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Robben Island inaugurates R25m microgrid

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Bicacon considers manufacturing acquisition opportunities

By: Schalk Burger     20th October 2017 Construction and engineering services group Bicacon is investigating the viability of establishing a manufacturing division within the group to produce products for use by its maintenance division, says Bicacon Group strategy and planning head Bornapart Sibanda. The group continues to look for... 

Teleeye SA Collaborates With Flir Systems On Critical Temperature Monitoring

     19th October 2017 Local remote alarm and video verification specialist, TeleEye SA, has collaborated with the world leader in thermal imaging, FLIR Systems, to develop a critical thermal temperature notification and monitoring solution.   Remotely monitoring equipment and facilities with thermal cameras can detect... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

America's miners are digging for hotter coals as old plants shut

By: Bloomberg     18th October 2017 Early next year, three massive coal-fired power plants in Texas will close for good. And their absence will be felt 1,000 miles away in the coal pits of Wyoming and Montana. There, in the energy-rich Powder River Basin, miners have for decades carved out coal that’s cheap but packs less heat than... 

Renewed focus for construction equipment supplier

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Welding and construction equipment-related supplier Renttech South Africa (SA) aims to provide an “unmatched” range of construction equipment for sale or to rent for the construction industry as part of its goal to grow consistently and sustainably. 

China gobbles Amazon rainforest ore to clean polluted skies

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2017 A bid by China to clean up pollution in its biggest cities and industrial towns is fueling a push to mine resource riches on the other side of the globe in the Amazon rainforest -- one of the most environmentally sensitive areas on Earth. Smog-laden skies across the world’s most-populated country... 

Alphamin's Bisie mine on track for 2019 production

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th October 2017 Despite facing significant social, political and geographical challenges, emerging miner Alphamin Resources is on track to deliver on the first large commercial tin mine in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Against a backdrop of historical political upheaval, rent-seeking, an... 

Kariba South Extension Project reaches 85% completion milestone

     9th October 2017 The Kariba South Extension Project on the Zambezi River is 85% complete, and is on track for completion in March 2018, reports Hatch, the Owner’s Engineer on the massive project. This flagship infrastructure project was initiated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) due to an acute power shortfall... 

Eqstra unveils cold trailer powered by truck engine

By: Irma Venter     9th October 2017 Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, has partnered with New Way, Ice Cold Bodies, and Javgro Transport Refrigeration Solutions to design a cold trailer that will run “80% to 90% of the time” using power from the truck engine, says Javgro MD Kenan Gröss. In... 

Private coal operator Armstrong notifies 110 workers of possibly layoffs

By: Henry Lazenby     7th October 2017 The US steam-making thermal coal market is on a downward trajectory from which it will likely not recover, as cheaper natural gas prices prompt power generators to shutter coal fired capacity. This is evidenced in privately held Armstrong Energy announcing on Thursday that its affiliate has... 

The ins and outs of the new GHG emissions regulations

     6th October 2017 By Peggy Schoeman The national greenhouse-gas emission reporting regulations came into effect on April 3 under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004. The regulations provide for a data collection mechanism in terms of which certain companies and organisations are, as... 

Routine mechanical maintenance emphasised as preventive measure

     6th October 2017 UK-based pump supplier SPP Pumps has emphasised the importance of routine mechanical maintenance, among other preventive measures, to improve pump reliability. SPP Pumps’ products comply with mandatory UK and European regulations and approvals, which guarantee extensive testing of all pumps. 

Rand-air introduces the efficient pts 800 to their fleet

     5th October 2017 Recent research reports suggest that the market for oil-free compressors will increase by leaps and bounds in the next five years. With safety and convenience being a concern for most companies, especially those in the food industries, the new pts 800 is a welcomed addition to the oil-free... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2017 Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power is warning that the current structure of South Africa’s electricity sector is unsustainable and that, in the absence of a coherent national policy, the sector is approaching “breaking point”. Demand- and supply-side manager Paul Vermeulen says that... 

No early ‘re-tyre-ment’: NitraLife’s nitrogen tyre inflation - extending tyre life and improving cost-savings in the commercial transport sector since 1996

     29th September 2017 Nitrogen tyre inflation has over the years become well-known, and is no longer the sole preserve of specialist tyre users such as the international motorsport or commercial aviation sectors. In fact, it is even conveniently available today on the forecourts of many petrol stations in South... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Stay woke

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2017 For all the wrong reasons, Eskom’s profile has remained high despite the stabilisation in electricity supply over the past year and a bit. Most of the current news flow has to do with governance failings and allegations of State capture and corruption. Sadly, the debate about the future structure... 

Gas shortfall forecast for Australia’s east coast in 2018

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th September 2017 An interim report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has predicted a substantial shortfall in gas for the east coast by 2018. “The interim report projects a supply shortfall in the east coast gas market of up to 55 petajoules (PJ) in 2018, which could be as high as 108... 

EU power generators warn plan to cut use of coal may backfire

By: Bloomberg     26th September 2017 A group representing power generators across the European Union warned that the bloc’s plans to limit the use of coal may backfire, encouraging utilities to seek returns on new fossil-fuel plants instead of putting money into clean energy. European Commission is considering a law that would... 

