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Renewable Energy Holdings signs private power supply contract

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th May 2017 Bethlehem Hydro, an independent power producer (IPP) and subsidiary of Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), has entered into a contract under which the full output from its 4 MW Merino hydropower plant, near Clarens, in the Free State, will be sold to electricity trader PowerX. REH and Bethlehem... 

Column: Koeberg aims to ease Cape Town's water woes through desalination

     29th May 2017 In this article, Koeberg power station manager Velaphi Ntuli outlines initiatives under way at the nuclear power station to reduce water consumption and desalinate groundwater. Cape Town is in a drought crisis, and it is predicted that this will certainly not be the city’s last water crisis. Dam... 

PE composites cluster investigates basalt, kenaf potential 

By: Irma Venter     26th May 2017 Nelson Mandela Bay Composites Cluster MD Andy Radford says the cluster has mapped the value chain for the production and application of basalt in composites. He says the cluster is at an advanced stage of securing local and global beneficiators and buyers for the mineral for use in composite... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim

By: Dylan Slater     26th May 2017 The 2017 Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was recently presented by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to local greenfield independent power plants developer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) for its contribution to the hydropower sector during the World Hydropower Congress,... 

Life imitating art at power utility Eskom

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     26th May 2017 There is a most wonderful musical, A Little Night Music, which is based on a film by Ingmar Bergen, Smiles of a Summer Night. Probably the very best known song from A Little Night Music is Send in the Clowns. The last lines of the song are: "And where are the clowns? / Quick, send in the clowns /... 

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... 

Coal India wins tax-cut boost as environmentalists fret

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 State-run Coal India Ltd , saddled with millions of tonnes of unsold coal, is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of a controversial government decision to more than halve the sales tax on the fuel after a jump in local supplies. The world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitting country said... 

Côte d'Ivoire to build 25 MW solar power station

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Côte d'Ivoire plans to build a 25 MW solar power plant in the north of the country as it seeks to bolster a strained power grid with renewables, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The 23.6-billion CFA franc ($40-million) plant will be built by Korhogo Solaire, a subsidiary of Morocco's... 

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... 

Entrepreneurs key to unlocking continent’s economy – AfDB report

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd May 2017 With the continent continuing to face sluggish growth, African governments need to integrate entrepreneurship more fully into their industrialisation strategies, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) ‘African Economic Outlook 2017’ suggests. Last year, Africa’s economic growth slowed to 2.2%... 

Move over Tesla, Europe's building its own battery gigafactories

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2017 Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a €500 million... 

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. 

Pallinghurst share price leaps on value unlock outline

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2017 The share price of mining investment fund Pallinghurst leapt in Johannesburg after the company outlined its plans to swop its investment fund shawl for a diversified miner’s mantle, unlock value through full absorption of its coloured gemstone associate and target a possible listing of the... 

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... 

Northam Platinum hunting for quality South African mines to buy

By: Reuters     19th May 2017 South African miner Northam Platinum is searching for mines to buy but is struggling to find high-quality, mechanised operations for sale in South Africa, its chief executive said. The midtier producer, which has been bolstered by a strong balance sheet that is rare in the embattled industry, is... 

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... 

Guangdong Huadian Panyu Wanbo CBD Distributed Energy Project power plant project, China

By: Sheila Barradas     19th May 2017 The project entails the construction of a 30 MW combined heat and power plant. 

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... 

Sanral investigating road funding models other than e-tolling

By: Irma Venter     19th May 2017 The compliance rate on Gauteng’s urban toll network is between 30% and 40%, says South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) northern region toll and traffic manager Alex van Niekerk. E-toll collection on Gauteng’s freeways has been problematic since the implementation of tolling in 2013. 

Solikamsk thermal power station modernisation project, Russia

By: Sheila Barradas     19th May 2017 The project entails the delivery of a combined heat and power plant to the Solikamsk thermal power station. 

Tidal stream power generation project, Indonesia

By: Sheila Barradas     19th May 2017 The project entails the stated development of a tidal stream array. 

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... 

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... 

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 The new cost-slashing, time-saving, capital-unlocking, mine-broadening and cobalt-saving platinum technology, driven by diversified mining company Pallinghurst and South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is gaining impressive international momentum as an initiative... 

Zambian government says close to agreement with mines on electricity price rises

By: Reuters     18th May 2017 Zambia is close to reaching an agreement with mining companies over its plans to increase electricity prices, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said on Wednesday. The government last month proposed introducing a flat tariff of $0.093/kWh backdated to January for mining companies, instead of... 

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. 

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... 

Miners increase green energy use to power their pits

By: Reuters     16th May 2017 Major mining companies, including some of the world's biggest suppliers of fossil fuel, are seeking to use more renewable energy themselves as they strive to drive down costs and curb emissions. Glencore, the world's biggest shipper of seaborne coal, said in Tuesday's 2017 sustainability report... 

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... 

Why the future of Africa’s water and oil sectors is a key focus of INDUTEC 2017

     15th May 2017 From pumping systems designed in a 3D virtual world to the world’s biggest pipe producer – for three days this week Johannesburg is home to cutting edge innovation. Africa’s leading industrial technology and supply expo INDUTEC 2017 opens its doors at 10am on Wednesday (May 17). INDUTEC is also... 

Teck sells two-thirds interest in Waneta dam, related hydro transmission assets

By: Henry Lazenby     13th May 2017 International diversified electric utility holding company Fortis has agreed to buy Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources' two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets in British Columbia for $1.2-billion in cash, the companies announced Friday. The public companies... 

Guinea town's unrest a cautionary tale for African mining

By: Reuters     12th May 2017 When the frustration of youths in this Guinean mining town finally erupted, they looted shops, pillaged government buildings and smashed up dozens of vehicles, dispersing only when police opened fire. "It was an immense crowd," said Lieutenant Souare Abdoul, a fireman who had to shelter in a... 

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 (CSIR) is increasingly being taken off the 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. To drive... 

Ethiopia says it will continue to support cement investments

By: John Muchira     12th May 2017 Ethiopia will continue to offer investors in the cement industry attractive incentives as it seeks to dominate the cement trade in the wider East Africa region. Cement production in the Horn of Africa nation has increased tenfold during the past decade, owing to the entry of new investors... 

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... 

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.  

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