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Antofagasta swaps 40% Alto Maipo stake for cheaper electricity

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 London-based Antofagasta announced Friday that its subsidiary Minera Los Pelambres has agreed to transfer its 40% stake in the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project to controlling shareholder Gener in return for cheaper electricity. Los Pelambres has been in partnership with Gener in the Alto Maipo... 

EU grants Zambia $69m for energy projects

By: Reuters     20th January 2017 The European Union (EU) has given Zambia about $69-million to expand electricity supply in the continent's second biggest copper producer, which faces a power deficit that has hit mining and agriculture. In a statement, the EU said the grant would fund projects to provide access to reliable and... 

Portland smelter rescued as Alcoa strikes deal with AGL, govt

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 Aluminium major Alcoa will restart full operations at its Portland smelter, in Victoria, after striking a deal with state and federal governments, and finalising a new four-year power supply agreement with ASX-listed AGL Energy. It is understood that the Victorian government will invest some... 

South Africa’s mining sector at a crossroads, collaborative effort required

By: Ilan Solomons     20th January 2017 The global mining industry has been struggling since the 2008 international financial crisis set off a chain of events resulting in contracted growth in important markets, such as China, and recession in others, such as Europe, leading to severe declines in commodity prices. In South Africa, the... 

Dutch Windwheel project, the Netherlands

By: Sheila Barradas     20th January 2017 The Dutch Windwheel will be a 174 m iconic building and will comprise two three-dimensional rings, with a light and open steel and glass construction. 

Peat-to-power project, Rwanda

By: Sheila Barradas     20th January 2017 The project aims to increase access to electricity for the three-quarters of the Rwanda’s population currently off the grid. 

Power battle lines

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2017 The delicate balancing of the factional interests within the African National Congress (ANC) was a significant feature of the National Executive Committee’s 105th anniversary statement. It was even apparent in this seemingly bland section dedicated to electricity, which reads as follows: “South... 

Tesla expects SA offering to become increasingly attractive as tariffs rise

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 Tesla has finally arrived in South Africa, even if in a somewhat unexpected guise. With the availability of the US company’s electric cars apparently still some way off, South Africans do, however, now have access to its energy storage solutions. The stationary, rechargeable lithium-ion battery... 

Construction under way at 7.5 MW Burundi solar park

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Solar and social development enterprise Gigawatt Global on Wednesday broke ground on a 7.5 MW solar field that will boost Burundi’s electricity generation capacity. The $14-million project is being built in the Mubuga district, in one of the world's least-developed nations and is expected to be... 

Indian provinces demand hike in coal royalty rates ahead of national Budget

By: Ajoy K Das     19th January 2017 Indian provinces are stepping up pressure on the federal government to increase the royalty rates on the coal mined within their respective territories. Most of the coal-bearing provinces are demanding that the Indian government announce revised royalty rates when the national Budget is presented... 

Boyne blames ‘uncompetitive’ power prices for production curtailment

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th January 2017 Gladstone’s Boyne smelters, which are 59% held by mining major Rio Tinto, have announced production cuts and redundancies, blaming “unsustainably” high power prices. Boyne is currently Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, producing 570 000 t/y. 

Committee calls for permanent solution to municipal electricity debt problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2017 The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Wednesday said it was concerned about Eskom’s plans to cut electricity to certain municipalities that were defaulting on payments and that it would hold a meeting with all the affected parties to find a lasting solution to... 

Davos boosts platinum fuel cell outlook with hydrogen council launch

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2017 Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) offer the most natural solution for emission-free vehicles, discharging only water and requiring negligible change to current driving and refuelling habits, which is why 13 leading energy, transport and industry companies this week chose Davos... 

IPPs ‘entitled’ to approach courts to force Eskom to sign PPAs 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2017 A legal opinion secured by the South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) relating to the refusal by Eskom to conclude contracts with 37 independent power producers (IPPs) selected as preferred bidders by the Department of Energy (DoE) more than a year ago states that the IPPs “would be... 

