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Coal & Diesel News

Zimbabwe turns to Mozambique, Zambia to Ease 12-Hour Power Cuts

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2021 Zimbabwe asked Mozambique and Zambia to supply it with more electricity as it tries to fill a power shortfall that’s led to outages of 12 hours a day. “We are in discussions with Mozambique for the recently commissioned power plants to give us an additional 180 MW,” Energy Minister Soda Zhemu... 

Rich nations head to South Africa seeking coal exit deal

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2021 Four of the world’s richest nations will send a delegation to South Africa as soon as next week to seek a deal to begin closing the country’s coal-fired plants, according to people familiar with the matter. Officials from the US, UK, France and Germany are looking for an agreement with Eskom... 

A photo of a coal-fired power station

Coalition plans marches in pursuit of a just transition

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2021 Youth leaders, civil society groups, trade unions and grassroots movements under the Climate Justice Coalition have expressed dissatisfaction with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and will, as a result, hold planned nationwide marches, it said on September 15. The coalition... 

FirstRand to end funding for new coal mines, power plants

By: Reuters     15th September 2021 South Africa's FirstRand will end funding for new coal-fired power stations and coal mines and has lowered the cap on its coal exposure as part of moves to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, it said on Wednesday. South Africa's banks are the biggest on the continent, with the likes of FirstRand... 

Net-zero goal could be new ‘shared vision that binds’ South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2021 A just transition towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 offers significant opportunities for a new growth path built on green industrialisation and could provide the anchor for a new “shared vision that binds us”, former Deputy Finance Minister and State Capture whistle-blower Mcebisi Jonas... 

Photo of Mcebisi Jonas
Photo by Creamer Media
Mcebisi Jonas

South Africa risks becoming an outlier with its coal plans, says think tank

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th September 2021 South Africa risks becoming an outlier in the global community if it pushes ahead with plans to develop new coal-fired power plants, says climate change think tank E3G. E3G says the country is driving these plans despite there having been a 76% reduction in proposed new coal power generation... 

Burning coal
Photo by Reuters
Burning coal

South Africa’s green energy push hinges on R402bn debt fix

By: Bloomberg     14th September 2021 The head of South Africa’s State power utility needs to substantially reduce its R402-billion of debt to realise his vision of transforming the coal-addicted behemoth into a leading green-energy producer and create as many as 300 000 jobs in the process. Eskom Holdings supplies more than 90% of... 

Eskom returns two units to service at Kendal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th September 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has advised that Units 2 and 3 of the Kendal power station, in Mpumalanga, will be returned to service early this week, following a fire over the weekend. The two units were shut down after damage was incurred to Unit 1’s generator transformer.  

Kendal power station
Photo by Creamer Media
Kendal power station

Bids sought for socioeconomic study into Eskom’s coal repowering and repurposing plan 

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2021 A global coalition set up to support countries in implementing the carbon-reduction pledges contained in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has announced that it will fund a study to assess the socioeconomic impacts of the shutdown, repowering and repurposing of seven Eskom... 

Photo of a road to an Eskom power station
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom to shut 11 000 MW of coal capacity by 2030

Eskom unbundling fails to cut solvency risk, Futuregrowth says

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Futuregrowth Asset Management said that despite efforts to make South Africa’s Eskom Holdings profitable, including a process of unbundling its divisions into separate entities, “the core problem of debt” has yet to be addressed. The utility that reported a fourth straight full-year loss on Aug.... 

New trade idea for South Africa is debt relief for climate goals

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Politicians and academics are turning their attention to a new trade pitch for South Africa: debt relief in exchange for progress toward global climate goals. The debt-for-climate concept, which was floated by International Monetary Fund MD Kristalina Georgieva in April, has been picked up by... 

Masondo raises R146bn South Africa debt forgiveness

By: Bloomberg     7th September 2021 David Masondo, South Africa’s deputy finance minister, suggested that investors forgive about R146-billion of sovereign debt in exchange for the national power utility meeting climate targets. In order to transition from the use of coal to generate electricity to renewable energy Eskom Holdings... 

