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Electricity News

Eskom says gets R15bn loan from lending consortium

By: Reuters     1st February 2019 South Africa's struggling power firm Eskom has agreed a R15-billion loan facility with a consortium of local and international banks, it said on Friday, an important step as it tries to close a funding gap before the end of March. Eskom is vital to the health of Africa's most industrialised... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has offered a sobering update on the difficulties it is having at its Medupi and Kusile coal projects, which are not only years behind schedule and significantly over budget, but are now also beset with technical defects that are resulting in a serious... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance

Eskom revises tariff upwards as it unveils shock changes to Nersa submission  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 Embattled electricity utility Eskom has made shock adjustments to its revenue application currently before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), which, if approved, would translate into tariff increases that are even higher than the 15% a year hikes sought in its initial... 

Eskom revises tariff upwards as it unveils shock changes to Nersa submission
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

Exxaro upbeat about its coal operations 

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Empowered coal mining giant Exxaro Resources is confident about its prospects in the coal sector, despite tough conditions and rising cost pressures in South Africa. Exxaro executive head of coal Nombasa Tsengwa on Thursday said the company produced 47-million tons of coal and was geared to grow... 

Power-Gen Africa co-located with African Utility Week

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     1st February 2019 Following the acquisition of event organisers PennWell by event organisers Clarion Energy, this year, the Power-Gen Africa show will be colocated alongside African Utility Week (AUW), creating a truly scaled, end-to-end show encompassing the entire electricity and water value chain. The events... 

Power-Gen Africa  co-located with  African Utility Week
PROMINENT CONFERENCE Spintelligent hopes to build on African Utility Week’s position as the pre-eminent pan-African show of its type

Disruptive forces set to change power utility business models

1st February 2019 It appears that several disruptive forces are set to threaten the traditional power utility business model. Distributed power generation, technological advances and changing customer perspectives are among some of the major influencers responsible for this transformative change. This volatile... 

Disruptive forces set to change power utility  business models
Photo by Creamer Media
ENERGY FUTURE The theme of this year’s Africa Energy Indaba is Africa’s Energy Future

Biogas flowmeter introduced for variable compositions

1st February 2019 Industrial process instrumentation supplier Krohne announced the introduction of the new Optisonic 7300 Biogas ultrasonic flowmeter to the Southern African market in the last quarter of last year. The Optisonic 7300 Biogas is an ultrasonic flowmeter for low pressure biogas, landfill and sewage... 

Biogas flowmeter introduced for  variable compositions
GOING WITH THE FLOW The flowmeter is suited to biogas as well as landfill and sewage gas applications

Next generation of ‘smart lighting’ to be showcased at Taiwan expo

By: Simone Liedtke     1st February 2019 Energy efficiency is critical to sustaining smart cities, especially amid increasing urbanisation. Subsequently, the lighting industry’s focus seems to have shifted from replaceable lighting to special niche lighting, which includes aspects of smart lighting and the use of light-emitting diodes... 

Next generation of ‘smart lighting’ to be showcased at Taiwan expo
Photo by Simone Liedtke
ON DISPLAY Industrial lighting company ShinyU Lighting Company puts its products on show

Eskom laments poor quality of coal  

By: Kim Cloete     31st January 2019 Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer has called on coal mining companies to "play ball" and improve the quality of the coal they supply to the utility. He has also outlined the massive challenges facing the utility and said Eskom was holding out for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to... 

Eskom laments poor quality of coal

Mashaba to meet business over proposed Eskom tariff hike, Numsa to picket 

By: African News Agency      31st January 2019 Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said he was meeting the business community on Thursday to discuss the likely impact of a proposed 15 percent annual tariff increase by State power utility Eskom over the next three years. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said it would... 

Mashaba to meet business over proposed Eskom tariff hike, Numsa to picket
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba

How South Africa could fix distressed Eskom

By: Bloomberg     31st January 2019 South Africa’s government will announce within a month how it plans to fix Eskom Holdings, the embattled state utility that supplies more than 90% of the nation’s power. There are no easy remedies. The company is R419-billion in debt, is losing money hand over fist, has way more staff than it... 

Minerals Council's Langenhoven warns of tipping point for mining if electricity tariffs increase by 15% a year  

By: Nadine James     30th January 2019 State-owned utility Eskom’s proposed tariff increases would cost some 150 000 direct mining jobs, all but eliminate the gold sector and, as a consequence, reduce Eskom’s mining client base by around 36%, thereby exacerbating the utility’s “death spiral”, Minerals Council South Africa chief... 

Minerals Council's Langenhoven warns of tipping point for mining if electricity tariffs increase by 15% a year
Minerals Council South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven discusses the impact of Eskom’s proposed tariff increases on South Africa's mining sector. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer.