An ill wind

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     22nd September 2017 One commentator said this: "The renewable energy purchase programme, launched in 2011, has been celebrated as a spectacular success directing private capital into public infrastructure and a model for attempts to lure private investment into other projects." I am sure this is how wind farm... 

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Eskom’s unsustainable business model in need of proactive reform – Eberhard

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom is stuck in a “classic utility death spiral” that many power companies worldwide face as the pressure to adopt new business models and proactively reform increases. Eskom’s need for higher tariffs to offset declining electricity sales amid ever-rising costs is... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

Lesotho’s Letšeng mine recovers several 100-ct-plus diamonds, expects trend to continue

By: Ilan Solomons     15th September 2017 The Letšeng diamond mine, in Lesotho, recovered several diamonds larger than 100 ct during the first half of 2017, with LSE-listed diamond miner Gem Diamonds upbeat that this trend will continue for the remainder of the year. These gems include the 114.38 ct Type II, the 126 ct D-colour Type IIa... 

Energy sector has opportunity to change amid ‘disruptive moment’ caused by renewables

By: Schalk Burger     12th September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

New Chicago Pneumatic LED light towers with integrated generator offer reliable illumination for remote worksites

     7th September 2017 Chicago Pneumatic has extended its range of electrically-powered light towers with the launch of two new models, the CPLT V2 LED and CPLT V3 LED. Both can be integrated with the recently launched CPPG inverter generator which provides a reliable source of AC power below 3 kW at a moment’s notice.... 

Thermaspray showcases thermal spray coating technologies and welding capabilities in Limpopo

     7th September 2017 Thermaspray showcased its ground-breaking thermal spray coating technologies and Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) welding process capabilities at the Mining & Technical Exhibitions (MTE) which took place in Mogalakwena and Lephalale, Limpopo, on 1st and 3rd August 2017 respectively. Thermaspray’s... 

Qld releases more gas acreage

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     6th September 2017 The Queensland government has opened a further 400 km2 of prospective land in the Surat and Bowen basins for tender, following a successful pilot project. The state government earlier this week awarded ASX-listed Senex Energy 58 km2 of tenements in the Surat basin coal seam gas acreage, to... 

Load banks allow for variable power factor loading

     1st September 2017 The combined Asco Froment load bank (resistive/inductive) with Sigma load control and instrumentation hardware, allows for fully variable power factor loading and can test generators up to 800 kVA at 80% load, says Southern Africa Asco power switching and control components electric motor... 

Marthinusen & Coutts Consolidates Presence As Preferred Electrical And Mechanical Services Provider

     28th August 2017 Marthinusen & Coutts, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, is consolidating its role as an integrated electrical and mechanical services provider across Africa, and internationally. Together with subsidiary, ACTOM Turbo Machines, the division offers the full range of maintenance, repair and special... 

Australian gold output on the rise

     28th August 2017 Australian gold mining continued to climb in the 2017 financial year, reaching 299 t, or 9.6-million ounces, mining consultants Surbiton Associates reported. The 2017 production was up by 2.5% on t 

RTS Africa Engineering provides accurate, reliable hydrogen detection solutions for increased safety in mine battery-charging stations

     25th August 2017 Increasingly, mines are using battery-powered electric vehicles underground as they help eliminate the problem of air pollution from diesel exhaust emissions. However, there is also an inherent risk in having large multi-battery charging bays underground. The charging process generates hydrogen,... 

Living entirely on renewables is in the realm of fantasy

By: Kelvin Kemm     25th August 2017 I had a discussion with someone on why there is no town in the world that runs entirely on solar and wind power. He insisted that there were such towns. I still disagree and then went to do a search. This is some of what I found. In Germany, there is a town called Feldheim that claims to run... 

Incremental improvements now leading to energy efficiency  

By: Robyn Wilkinson     25th August 2017 Having reached an advanced stage, power generation technology development has slowed worldwide, with companies instead intensifying their focus on the cumulative energy savings that can be realised through intensive equipment modifications and the disciplined application of existing technologies,... 

Rising prices signal end of ‘hand-to-mouth’ CREE market 

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd August 2017 Higher prices for critical rare earth elements (CREE) are marking a return of confidence to the industry and the end of the so-called “hand-to-mouth” market as users increasingly turn to contracting to secure long-term security of supply. “For several years users were unsure about the market... 

Cape Town reveals sites of proposed new water desalination plants

By: News24Wire      18th August 2017 Cape Town's Granger Bay, Hout Bay and Dido Bay may soon be home to three proposed new desalination plants that the city intends commissioning to make extra drinking water for its residents and visitors, according to tender documents issued this week. Earlier on Thursday Cape Town Mayor Patricia... 

Electrical Power Generation 101

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     18th August 2017 A few things we should possibly all know if we wish to talk about energy. The national grid is not a energy storage dam. What goes into the grid comes out of the grid very shortly, almost instantaneously. Thus, the amount of power generated matches the amount of power used, apart of losses due to... 

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