Bridgestone counting the cost of production shutdown at its Brits factory

By: Anine Kilian     18th January 2017 Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone may consider possible further legal action against the Madibeng municipality, in North West, after the municipality last week cut power supply to various factories, despite a court order preventing it from doing so. The tyre production facility, which employs more... 

KPMG to lead the energy conversation at the 2017 African Utility Week

     18th January 2017 KPMG’s commitment to create agile utilities in the energy sector across Sub-Saharan Africa, has motivated the Firm to take up a diamond sponsorship opportunity at the 2017 African Utility Week. The 17th annual African Utility Week is the only global meeting place, conference and trade exhibition... 

Closing Africa’s energy gap key to sustained economic growth

By: African News Agency      18th January 2017 A lack of access to electricity precluded Africa from fully participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and private sector investment in power generation was key to spurring Africa’s growth. Speaking during a session called “Powering Africa”, at the forty-seventh Annual Meeting of the... 

Ontario’s costly coal phase-out had little effect on reducing air pollution – Fraser Institute

By: Henry Lazenby     18th January 2017 Ontario’s misadventures in energy policy formulation hold a critical cautionary tale for the federal government’s plans to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030. Closing Ontario's coal-fired power plants had a negligible effect on reducing air pollution, helped fuel skyrocketing energy... 

Investment key to raising South Africa’s lagging growth potential – World Bank 

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2017 The World Bank says raising private investment in South Africa will be critical to increasing the country’s growth potential above its current estimate of only 1.3%, which is well below the National Development Plan’s (NDP’s) aspiration of 5.4% a year. In its ninth South Africa Economic Update,... 

Tanzania seeks $200m World Bank loan to clear arrears of State utility

By: Reuters     16th January 2017 Tanzania is seeking a loan of $200-million from the World Bank for debt-ridden state power supplier Tanesco, the country's energy ministry said on Monday, two weeks after the president refused to allow the utility to hike prices to cover costs. President John Magufuli wants cheap electricity to... 

Lower costs, higher grades are key for U3O8 to attract attention in difficult market 

By: Henry Lazenby     14th January 2017 Uranium-focused resource companies paid attention to the changing uranium landscape this week after major producer Kazakhstan said it would curtail output by 10%, pushing spot prices higher. One of them was project developer U3O8 Corp, which is focused on uranium and by-product commodities at its... 

F4SD wants municipal officials fired for not paying Eskom 

By: African News Agency      13th January 2017 Municipalities must fire officials responsible for failing to honour arrangements to pay their debts to Eskom, the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) said on Friday. “We are concerned that all residents,including those who pay for their electricity will be affected when Eskom starts to cut... 

Astral says Eskom cutting municipal electricity supply would be ‘catastrophic’ for Standerton operations 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th January 2017 Eskom’s plan to cut power to the Lekwa local municipality, in Mpumalanga, will interrupt poultry producer Astral’s feed and poultry operations in Standerton with “catastrophic” results, the company has warned. Astral has received notification that Eskom plans to start interruptions of its bulk... 

Medupi power station project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     13th January 2017 The second unit of Eskom's Medupi coal-fired power station was loaded to full capacity in December 2016. 

Gordhan to act against municipalities which owe Eskom money 

By: News24Wire      12th January 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said National Treasury will act against municipalities which have failed to settle their debt to Eskom, Fin24’s sister publication Netwerk24 reported. In a letter to Democratic Alliance MP for the Free State David Ross, Gordhan raised his concern over Eskom’s... 

Obama plan to shake up coal leases could restrict Trump

By: Bloomberg     12th January 2017 The outgoing Obama administration issued a blueprint for overhauling the way coal on federal land is sold, making it tougher for President-elect Donald Trump to resume sales under decades-old procedures. The report released Wednesday lays out a menu of potential options for policy makers to... 

