to honour its increasing debt or it would be forced to cut electricity supply to that country. Zimbabwe owes the South African power utility R603-million, of which R119-million is... 

DA submits Paia application for Zuma energy adviser’s R149m Eskom contract 

By: African News Agency      8th May 2017 The Democratic Alliance is submitting an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) to gain access to tender documents which resulted in President Jacob Zuma’s energy adviser Silas Zimu receiving a R149-million contract from Eskom, the DA said on Sunday. The DA was... 

Eskom removes power line to protect endangered bird species 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom has removed a section of an overhead power line that posed a hazard to endangered species, the Grey Crowned Crane. This followed an assessment into an incident reported to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) by a landowner in which a Grey Crowned Crane collided... 

Too much money, not enough green projects in Africa

By: African News Agency      5th May 2017 There is more capital than there are ready renewable projects in Africa, according to the African Development Bank. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, Amadou Hott, African Development Bank’s vice-president, said the continent was the most impacted by climate change yet it... 

African Utility Week organisers clinch four awards

     5th May 2017 Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser Spintelligent, which owns and organises the African Utility Week, has won four major awards at the Respect, Opportunities, Achievement, Recognition (Roar) Organiser and Exhibitor Awards, which took place in Johannesburg on January 26. The... 

African Utility Week  organisers clinch  four awards
AWARD WINNING EVENT African Utility Week is the joint winner in the Best Trade Exhibition 6 001 m2 to 12 000 m2 category

Awards to recognise innovation and efficiency at utility event

     5th May 2017 The fourth edition of the yearly African Utility Week (AUW) Industry Awards will once again honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent during the AUW event, on May 17, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  

Awards to recognise  innovation and efficiency at utility event
RECOGNITION Being a finalist verifies excellence in the nominee’s business and proves leadership in either the energy or water industry

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