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Coal & Diesel News

Despite Covid-induced demand slump, load-shedding surpasses 2019 levels and risk of more cuts rises 

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reported on Wednesday that load-shedding during 2020 had already surpassed that of 2019, which had hitherto been the country’s worst-ever year for load-shedding. In addition, it again warned that, absent urgent action, the risk of... 

Eskom again warns of constrained power system

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom on August 12 reported that the national grid was, once again, severely constrained as the result of seven units being offline for various reasons. The utility noted that five of its units that were due for a return-to-service had been delayed, while a further two... 

Eskom again warns of constrained power system
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom's Kusile power station

Kibo subsidiary acquires 100% interest in Mast Energy

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2020 Multi-asset, Africa-focused, energy company Kibo Energy, through its 100%-owned UK subsidiary Sloane Developments (Sloane), has acquired 100% interest in Mast Energy Developments (MED). As part of the existing deal with MED, Sloane has acquired from St Anderton on Vaal the remaining 40% interest... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 Shareholder activism organisation Just Share has described the ‘Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ report published by Investec in May as having set a new benchmark for South African banks in climate-risk disclosure. The Just Share analysis has been released ahead of Investec’s August 8... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 If the world economy fails to recover rapidly from the Covid-19 crisis and if efforts to curb emissions are moderately accelerated, it is possible that global fossil-fuel demand peaked in 2019, a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis shows. The analysis models the future demand for coal, oil... 

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

Eskom, SIU issue summonses to recover State capture funds  

By: Donna Slater     3rd August 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on August 3 issued summonses in the North Gauteng High Court to recover funds from former Eskom executives, board members and members of the Gupta family and their associates, as well as others. "The funds were lost in a... 

Eskom to cancel R14bn contract after probe findings

By: Bloomberg     31st July 2020 Eskom Holdings plans to cancel a contract to buy as much as R14-billion of fuel oil from Econ Oil & Energy, after a probe it commissioned found Econ’s fees had been inflated, a person familiar with the situation said. Nothemba Mlonzi, a director at Econ Oil, declined to comment because she said... 

Opinion: Could Eskom be repurposed to become training ground for the energy transition?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     31st July 2020 One of the most common remedies proposed for addressing Eskom’s financial and operational problems is that of reducing jobs at the state-owned utility. The argument is premised on the view that Eskom is massively overstaffed and that its headcount should, thus, be reduced to help lower costs and... 

Opinion: Could Eskom be repurposed to become training ground for the energy transition?

Energy projects in Africa remain challenging, but signs of hope emerging

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 Renewable energy projects in Africa will be significantly affected by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in construction site disruptions, delays and difficulties in getting equipment and components across borders which have different levels of restriction on the movement of people and... 

Evaluation of short-term power bids being hamstrung by Covid-19, Eskom confirms 

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2020 Progress on Eskom’s proposed Short-Term Power Purchase Programme, initiated to help limit load-shedding while the State-owned utility implements a so-called reliability maintenance programme across its coal fleet over the coming 18 months, is being seriously retarded by South Africa’s Covid-19... 

Evaluation of short-term power bids being hamstrung by Covid-19, Eskom confirms

Ian McRae, who oversaw Eskom’s ‘electricity for all’ policy, dies 

12th July 2020 The much respected former CEO of Eskom, Ian McRae, died in the early hours of Sunday morning July 12, 2020. He was 90 years old. Born in Germiston on September 24, 1929, Ian Campbell McRae started his career as an apprentice fitter and turner at Eskom. After qualifying he went on to obtain a... 

Ian McRae, who oversaw Eskom’s ‘electricity for all’ policy, dies
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter pays tribute to Dr Ian McRae, who died on July 12.

ANC suggests pension funds take some Eskom assets 

By: Bloomberg     10th July 2020 The Economic Transformation Committee of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress suggested that pension funds take over some of the assets of the indebted state power company. The proposal to transfer parts of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. into non-state hands was made in a discussion document... 

ANC suggests pension funds take some Eskom assets

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 to stress that South Africa’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon path needed to be both systematic and just.... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 United Nations secretary-general António Guterres appealed to governments on Thursday to place the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy at the “core” of their Covid-19 economic recovery spending. Guterres also used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy... 

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres
United Nations secretary-general António Guterres

Eskom warns of possible load-shedding from Thursday evening

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has warned of possible load-shedding in the peak demand hours of 17:00 to 21:00 from July 9 to 12. The utility has urged the public to reduce electricity use as the power generation system is severely constrained.  

Eskom warns of possible load-shedding from Thursday evening

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’

Eskom chair appointed to expert panel for vaccine clinical trials

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has announced that its interim chairperson Professor Malegapuru Makgoba has been appointed to serve on a 12-member expert panel of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the first Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the US. Makgoba also serves as South Africa’s... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom aims, within the coming months, to seek authorisation from its board and government to initiate a formal bidding process for the repurposing and repowering of the Camden, Komati, Grootvlei and Hendrina coal-fired power stations using lower-carbon generation... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations

Rolls-Royce strengthens its back-up power business through Belgian acquisition

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 UK-based global industrial technology company Rolls-Royce has strengthened its position in both the back-up power systems sector and in Africa by its acquisition of Belgian company Kinolt, a specialist in dynamic uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. Kinolt has installed dynamic UPS systems... 

Nersa to provide concurrence on technology-specific determination this month 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd July 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa indicated on Thursday that it intended providing concurrence this month for a Ministerial determination that would open the way for the procurement of new electricity generation capacity in line with allocations contained in the 2019 edition of the... 

Nersa to provide concurrence on technology-specific determination this month

South African court sides with Eskom in clawback dispute

By: Reuters     30th June 2020 South Africa’s High Court on Monday sided with Eskom in a dispute over the amounts energy regulator Nersa allowed the state utility to claw back from customers for electricity supplied in the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. Nersa’s 2018 decisions to allow Eskom to recoup... 

