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Coal & Diesel News

Electricity, water price hikes pose risk to inflation outlook – central bank

By: Reuters     15th April 2021 Above-inflation increases to South Africa's electricity and water prices pose a risk to the consumer inflation outlook and could trigger a rise in lending rates, the central bank said on Wednesday. "These risks, should they materialise, could drive headline above the 4.5% target midpoint and... 

Seriti rejects calls for probe into South32 deal that will make it Eskom's largest coal supplier

By: News24Wire      14th April 2021 Under siege Seriti Resources whose impending acquisition of South32 coal mines has raised calls for an investigation has dismissed the complaints against it as "vague" lacking substance. The black-owned coal miner has found itself embroiled in a storm after trade unions  flagged some aspects of... 

Old Mutual Fund says South Africa needs gas as a transition fuel

By: Bloomberg     6th April 2021 A key funder of South Africa’s renewable energy drive is backing natural gas as the fuel needed to help the country bridge the transition from coal power generation to the use of wind and solar. Old Mutual Ltd.’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers will consider funding companies that... 

Global energy leaders say jobs must be at heart of people-centred energy transition 

By: Terence Creamer     31st March 2021 Employment creation for workers and communities at the highest risk of disruption as a result of the shift to greater climate-resiliency was identified during a gathering of global energy leaders on Wednesday as essential to ensuring that the transition was not only people-centred but also... 

Global energy leaders say jobs must be at heart of people-centred energy transition

Kusile Unit 3 achieves commercial operation 

By: Schalk Burger     31st March 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom on March 31 announced that Unit 3 of the Kusile power station, in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, had achieved commercial operation this week. "Bringing the 800 MW unit to commercial status means construction has reached the halfway mark on project," it said in a statement. 

South Africa’s draft climate pledge offers quicker emission cuts, but seeks steep rise in yearly climate funding to $8bn 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2021 South Africa’s draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) unveiled by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy on March 30, proposes quicker emission cuts, but also outlines the need for a step change in international climate finance to support the country’s... 

South Africa’s draft climate pledge offers quicker emission cuts, but seeks steep rise in yearly climate funding to $8bn
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

South Africa continues to be G20 coal outlier, report shows  

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2021 With 86% of the country’s electricity produced from coal, South Africa continued to have the highest reliance on the energy mineral among all G20 countries in 2020, with the global average standing at 34%. The ‘Global Electricity Review 2021’, published on March 29, indicates that the G20 country... 

South Africa continues to be G20 coal outlier, report shows

Agriculture seen as key just transition enabler in Mpumalanga, but arable land needs urgent safeguarding 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2021 Transitioning Mpumalanga’s coal-heavy economy to higher levels of agricultural output could help create new businesses and jobs and improve the long-term economic resilience of the province as mines close and Eskom begins decommissioning power stations in line with the Integrated Resource Plan of... 

Agriculture seen as key just transition enabler in Mpumalanga, but arable land needs urgent safeguarding

South Africa seeks lesser of two evils with Eskom debt options

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2021 South Africa’s National Treasury is considering whether it would be better to move a chunk of Eskom Holdings' R464-billion of debt into a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) or have the State take over responsibility for it directly, people familiar with the situation said. While banks have led... 

South Africa seeks lesser of two evils with Eskom debt options

Fossil fuels found accountable for millions of deaths

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Fossil fuels are, through a marked contribution to air pollution, accountable for 8.7-million deaths globally in 2018, which adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health, says University College London (UCL) associate... 

Fossil fuels found accountable  for millions of deaths
POISON Fossil fuels are responsible for millions of deaths globally every year

Wescoal delivers first own coal sales from Moabsvelden

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th March 2021 JSE-listed Wescoal has delivered the first coal from its Moabsvelden mine, in Delmas, Mpumalanga, to power utility Eskom. “The operationalisation of the Moabsvelden project under a difficult operating economic environment represents a significant milestone in the history of Wescoal, since the... 

Green hydrogen could help South Africa increase its energy exports 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th March 2021 South Africa has traditionally been a net importer of energy, but a relatively new clean technology could be pivotal in helping South Africa become an exporter and dramatically cut the country’s carbon emissions, says Rand Merchant Bank (RMB). RMB CEO James Formby says that although green... 