An Efficient Approach to Obtain an MID Approval for Measuring Instruments

     11th January 2017 For manufacturers, the time to market for their measuring instruments can be crucial, particularly during massive and time-limited roll-out programs, as are currently taking place for smart meters in several European countries. Typically, a considerable fraction of the time to market for... 

Eskom expects net economic loss to South Africa from renewables for next five years 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th January 2017 Amid growing frustration around the pending amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan and the impact this will have on future renewable-energy projects in South Africa, State-owned power provider Eskom on Wednesday revealed that the economy has suffered a R9-billion net loss for 2016, owing to a... 

Nersa gets new boss

By: News24Wire      11th January 2017 Christopher Forlee will take over the helm as chief executive officer of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). Nersa announced on Monday that Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson made the appointment for a period of five years, effective from 1 January 2017. He will also be... 

Cutting power to municipalities will impoverish rural towns – AfriForum

By: Anine Kilian     10th January 2017 Civil rights organisation AfriForum has warned of the repercussions of the North Gauteng High Court’s ruling, last week, that certain defaulting municipalities’ electricity supply may be cut by power utility Eskom, saying this will impoverish these rural towns. The North Gauteng High Court last... 

First Mining unveils maiden resource for Goldlund project, Ontario

By: Henry Lazenby     10th January 2017 Project consolidator First Mining Finance has reported a maiden resource for its Goldlund project, in Ontario, outlining 1.75-million compliant ounces in the inferred mineral category. First Mining said Monday that at a 0.4 g/t gold cut-off grade, the Goldlund deposit contained pit-constrained... 

India persists with setting higher coal production targets despite offtake slowdown

By: Ajoy K Das     9th January 2017 Despite falling offtake and missed targets, India’s Coal Ministry is likely to persist with setting higher production targets for Coal India Limited (CIL) for 2017/18. Indications from key Ministry officials point towards a production target of 660-million tons a year during the next financial... 

Consumers to feel impact of Victoria brown coal royalty rate hike – MCA

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th January 2017 The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has slammed plans by the Victorian government to raise the royalty rate for brown coal extracted in the state. Treasurer Tim Pallas in April 2016 announced the royalty rate increase, which came into effect on January 1 this year. The brown coal industry... 

Ozone Deodorises Hotel Rooms Without A Trace

     9th January 2017 Killing without a trace in hotel rooms sounds like something out of a horror movie. However, when it comes to murdering unpleasant odours, that's exactly what hospitality industry housekeepers workers want. High-traffic hotel rooms have a much greater potential than other shared spaces to... 

Africa is poised for sustainable growth and development. But there are risks

     9th January 2017 As we know, growth accelerations are pretty commonplace among developing countries. Economist Ricardo Haussman and his colleagues identified 83 growth accelerations of eight consecutive years at 2% higher than the five-yearly average between the mid-1950s and early 2000s. But most growth... 

Court dismisses Afriforum’s interdict, Eskom to cut off defaulting municipalities

By: African News Agency      5th January 2017 The North Gauteng High Court on Thursday dismissed with costs AfriForum’s application to prevent Eskom from cutting off power of more than seven municipalities who are billions of rand in arrears. This comes after AfriForum and AfriBusiness sought to interdict Eskom’s planned reduction of the... 

AfriForum to challenge Eskom's right to cut power to municipalities

By: News24Wire      3rd January 2017 AfriForum and its commercial interest group AfriBusiness will apply for an urgent interdict in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to prevent Eskom from cutting electricity to five municipalities that have not paid their bills. In a statement, the lobby group said it was not fair to cut power... 

Economic growth and jobs priority for 2017, says Zuma in New Year’s message

By: African News Agency      30th December 2016 Igniting economic growth to create more jobs would be top of government’s agenda for 2017, President Jacob Zuma said in his New Year’s message to South Africans. Zuma described 2016 as a fruitful year in which government worked hard to fight poverty, inequality, unemployment, and reversing “the... 

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