South Africa’s updated NDC climate pledge to be released ‘very soon’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy reported on Tuesday that South Africa’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is to be deposited with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year, is close to being finalised and will... 

Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

ANC offers strong endorsement of Eskom’s just energy transaction following lekgotla 

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) has given its backing to the just energy transaction being pursued by State-owned electricity producer Eskom. In closing remarks following the NEC’s September lekgotla, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said that the... 

Photo of the Komati power station
The Komati power station

Eskom CEO says carbon capture being considered in South Africa

By: Bloomberg     3rd September 2021 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is evaluating the use of carbon capture at power plants as part of decarbonisation plans to transform the coal-burning utility. The process that captures carbon-dioxide emissions would need to be financially viable, CEO Andre de... 

Eskom warns of ongoing injections unless solution is found to ‘unsustainable’ debt 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom’s debt burden remains “unsustainable” despite an R81.9-billion reduction in its gross debt to R401.8-billion in the year to March 31, 2021, during which the entity remained a going concern only because of a R56-billion government injection. The utility reported a... 

Photo of CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Eskom considers R106bn in wind and solar investment by 2030

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2021 Eskom Holdings, which supplies almost all South Africa’s electricity from coal-fired power plants, is considering spending R106-billion on wind and solar energy by 2030. The investment plan, which Eskom could carry out by itself or in partnerships, is the most detailed demonstration yet of the... 

An image of wind turbines

As Mpumalanga towns plot future beyond coal, workers express pain over mine closures 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 The Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, which is at the epicentre of South Africa’s coal industry, is revising its Local Economic Development (LED) strategy to take account of the anticipated closure of coal mines and power stations and create the framework for a more diversified... 

The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022
The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022

South Africa's GHG emissions increased by 10.4% between 2000 and 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 South Africa’s seventh 'National Greenhouse-Gas (GHG) Inventory' report for 2000 to 2017, released on August 24, shows that emissions have increased by 10.4% over the 17-year period. The report, published by the  Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), covers sources of GHG... 

DMRE outlines timetable for electricity procurement programmes  

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has provided an updated timetable for the implementation of its long-term electricity procurement programmes, which are being pursued in line with a Section 34 Ministerial determination, published in September 2020, and catering for the... 

Photo of workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa

South Africa aims to bring pilot carbon capture project online in 2023 

By: Reuters     23rd August 2021 South Africa has started geological mapping at the country's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) site, where it plans to inject vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground from 2023, a senior Council for Geoscience official said. The project will be based around the town of... 

South32 posts higher manganese, aluminium output from South African operations 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th August 2021 Diversified miner South32 has posted a 21% year-on-year increase in manganese output from its South African mines to 2.26-million tonnes for the year ended June 30. The JSE-, ASX- and LSE-listed miner has a 44% interest in two manganese mines – Mamatwan and Wessels – in South Africa, based in... 

Hillside Aluminium, in Richards Bay
Hillside Aluminium, in Richards Bay

Emissions ‘unavoidable’ even if cleanest coal generation technology is used – report

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2021 Dr Ranajit Sahu, an engineer with more than three decades of experience in power plant design, has found that large quantities of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions are “unavoidable”, even if the cleanest available technology is used for new coal-fired power generation. South Africa’s Integrated... 

Sasol’s new 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets to be ‘substantially higher’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2021 South Africa’s carbon-heavy fuels and chemicals group Sasol is poised to announce a “substantially higher” target for the reduction of its greenhouse-gas emissions following an intensive period of financial and organisational restructuring during its 2021 financial year. The JSE-listed group took... 

Photo of Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Eskom, W Cape govt welcome amendments giving effect to 100 MW reform

By: Donna Slater     13th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) August 12 Gazetting of its amendment to Section 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act has been welcomed by State-owned power utility Eskom and the Western Cape provincial government. The amendment permits private electricity generators to... 