Group Five says pursues counter claims in aborted Kpone power project

By: African News Agency      30th January 2019 Construction engineering company Group Five said on Wednesday its legal team was still pursuing its contractual rights and entitlements for payment, including the recovery of damages and other claims, against Cenpower Generation Company over what it called the unlawful termination of the Kpone... 

Kibo’s Benga DFS ahead of schedule; MED progresses with three flexible power plant projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th January 2019 Aim- and AltX-listed Kibo Energy announced on Wednesday that its 60%-owned subsidiary MAST Energy Developments (MED) has started negotiating joint development agreements (JDAs) for two flexible power plants. This should provide early revenue for Kibo, with the sites – 5 MW, 11 kVA and 20 MW, 33... 

Kibo’s Benga DFS ahead of schedule; MED progresses with three flexible power plant projects
Kibo Energy CEO Louis Coetzee

Opinion: Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?  

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     30th January 2019 That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is ‘too big to fail’. The real question is what form this restructuring should take. For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from... 

Opinion: Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Gordhan says Eskom restructuring decision imminent  

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that Eskom’s financial and operational problems were unlikely to be solved without structural changes being made at the State-owned electiricity utility. Speaking as part of a panel discussion at Business Unity South Africa’s inaugural... 

Gordhan says Eskom restructuring decision imminent
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Eskom's financial woes deepen as new plant repair bill mounts 

By: Bloomberg     29th January 2019 South African power utility Eskom is facing a mounting repair bill at two new coal-fired power stations that are still under construction, compounding its already dire financial situation. Fixing problems that have arisen during construction of the new plants will cost an estimated R2-billion,... 

Eskom's financial woes deepen as new plant repair bill mounts
The Kusile power station, in Mpumalanga.

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report   

By: Sane Dhlamini     28th January 2019 The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) launched the Foresight Africa report on Monday, in Johannesburg, highlighting the top priorities for the continent in 2019.  AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly... 

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report
AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly & ISS senior research consultant Liesl Louw-Vaudran on the Foresight Africa report (Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling)

Zambia's mining investment arm ups stake in Copperbelt Energy

By: Reuters     28th January 2019 Zambia's State mining investment arm is increasing its shareholding in Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) by 4%, its CEO said on Monday. "We are increasing the shareholding in CEC by 4%and are also looking to buy more shares," Pius Kasolo, CE of ZCCM-IH said during a media briefing. 

Wind farms improve on foundation mix design to reduce carbon footprint

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2019 The 140 MW Kangnas wind farm, in the Northern Cape, and the 110 MW Perdekraal East wind farm, in the Western Cape, have announced the completion of a 28-day strength test of their first foundations, with a significant improvement in the mix design and savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.... 

Numsa slams 'nefarious' plans to privatise Eskom, other SOEs

By: African News Agency      28th January 2019 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has accused the governing African National Congress of pursuing what it calls 'nefarious' plans to privatise power utility Eskom and other cash-strapped state owned enterprises. In a column published in a local newspaper on Sunday, Numsa... 

SolarAfrica, Inspired Evolution establishes fund for solar PV solutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2019 Solar financing specialist SolarAfrica, together with investment manager Inspired Evolution, have signed a R100-million equity investment facility that will contribute to a R500-million fund for financing solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions. The funding joint venture allows SolarAfrica to... 

SolarAfrica, Inspired Evolution establishes fund for solar PV solutions

Project helps industry achieve energy and cost savings

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2019 With steam accounting for about 30% of industrial plant energy consumption, the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa’s (NCPC-SA’s) Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project is assisting industry in assessing steam systems to achieve energy and cost savings. Steam is used widely across... 

Project helps industry achieve  energy and cost savings
Photo by Bloomberg
INSPECTION The IEE project calculates boiler plant and heat exchanger efficiencies, quantifies boiler and system losses, and establishes the cost of steam generation

Modules finalisation nearing completion

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec) has taken on the custodian role as the national renewable-energy-sector educator and hopes to have finalised all five occupational certificates of the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Qualification through its collaboration with Manufacturing,... 

Modules finalisation nearing  completion
HOME BASE Saretec is based at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology

Steam Generation in talks to expand on boiler distribution

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2019 Heat and energy generation equipment provider Steam Generation Africa says it is in talks with a small- to mid-range biomass boiler manufacturer to distribute into the South African and African markets this year. Owing to biomass being readily available and the possibility to produce it as a... 