We will get State-owned entities back into shape eventually, insists DPE 

By: News24Wire      17th March 2021 Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle told Parliament on Tuesday afternoon that despite ongoing troubles at state-owned entities (SOEs) and delays in already announced plans to get them back in shape, the department still had a plan to improve the fortunes of beleaguered... 

Eskom mulls alternatives to R300bn emissions-compliance spend  

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2021 Coal-heavy electricity utility Eskom has reiterated its commitment to complying with South Africa’s tightening minimum emission standards, but CEO Andre de Ruyter has also indicated that it is considering capital-light alternatives, as well as noncoal repowering solutions to meet its obligations,... 

Eskom mulls alternatives to R300bn emissions-compliance spend
Watch Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter explaining the possible alternative solutions for meeting South Africa's minimum emission standards. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

What countries will fight over when green energy dominates

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2021 The Rand Corporation’s been designing war games with the Pentagon since the 1950s, modelling such hard-nosed security scenarios as a two-front US war with China and Russia. Now the think tank is turning its realpolitik tool kit to a question more often associated with environmental dreamers: How... 

The world’s three biggest coal users get ready to burn even more

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2021 The world’s three biggest consumers of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, are getting ready to boost usage so much that it’ll almost be as if the pandemic-induced drop in emissions never happened. US power plants are going to consume 16% more coal this year than in 2020, and then another 3% in 2022,... 

The world’s three biggest coal users get ready to burn even more

Maintenance progress alone insufficient to eliminate load-shedding risk amid 4 GW deficit   

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter insisted on Monday that, despite a recent return to load-shedding, progress was being made on the utility’s so-called reliability maintenance programme to improve the performance of the coal fleet to the point where the risk of rotational power cuts would be materially... 

Maintenance progress alone insufficient to eliminate load-shedding risk amid 4 GW deficit
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on the 4GW supply gap and what solutions could be used to help close it. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Opinion: Is load-shedding here to stay? 

15th March 2021 In this opinion piece, South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) GM Barry Bredenkamp writes about steps electricity users can take to reduce demand as load-shedding continues. Since Eskom cannot meet the country’s demand for electricity, load-shedding is likely to be with us... 

Opinion: Is load-shedding here to stay?

Eskom to extend load-shedding to Wednesday

By: News24Wire      15th March 2021 Eskom announced on Sunday that stage 2 load shedding will be extended to 05:00 on Wednesday following the loss of further generation capacity and to replenish emergency generation reserves. The power utility said it regrets having to take this step, but it is due to generation capacity still... 

Opinion: Addressing the misconceptions around Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff changes

12th March 2021 In this opinion piece, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) COO Niveshen Govender points out that proposed changes to the electricity tariffs charged by Eskom  shows that the utility is moving to a more proactive position that responds to the needs of consumers but also... 

Opinion: Addressing the misconceptions around Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff changes

New report highlights decade of falling electricity production in South Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2021 A new Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report offers a sobering picture of declining electricity system production and demand between 2010 and 2020 – a trend that was amplified further during Covid-hit 2020, when demand slumped by a sharp 5.1%, or 11.8 TWh, to a decade low... 

New report highlights decade of falling electricity production in South Africa

Eskom to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until Friday night  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th March 2021 Power utility Eskom says it will implement Stage 2 load-shedding from 17:00 on Wednesday until 23:00 on Friday as the generation capacity is severely constrained. "There is a probability that load-shedding may be implemented at short notice should any further breakdowns occur before then," it... 

Eskom to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until Friday night

Eskom, Sasol face government ultimatum to meet emission limits 

By: Bloomberg     10th March 2021 Eskom Holdings and Sasol, South Africa’s two biggest polluters, must comply with emission limits even if it costs them tens of billions of rand, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy said. The companies, which use coal to produce electricity and gasoline respectively, have sought to avoid... 