Arnot Opco enters into coal supply agreement with Eskom

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2021 JSE-listed coal miner Wescoal reports that Arnot Opco, in which it holds a 50% stake, has entered into a long-term coal supply agreement (CSA) with State-owned power utility Eskom to supply coal from the Arnot mine, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, for the next ten years. The CSA marks the conclusion... 

Sixth IPCC climate assessment important for international climate policy – DFFE

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2021 The sixth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an important contribution to enhancing scientific understanding on climate change that must inform international policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties... 

Solidarity welcomes investigation into Medupi Unit 4 explosion

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2021 Trade union Solidarity says it supports State-owned power utility Eskom's investigation following an explosion at Unit 4 of the Medupi coal-fired power station, in Lephalale, on August 8. Eskom had confirmed on August 9 that the unit generator had been severely damaged in the explosion, which... 

Explosion damages Medupi's Unit 4

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th August 2021 Power utility Eskom has confirmed that an explosion at the Medupi power station's Unit 4 generator on August 8 has resulted in extensive damage to the generator. Unit 4 had been on a short-term outage since August 6 and the explosion occurred during the displacement of hydrogen with carbon... 

Major new climate report puts pressure on COP26 to ‘consign coal to history’

By: Bloomberg     9th August 2021 A landmark report by climate change scientists released Monday is expected to ratchet up the pressure on world leaders to rapidly end the use of polluting fossil fuels. Some of the most important readers of the 3 949-page report by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate... 

A coal-fired power station owned and operated by South African power utility Eskom

Delaying emissions reduction will cost more down the line, climate commission director warns 

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2021 Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver says delaying South Africa’s transition away from coal will only add to the final adjustment costs and will also place the domestic business sector at a competitive disadvantage as other countries implement measures to restrict... 

Photo of coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background
Photo by Creamer Media
Coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background

Battery Electric delivers on diesel machine conversion tech 

4th August 2021 As investors place greater emphasis on carbon footprints, underground railway control systems manufacturer Battery Electric is ready to assist companies on their decarbonisation journey. Tracy Hancock tells us more. 

Image of Battery Electric diesel machine conversion tech
Battery Electric delivers on diesel machine conversion tech

From a coal-to-gas conversion to a microgrid factory, Eskom builds Komati’s just energy transaction case 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is hoping to transform the workshops at the Komati power station – identified as the flagship site for the piloting of a broader ‘just energy transition’ programme that couples decarbonisation with social upliftment – into a factory capable of manufacturing... 

Photograph of the Komati power station
A file photo of the Komati power station, which has generated electricity since 1961

Coal-reliant South Africa is turning to gas power

By: Bloomberg     3rd August 2021 Power failures have become routine in South Africa. At the same time, the country wants to wean itself off the coal that generates more than 80% of its electricity and makes it the world’s ­twelfth‑biggest source of greenhouse gases. Most of South Africa’s power stations are near the end of their... 

Other procurement plans not affected by RMIPPPP deadline delay to end Sept – DMRE  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2021 The deadline for projects selected as preferred bids under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) to reach commercial close has been extended to September 30, from an initial deadline of the end of July. However, the Department of Mineral Resources and... 

Photo of Minister Gwede Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
Minister Gwede Mantashe announced the initial end-July commercial-close deadline on March 18

Ongoing decline in Eskom’s coal performance drove another ‘intensive’ period of load-shedding in first half of 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2021 A continuing decline in the performance of the Eskom coal fleet drove yet another “intensive” period of load-shedding in South Africa during the first six months of 2021, when rotational power cuts were implemented for 650 hours, or 15% of the time. A new Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Photo of an Eskom substation
Eskom substation

Medupi construction complete after 14 years  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd August 2021 The last of six power generation units at the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, is now operational, marking the completion of all building activities on the 4.7 GW project. Construction at Medupi started in May 2007 and the power station has an operational life of 50 years. The last unit was... 

Medupi power station, in Lephalale
Medupi power station, in Lephalale
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