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No conclusive data on feasibility of nuclear, National Treasury says

By: African News Agency      2nd December 2016 National Treasury has said there are no conclusive figures to date on the financial affordability and social impact on procuring new nuclear plants for South Africa. In a response to a parliamentary question released on Friday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said studies released by the... 

86 MW Northern Cape solar photovoltaic plant connected to national grid

By: Dylan Slater     2nd December 2016 Developed on a remote site 50 km south-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape, the 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska photovoltaic (PV) project was connected to the national grid in October, thereby finalising the project on schedule, on budget and reaching full grid code compliance in good time for... 

Musk and Gates geniuses? I think not

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     2nd December 2016 The other day JP and I were chewing the fat. I mentioned to JP that Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket had gone up on the launch pad with a fearful scene of destruction. I also said that Musk was saying that it was not an explosion as much as it was a “fast fire”. I said I was not too sure about this; I... 

Parallel generator plants a cost effective solution

By: Robyn Wilkinson     2nd December 2016 The parallel synchronisation of smaller generators to achieve the same power outputs as a single large generator offers significant cost-saving benefits to South African businesses that must manage continued grid power supply uncertainties, says generator manufacturer Maverick Generators MD... 

Plans in place to stimulate industries for further economic growth

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2016 Being the second largest regional economy after Gauteng, the Western Cape is set on creating new industries as well as stimulating labour-intensive industries such as agroprocessing, marine culture, the green economy, tourism, and oil and gas to further grow the economy. 

Proposed standards for vegetable oil for use in transformers problematic – engineer

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2016 The standards proposed for the production of vegetable oils to use as electricity transformer oil are unnecessary, and prevent the inclusion of smaller producers who stand to benefit most and provide the greatest number of new employment opportunities, says retired chemical engineer John... 

Scenario sampling

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2016 First the good news. The Department of Energy (DoE) has, finally, released the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) base case for public comment and consultation. Despite what has been an unacceptable delay in updating a plan that is six years out of date, at least South Africans have something... 

Awareness low of South Africa’s ‘astounding’ renewables success, US survey finds

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2016 Amid domestic uncertainty about the future of South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme, a US State Department official has described the initiative as “astoundingly successful” and reports that several countries are currently seeking to draw lessons from the country’s reverse-auction... 

Eskom commissions 765 kV transmission line in Western Cape

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st December 2016 State-owned Eskom earlier this week commissioned its 765 kV Kappa–Sterrekus transmission line, connecting the Western Cape to the network over and above the 400 kV network. The 765 kV is one of the highest voltages used for electricity transfer in the world. This line connects Sterrekus’s 765 kV... 

Guptas, Eskom still not budging on R2bn coal fine payment 

By: News24Wire      1st December 2016 The Guptas, who part-own Optimum Coal Mine through Tegeta Resources and Energy with President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma, have yet to pay the R2.176-billion fine imposed on it by Eskom. That is according to a written Parliamentary response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Wednesday. 

Brown says current power build ‘trajectory’ may be detrimental to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2016 Public Enterprises Lynne Brown says that South Africa is currently adding electricity capacity to the grid at rate higher than what is required and argues that the “current trajectory” could be detrimental to consumers. She asserts, therefore, that it is “critical that the Integrated Resource... 

Russian nuclear company looks forward to result of nuclear debate in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     29th November 2016 Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has reaffirmed its respect for South Africa’s domestic policy debates and decisions. “We respect South African government processes and decisions,” Rosatom International regional VP: sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov told Engineering News Online on... 

Energy department reluctantly gives insight into nuclear studies 

By: African News Agency      29th November 2016 A study by the department of energy and National Treasury on a funding model for the planned nuclear expansion programme handed to Cabinet in 2015 advised that the best way to test cost analysis was to go to the market for tenders, the department told MPs on Wednesday. Deputy director general:... 

Outa calls for forensic audit of Eskom 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th November 2016 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Monday called on the public to “rally” for a full forensic audit of State-owned electricity generator Eskom, following “yet another vote of no-confidence on Eskom’s financials and governance manifesting in a Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) downgrade”. S&P’s... 

Keaton hopeful of anthracite exit in next few months

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th November 2016 JSE-listed Keaton Energy is steadily making a “strong comeback” with its earnings for the first half of the 2017 financial year improving substantially after the idling of its lossmaking Vaalkrantz colliery, in KwaZulu-Natal, and the continued steady-state operations at its Vanggatfontein... 

South Africa's proposed nuclear power plant unsafe – study

By: Reuters     28th November 2016 South African power provider Eskom has proposed building a nuclear power station on a site that may be at risk of surge storms and tsunamis, a geological report suggests, but the state-owned utility disputes the findings. South Africa has the continent's only nuclear power station and plans to... 

S&P's downgrades Eskom further into junk territory

By: Reuters     25th November 2016 Standard & Poor's Global Ratings on Friday cut South African power utility Eskom's credit rating a further notch into subinvestment, raising concerns the country's sovereign rating would also be dragged into junk status. S&P's, which has South Africa's debt on the lowest investment level with a... 

Fitch holds SA's investment-grade rating, but cuts outlook to negative

By: Reuters     25th November 2016 Ratings agency Fitch affirmed South Africa's investment-grade credit rating at one notch above 'junk' on Friday but changed its outlook to negative from stable, warning that political risks could hurt growth. With the economy expected to grow by only half a percent this year, South Africa has... 

