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Electricity News

Renewables critical to reducing South Africa’s economic, energy constraints

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s energy demand “will grow exponentially” as South Africa further eases Covid-19-related restrictions and the strain on electricity supply experienced prior to the pandemic will likely return. This “will have massive implications” and likely have a compounding effect as the country... 

Kibo Energy inks power purchase agreement with Baobab Resources

By: Donna Slater     18th May 2020 Africa-focused Kibo Energy has signed a binding term sheet with mining company and steelmaker Baobab Resources to supply 200 MW of energy to Baobab's Tete Steel and Vanadium (TSV) project, in Mozambique. 
 
Recognised as a key development project in Mozambique, the TSV project is about 36 km from... 

Creecy takes decisive action against Eskom’s noncompliance at Kendal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th May 2020 The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has welcomed the decisive action taken against Eskom’s Kendal power station by Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy. The Minister has ordered the State-owned power utility to, within 30 days, stop operations at either Unit 1 or... 

Creecy takes decisive action against Eskom’s noncompliance at Kendal
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

Small modular nuclear reactors would be beneficial for South Africa, says industry body

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has highlighted the advantages that small modular reactors (SMRs) offer to, and the potential they provide for, the country. SMRs are nuclear reactors with a capacity of less than 300 MW, and, as electricity demand increases, the number of... 

Nersa allows Eskom to claw back R13.3bn in tariffs 

By: Reuters     18th May 2020 South African energy regulator Nersa said on Friday it will allow utility Eskom to recover R13.3-billion from customers for electricity supplied in the 2018/19 financial year, lower than what the state-owned power utility had applied for. Nersa said in a statement it will give its reasons for the... 

Nersa allows Eskom to claw back R13.3bn in tariffs

Kibo shareholders to vote on reorganisation of share capital as Covid-19 disrupts operations

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 Owing to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international business and the uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook, Africa-focused energy company Kibo Energy is re-evaluating its business plans, partly involving the potential reorganisation of its share capital. The share... 

Irena forecasts rise in ocean energy installations to 10 GW by 2030

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2020 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) believes that ocean energy, which plays an extremely modest role in the global energy mix and the broader clean-energy transition, is poised for growth over the coming decade and is forecasting that deployments will rise to 10 GW by 2030. There is... 

Irena forecasts rise in ocean energy installations to 10 GW by 2030

Niasa highlights funding options for new nuclear power 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2020 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has highlighted a range of options for the financing of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. This followed the recent announcement to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy by Mineral Resources and... 

Valves maintenance still a challenge

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Although demand for valves has increased over the past five years, maintenance costs, efficiency and valve service life are some of the challenges that companies face yearly, says coating technology specialist Thermaspray’s laser cladding manager Jordaan Lourens. 

Valves maintenance  still a challenge
IRREPLACEABLE SOLUTIONS The initial coating of new valves as well as their efficient repair results in fewer valve replacements

Entrepreneurs urged to document business development from early stage to attract investors 

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 Entrepreneurs that have started a business or are looking to start a business, especially in the green economy, should start, as soon as possible, with documenting their business development process to ensure they have that information available for when they start looking for investors, YWaste... 

Entrepreneurs urged to document business development from early stage to attract investors
YWaste Solutions MD Emile Fourie discusses how entrepreneurs can navigate starting businesses in the green economy.

Sasol calls for IPP bids to supply 600 MW of renewable energy to South African operations 

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2020 Chemicals and fuels group Sasol has issued a request for information (RFI) for the supply of 600 MW of renewable energy to its South African operations so as to reduce its yearly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 1.6-million tons. The closing date for submissions is Friday, June 5. 

Sasol calls for IPP bids to supply 600 MW of renewable energy to South African operations
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol's Secunda complex in Mpumalanga, with power lines in the foreground

South Africa's nuclear energy plans 

14th May 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the Departmentof  Mineral Resources and Energy's short to medium-term plans. 

South Africa's nuclear energy plans
South Africa's nuclear energy plans

Wärtsilä publishes map indicating potential of cost-optimal 100% renewable electricity systems

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th May 2020 Technology group Wärtsilä has published an extensive interactive map on cost-optimal, 100% renewable electricity systems globally. The map provides information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to geographical regions and their solar and wind conditions. 