Eskom widens its funding search to sukuk market

By: Bloomberg     29th June 2020 South Africa’s indebted power utility Eskom Holdings plans to issue a R1-billion sukuk bond as it tries to diversify funding sources to reduce borrowing costs. Eskom has appointed a lead arranger “to work towards establishing time lines for the issue,” spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in... 

Eskom’s new just energy transition office assessing green finance options for repurposing of old coal stations

By: Terence Creamer     25th June 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter reports that the State-owned utility’s newly created just energy transition (JET) project office is evaluating green financing options that could help accelerate the deployment of renewables and facilitate the repurposing of its older coal plants in ways that improves... 

Eskom’s new just energy transition office assessing green finance options for repurposing of old coal stations
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

A buyer’s guide to Sasol’s $5bn asset sale process

By: Bloomberg     25th June 2020 Sasol has accelerated an asset disposal program that could eliminate more than half of the company’s debt. The South African company is trying to raise cash amid cost overruns and lower oil prices. The process could be done in a year and take in as much as $5 billion, which would help prevent a... 

Eskom warns of constrained electricity supply system

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd June 2020 Power utility Eskom on June 23 appealed to the public to reduce electricity consumption, warning that the generation system was severely constrained. "We have unexpectedly lost four large units to unplanned breakdowns, while the return to service of another two generation units have been delayed.... 

IEA makes case for $3-trillion global clean-energy stimulus plan  

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a ‘Sustainable Recovery Plan’ on June 18 that outlines the case for a $3-trillion global clean-energy stimulus plan over the coming three years to help repair the economic and employment damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Produced in... 

IEA makes case for $3-trillion global clean-energy stimulus plan

Global energy demand growth was slowing before Covid-19, says BP

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2020 Growth in energy demand was declining even before the coronavirus pandemic spread globally, keeping consumers under lockdown and sending prices to record lows, BP said on Wednesday. The oil major’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy showed that growth in primary energy consumption slowed... 

Global energy demand growth was slowing before Covid-19, says BP

Public renewables ownership in South Africa could aid in removing potential barrier to decarbonisation  

By: Terence Creamer     12th June 2020 A new study of electricity sector reform in South Africa warns that opposition to private ownership has the potential to become a barrier to decarbonisation and recommends further research into how public, municipal or community ownership could be incorporated into the deployment of renewables.... 

Public renewables ownership in South Africa could aid in removing potential barrier to decarbonisation

Solidarity issues letter of demand to stop pension funds going to Eskom

By: Donna Slater     4th June 2020 With a letter of demand addressed to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), labour union Solidarity instituted legal steps to stop the exchange of Eskom debt for Eskom shares, on June 4. In doing so, Solidarity demands that plans by the PIC to... 

Eskom informs lawmakers it will not meet DPE's unbundling timeline

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2020 In a presentation to lawmakers on Wednesday, Eskom indicated that it would not meet the unbundling timetable outlined for the vertically integrated power utility by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) in a policy paper released in October, titled a ‘Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed... 

Eskom informs lawmakers it will not meet DPE's unbundling timeline
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Creecy has had no formal communication on possible exclusion of FGD at Medupi 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd June 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy reports that she has had no formal communication from Eskom with regards to it potentially not installing flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) systems at the Medupi power station in line with a previous commitment to do so. FGD technologies... 

Creecy has had no formal communication on possible exclusion of FGD at Medupi
Photo by Creamer Media
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

Zambia's CEC to discontinue power supply to Konkola Copper Mines

By: Reuters     1st June 2020 Zambia's Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC) will stop supplying power to Vedanta's local unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) from Monday, it said after talks on an extension to their supply agreement broke down over debt owed to CEC. Zambia's Energy Minister Mathew Nhkuwa told Reuters that KCM would now... 

PIC proposes converting Eskom bonds into equity - chairperson

By: Reuters     28th May 2020 South African state asset manager the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has submitted a proposal to government on converting bonds it holds in struggling state utility Eskom into equity, PIC chairperson Reuel Khoza told Reuters in an interview. Khoza said the PIC had discussed the proposal with... 

Pandemic-induced slump in global energy investment risks locking in obsolete technologies 

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has set in motion the largest drop in global energy investment in history, with spending expected to plunge by $400-billion in 2020, a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report shows. Describing the slump as “unparalleled” and “staggering” in both scale and swiftness, the... 

Pandemic-induced slump in global energy investment risks locking in obsolete technologies
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Bid documents for 2 000-MW emergency power being finalised after Nersa concurrence ‘milestone’  

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) confirmed on Tuesday that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had concurred with a Ministerial determination submitted to the regulator in February for the procurement of 2 000 MW of emergency electricity from independent... 

Bid documents for 2 000-MW emergency power being finalised after Nersa concurrence ‘milestone’
IPP Office working on scheme to procure 128 MW of additional energy from existing wind and solar farms

Eskom committed to ‘aggressive’ end-2021 unbundling timeline  

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter describes as “aggressive” the end-of-2021 deadline for completing the unbundling of the vertically integrated power utility but insisted on Thursday that he was fully committed to adhering to the timeline contained in government’s restructuring roadmap. During a virtual... 

Eskom committed to ‘aggressive’ end-2021 unbundling timeline
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on how Eskom plan to recover from its current downward trajectory. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Eskom CEO sees sustainable future if R450bn debt pile can be slashed

By: Reuters     21st May 2020 The chief executive of South Africa's Eskom said on Thursday the State power utility could become financially viable and do without government bailouts if it could more than halve its debt to R200-billion. Eskom has about R450-billion of debt and is mired in financial crisis as it does not... 

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