Exxaro confident Eskom contracts safe, despite BEE ownership decreasing to 30%

By: Ilan Solomons     25th November 2016 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources has assured investors that despite its black ownership falling below the 51% required by State-owned power utility Eskom for all its supply contracts, this will not affect its existing supply contracts with the utility. The company is set to introduce a new... 

CSIR investigates road applications for waste materials

By: Nadine James     25th November 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)  has been researching the use of alternative materials, including waste by-products, in road construction to reduce costs, enhance engineering properties and ensure the sustainability of the environment. CSIR Built Environment Transport... 

Eskom: What now?

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2016 The fast-moving nature of developments at Eskom following the November 2 release of Thuli Madonsela’s ‘State of Capture’ report, have left many of us expecting the unexpected. To steal a phrase from some post-Brexit and post-Trump commentators, it is as though “all the world’s black swans have... 

Fluid cleanliness monitor internationally well received

By: Robyn Wilkinson     25th November 2016 Industrial filtration solutions supplier Filtration Management Solutions (FMS) has had an overwhelmingly positive international response to the PCM500 fluid cleanliness monitor, which uses unique filter mesh technology, since its introduction last year. 

Esor profit up despite revenue drop

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th November 2016 Civils and construction company Esor on Thursday posted a 21.7% increase in profit for the six months ended September 30, up from R6.2-million in 2015, to R7.5-million this year. Basic earnings a share for the half-year grew 24.2% to 2.05c, while headline earnings a share increased by 6.8% to 2.15c. 

Busa concerned about Eskom, govt misalignment on nuclear component of IRP 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2016 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) expressed concern on Thursday about a seeming lack of alignment between government and Eskom on the nuclear component of the newly released draft base case of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In a statement welcoming the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s)... 

Draft IRP base case details role of nuclear, renewables in future energy mix 

     24th November 2016 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the release of the draft IRP base case and Eskom’s plans to proceed with the nuclear tender before the IRP is finalised. 

Exxaro forecasts higher coal sales, production by year-end

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd November 2016 South African coal producer Exxaro expects thermal coal production from its commercial mine to increase by 6% year-on-year in the second half of its financial year, owing to the inclusion of Exxaro Coal Central (ECC) before the 2016 financial year end. However, the JSE-listed miner noted that... 

Wind and solar PV bodies cautiously welcome draft IRP, CSP body to contest exclusion 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2016 The wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) industry bodies have responded positively to the allocations outlined in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) base case, while the concentrated solar power (CSP) body has expressed dismay at the technology’s exclusion. South African Wind Energy Association... 

“Public Participation Is Crucial To Progressing Sa’s Electricity Plan” - SAFCEI

     23rd November 2016 Yesterday, South Africans got their first glimpse at the Department of Energy’s (DoE) proposed electricity plans. The proposals suggested in the plan came as no surprise to the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI) and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA-JHB), who... 

Recent rainfall improves dam levels

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2016 As a result of increased rainfall in recent weeks, the total volume of water in storage across South Africa’s dams and water systems increased this week from 47.9% to 48.7%, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The department further confirmed that water released from the... 

Dismissive of 2037 nuclear timeline in IRP base case, Eskom to release RFP by year-end 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2016 State-owned power utility Eskom indicated on Tuesday that it planned to move ahead with a controversial request for proposals (RFP) for nuclear before the end of 2016, despite the base case in a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update indicating that the first reactor would only be required... 

Zimbabwe power utility expects loss to widen to $224m

By: Reuters     22nd November 2016 Zimbabwean national power company ZESA Holding's loss will widen to $224-million this year from $112-million in 2015 due to higher electricity imports and because it is selling power at below cost, the chief executive said on Monday. The southern African nation's economy is struggling from a... 

Futuregrowth lifts DBSA lending suspension

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2016 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has become the third public entity to confirm that Futuregrowth Asset Management has lifted a lending suspension imposed on it and five other State-owned companies (SoCs) earlier in the year. On August 31, Futuregrowth announced that, owing to... 

Investments required for positive growth

By: Simone Liedtke     18th November 2016 With the world markets still suffering the after-effects of maladministered and unsustainable macroeconomic policies, there is not much appetite for large capital projects in South Africa. But economic growth will start only once people are investing, which does not happen without a positive... 

Medupi power station project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     18th November 2016 SNC-Lavalin has been awarded the inspections work of Unit 6 at the Medupi power station. 

Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar photovoltaic project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     18th November 2016 The project has been inaugurated. 

Necsa responsible for new research reactor and fuel cycle

By: Keith Campbell     18th November 2016 The South African government has decided that the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) will be the owner/operator of the planned new Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) and the proposed future nuclear fuel cycle. National electricity utility Eskom will be the owner/operator of the planned... 

Some lessons as Molefe goes

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2016 Much has been written about the initial response of the Eskom board, its chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane, and its CEO, Brian Molefe, to the contents of the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report. All the respondents, including the chairperson of the board subcommittee on social ethics and... 

Survival of steel construction industry top priority

By: Simone Liedtke     18th November 2016 This year, the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction’s (Saisc’s) focus has been on ensuring that steelwork is sourced locally to save the local steel industry. 

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