New venture set up to explore South Africa’s offshore floating wind-farm potential 

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2020 A South African renewable-energy company has teamed up with a Swedish floating wind-farm developer and technology designer to explore the development of large-scale floating wind farms offshore South Africa. In a joint statement released in Stockholm and Cape Town, Hexicon AB and Genesis... 

New venture set up to explore South Africa’s offshore floating wind-farm potential

WEF warns of increasing threats to world's clean energy transition

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th May 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) says unprecedented disruptions from Covid-19 threaten the transition to clean energy, globally. However, the current Covid-19 health and economic crisis presents an opportunity to rethink how energy is produced, supplied and consumed, it states.  

WEF warns of increasing threats to world's clean energy transition
A hybrid wind and solar energy system in Croatia

Drilling of first inclined well to start at Renergen’s Virginia gas project

By: Simone Liedtke     13th May 2020 Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has signed a contract with hydraulic exploration drilling rig manufacturer Bohrmeister Technik to start the drilling of the first inclined well for the delivery of gas to Phase 1 of Renergen’s Virginia gas project, in the Free State.... 

Cape Town in landmark suit to open South Africa’s power system

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2020 The city of Cape Town is awaiting a court ruling on whether it can buy its own electricity from suppliers other than national power utility Eskom Holdings without getting approval from the energy minister. Judge Leonie Windell of South Africa’s High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment in the case... 

CEF denies nine ‘requests’ for support amount to a bailout 

By: Terence Creamer     12th May 2020 South Africa’s State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) has outlined an extensive list of support measures – including access to a portion of the fuel levy and carbon-tax proceeds – which it argued on Tuesday would help extricate the group from a “precarious financial position”, precipitated by... 

CEF denies nine ‘requests’ for support amount to a bailout
Photo by Creamer Media
The PetroSA refinery in Mossel Bay

Council increases mapping to drive South Africa's exploration attractiveness 

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2020 As part of government’s response to keep the South African economy afloat during the outbreak of Covid-19 and beyond, the Council for Geosciences (CGS) has been mandated to increase its country-wide survey to bolster South Africa as an exploration hotspot once the lockdown is over. CGS CEO Mosa... 

Policy, people-centred approaches vital to energy development in a post-Covid-19 world

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th May 2020 Energy experts during a PowerGen Africa hosted webinar on May 12 agreed that Covid-19 presents an opportunity for policy renewal and structural reforms in the energy sector. The webinar forms part of a virtual webinar series leading up to the African Utility Week event, which will be hosted... 

Localisation, digitalisation key to cost-effective maintenance in trying times  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th May 2020 Covid-19 has resulted in less funding for the power generation sector, owing to lower revenue from electricity sales amid business restrictions. At the same time, the sector still has to invest in the necessary equipment maintenance to ensure reliable power supply.  

Localisation, digitalisation key to cost-effective maintenance in trying times
An energy export panel discusses maintenance trends in a Covid-19 world

Herbert Smith Freehills releases guide to assist green energy developers

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2020 Professional services firm Herbert Smith Freehills says Africa-focussed developers and sponsors in the renewable energy market can fast-track project development and enhance bankability by using development funds (DFs). The firm lays out the plans and their benefits in a newly launched renewable... 

Acwa, Silk Road Fund partner again on renewable energy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th May 2020 Power generation and water desalination developer Acwa Power has completed a transaction to introduce Silk Road Fund as a partner and 49% shareholder in Acwa Power Renewable Energy Holding. Acwa Power Renewable Energy Holding is Acwa Power’s renewable energy platform that currently owns a... 

Climate-smart mining tech even more important in a Covid-19 context – World Bank

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th May 2020 The production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt could potentially increase by 500% by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies, the World Bank reports. In a report, titled 'Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition',... 

Kibo increases Mozambique land holding to expand energy projects

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2020 Africa-focused energy company Kibo Energy has acquired 345 ha of land adjacent to its Benga power plant project, in Mozambique's Tete province. Alongside hosting a 150 MW to 300 MW thermal power plant, which is being developed as part of a joint venture agreement with local energy company... 