Steam Generation in talks to expand on boiler distribution
STEAM GENERATOR Each Cochran boiler features a robust design and construction, ensuring a long operational life and maximum efficiency

Solar streetlights installed at mine

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Lighting manufacturer BEKA Schréder’s LEDlume-midi 36/55W luminaire, used in solar lighting solutions has been used at four intersections leading to iron-ore and manganese mine Assmang’s Black Rock mine, in the Northern Cape. “The intersections leading to the different sections of the mine have... 

Solar streetlights installed at mine
ILLUMINATING The solar installation at the Black Rock mine has made the intersections leading to the mine more visible and safer

Improved film helps extend solar panel lifetime

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 With a focus on continuous innovation, science multinational DuPont is developing a new and improved clear Tedlar film to increase efficiency and the life of a solar panel well beyond the industry standard of 30 years. The Tedlar film is made of polyvinyl fluoride polymer – which is a more... 

Improved film helps  extend solar panel lifetime
CRACKING UNDER PRESSURE Solar panels are showing signs of deterioration sooner than anticipated owing to harsher environments

Boiler relocation project near completion

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2019 Boiler maintenance and installations provider Boiler and Industrial Plant hopes to complete the boiler relocation project it has been working on for manufacturer United National Breweries (UNB), commonly known as Ijuba breweries, by the end of this month. The project, valued at R2-million,... 

Boiler relocation project near completion
MAINTENANCE The installation of a pumped condensate system and a refurbished pressure control system at the Majola Tea project were completed

Collaboration key to protect critical infrastructure from cyberthreats

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2019 Electrical engineers and those involved in the power generation sector play a critical role in hardening power operations against intruders. However, the collaboration and support of corporate management and information technology (IT) departments are essential to mitigate cyberthreats, says... 

Investors will continue to invest in solar

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Specialist banking company Investec Bank will continue to offer funding to viable projects in the renewables sector as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology becomes more cost effective. Southern Africa – more notably the Northern Cape province, in South Africa, and Namibia – is considered as one of... 

Investors will continue to invest in solar
ANDRE WEPENER Asserts that South Africa’s recent reinvestment of power-generation projects are capital intensive

Acquisition of German company confirmed

25th January 2019 The acquisition of Germany-based planetary drives producer O&K Antriebstechnik GmbH by Italian gear motors, drive systems and planetary gearboxes producer Bonfiglioli and Italian transmission systems producer Carraro has made Bonfiglioli the sole owner of O&K Antriebstechnik GmbH. The process,... 

Acquisition of German company confirmed
BONFIGLIOLI AS GLOBAL LEADER The company's goal is to continue expanding into heavy construction, mining machinery, marine, port and airport equipment markets

Company focused on agriculture

By: Cameron Mackay     25th January 2019 The agricultural sector is set to become a significant focal point for leading bearings and power transmission product distributor Bearings International (BI) in 2019, as it expands its portfolio of agricultural application products in the first quarter of this year. “There are a few product... 

Company focused on agriculture
AGRI-SMART SOLUTION The joint venture will bring the most essential spare products closer to farmers, in order to satisfy their maintenance needs for bearings and agricultural products

Expanded products portfolio leads to new opportunities

By: Cameron Mackay     25th January 2019 New markets and opportunities have arisen after technical solutions provider BMG expanded its products portfolio with the addition of Fenner conveyor belting products last year. “BMG decided to sign a long-term agreement in 2018 with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) solid woven conveyor belting products... 

Expanded products portfolio leads to  new opportunities
FENNER PRODUCT GROUP 2018 The extended scope has put BMG in a position to deal with conveyors clients

Solar inverter available for water pumps

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Obtaining water in rural and domestic environments from boreholes, ponds and dams is now easier, with technical solutions provider BMG’s Motoline P19000-S series of solar inverters for photovoltaic (PV) water pumps.   The solar inverters are used to power pumps for agricultural irrigation and... 

Solar inverter available for water pumps
EASY PEASY Solar inverters make rural irrigation systems easier to power

Major upgrades to start at six airports

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     25th January 2019 South African airport management company Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) announced that upgrades and improvements over the next three to eight years at six of the country’s airports will cost about R26-billion. The upgrades and improvements are primarily to improve passenger facilities... 

Major upgrades to  start at six airports
UPGRADES AND IMPROVEMENTS Realignment of the runway at Cape Town International Airport is expected to start this year

Eskom should be split, experts to tell president – sources 

By: Reuters     24th January 2019 South Africa's Eskom could be split into three separate firms under proposals from experts President Cyril Ramaphosa has hired to help revive the ailing state power company, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Reforming Eskom is vital to get Africa's most industrialised economy... 

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester  

24th January 2019 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology amid climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution launched in November its first institutional anaerobic digester. Simone Liedtke reports. 

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester
Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester

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