Eskom, Sasol face government ultimatum to meet emission limits

S&P sees Eskom debt solution as key to unlocking restructuring  

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2021 Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings sees finding a solution to Eskom’s unsustainable debt position as potentially key to meeting the timelines proposed for the broader restructuring of the State-owned utility into three units of generation, transmission and distribution – an unbundling that is also... 

S&P sees Eskom debt solution as key to unlocking restructuring

'Unwarranted attacks' against Eskom could distract management from getting it back on track

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Eskom board has claimed that a number of allegations made in the public and media, including against its CEO Andre de Ruyter, are aiming to influence internal operations and good governance processes at the state power utility.   These allegations and what the board regards as accompanying... 

Glencore refutes Molefe's State capture inquiry testimony

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd March 2021 Diversified miner Glencore says the suggestion that it had involved President Cyril Ramaphosa, who used to be the chairperson of the Optimum coal mine, in the acquisition of Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH) with a view to, or with the expectation of leveraging his influence to achieve amendments to... 

UN chief urges wealthy nations to phase out coal use by 2030

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on wealthy nations to end coal use by 2030 so the world can meet its goals to curb global warming, urging G7 nations to make that commitment before or at a leaders' summit in June. In a video message to a virtual gathering of the "Powering... 

UN chief urges wealthy nations to phase out coal use by 2030
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Africa’s recovery must include sustainable energy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd March 2021 Africa’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic will take a long time, as each country has experienced different levels of disruption, and therefore, require different pathways. This was indicated during a World Energy Council session as part of the virtual Africa Energy Indaba on... 

Probe finds Mpumalanga, Gauteng hydrogen sulphide levels above WHO recommendations

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 An ongoing probe by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to determine the cause of the high levels of air pollution reported in Mpumalanga and Gauteng during the week of February 11 to 17 has determined that sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels were in compliance with ambient... 

Eskom bondholders take comfort from guarantee amid rescue talks

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2021 Bondholders of South Africa’s state-owned electricity company are watching the latest round of rescue talks from a distance. Yields suggest they’re confident their money is safe, whether or not the discussions result in a sustainable solution for Eskom Holdings' $32-billion debt pile. Eskom’s... 

Eskom Kusile R745m corruption matter postponed for more than 3 months

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2021 The case against two former Eskom executives who were allegedly involved in a R745-million corruption case at the Kusile power station has been postponed for more than three months.   Former Eskom Group Executive for the Group Capital Division Abram Masango and former contracts manager France... 

Just energy transition remains priority to ensure sustainable future

By: Donna Slater     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s energy sector needs to broadly embrace a just energy transition to ensure it improves energy security and stability, as well as meets its obligations towards mitigating climate change, says nonprofit economic research institution Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies senior... 

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2021 JSE-listed Sasol announced on Monday that it would pursue a 900 MW renewable-energy roll-out at its Secunda and Sasolburg complexes by 2030, raising its initial deployment target of 600 MW by 50%. President and CEO Fleetwood Grobler said that the upscaled plan would be pursued in partnership with... 

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role
The Secunda complex, in Mpumalanga

Coal demand from Eskom to normalise, says South32

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th February 2021 Coal demand from State-owned power utility Eskom is expected to normalise, following low demand over the past few months, diversified miner South32 COO Mike Fraser said during a media call to discuss its interim results, on February 18. He said the maintenance work being undertaken by should... 

Eskom's 'deplorable' R840m Kusile housing blunder could go to local community

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Eskom is considering handing over its R840 million white elephant of a block of flats near Witbank to local community members -  after cost overruns described by its CEO André de Ruyter as "deplorable".  The Wilge Residential Development Project was meant to house contractors and artisans working... 

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months  

By: Terence Creamer     16th February 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom is preparing a pioneering request for proposals (RFP) for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station, in Mpumalanga, which is among the first four coal plants scheduled for decommissioning in the coming few years. Eskom just energy transition office... 

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months
The Komati power station

Upheaval is coming to South Africa over the shift away from coal

By: Bloomberg     16th February 2021 A photograph in the entrance hall at Komati Power Station shows the plant in better times, its nine generating units belching steam and smoke into the night sky. Those days are never coming back: Komati’s sole remaining working unit is facing closure within two years under plans by state power... 

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