South Africa urged to leverage the full industrial potential of the IRP 2019 as part of post-Covid recovery  

By: Terence Creamer     12th May 2020 The allocation, in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019), to renewable energy represents a major opportunity not only to diversify South Africa’s coal-heavy electricity mix, but also to create new domestic industries and jobs, Kearney senior energy principal Prashaen Reddy argues. To fully... 

South Africa urged to leverage the full industrial potential of the IRP 2019 as part of post-Covid recovery
Kearney senior energy principal Prashaen Reddy in conversation with Terence Creamer on the outlook for renewables in South Africa. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Best time ever for private sector participation in energy projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th May 2020 With many African governments’ debt levels and servicing costs growing and economies taking hits from plummeting oil and mineral commodity prices, it will become increasingly necessary for private sector participation in infrastructure projects, particularly in the energy space. However,... 

Eskom progresses with generation unit repairs at Medupi   

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th May 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has announced that its Unit 3 at Medupi power station is up and running following a 75-day outage to repair major design defects. The unit has now reached its full generation capacity of 793 MW.  

Eskom progresses with generation unit repairs at Medupi
Medupi power station

South African young nuclear professionals support proposed new nuclear plants

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th May 2020 The South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society (SAYNPS) has welcomed the plans put forward by Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on May 7 regarding the country’s nuclear sector. These were proposals to build new nuclear power plants (NPPs), to extend the life of the... 

Radiation Protection Association supports plan for new nuclear power in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th May 2020 The Southern Africa Radiation Protection Association (Sarpa) has expressed its full support for the South African government’s plan to soon start a process to develop 2 500 MW of new nuclear power. This plan was stated by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe during a briefing of... 

Industry association supports government proposals for nuclear power

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th May 2020 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) on May 8 welcomed the presentation by Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, and officials of his department, to Parliament on May 7. This included a commitment to develop a roadmap for a programme to build new nuclear power... 

South Africa has duty to address SADC energy efficiency

By: Tracy Hancock     8th May 2020 South Africa has a duty to make the energy efficiency knowledge accrued through the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project (IEEP) more accessible to the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to help drive its economic development through globally competitive... 

South Africa has duty to address SADC energy efficiency
ENERGY HEAVY South Africa’s industry consumes more than half of the energy used by the industrial sectors in all the remaining SADC States

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 With the decommissioning of South Africa’s two nuclear facilities officially planned for this decade, consulting engineers WSP hydrology senior associate Karen King states that, with all the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) to be conducted, interested and affected party (IAP) engagement... 

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning
KAREN KING As with all EIAs undertaken locally, interested and affected party engagement will be essential. WSP is well-placed to undertake all of these studies

Local energy not managed efficiently

By: Tracy Hancock     8th May 2020 South Africa is not using its world-class renewable energy resources to drive energy efficiency, says independent conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) urban futures project manager Louise Scholtz. “If we were, South Africa’s Integrated Resources Plan 2019... 

Local energy not managed efficiently
TRANSFORMATIVE DEVELOPMENTS The decreasing cost of renewable-energy technologies, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic, are one of the developments transforming South Africa’s energy market

New label can improve consumer education

By: Tracy Hancock     8th May 2020 The next challenge for the South African domestic appliance industry is the migration to a new energy efficiency label under the Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (S&L) programme to improve consumer education. The label will simplify energy classes and provide explanations of... 

New label can improve consumer education
ON PAR The energy efficiency of domestic appliances in South Africa is generally of a high standard

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors  

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) told lawmakers on May 7 that the development of a roadmap for a 2 500 MW nuclear new build programme would commence soon and that the market would be tested for “robust funding options”. A request for information would be issued to assess... 

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Full legal separation of Eskom divisions still years off, lawmakers hear 

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter told lawmakers on May 6 that “good progress” had been made on the “divisionalisation”, under Eskom Holdings, of the utility’s generation, transmission and distribution businesses, with separate boards and MDs having been appointed for each unit. He also indicated,... 

Full legal separation of Eskom divisions still years off, lawmakers hear
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
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