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Electricity News

AfDB, Irena to jointly advance Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2020 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will jointly support investment in low-carbon energy projects, a move which is expected to advance Africa’s energy transition. The two entities have signed a declaration of intent to coordinate on a range of... 

Pay for electricity to help Eskom succeed, Mabuza urges  

By: News24Wire      8th December 2020 Communities must pay for electricity if Eskom is to succeed, Deputy President David Mabuza has said. "Doing so is in the best interest of our country," he said on Tuesday morning at a Nedlac summit, which will see business, trade union and government leaders sign a social compact to support the... 

Pay for electricity to help Eskom succeed, Mabuza urges
Deputy President David Mabuza

Local natural gas producer keeping its foot on the gas 

8th December 2020 Emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen, who continues to keep its foot on the gas in South Africa, invited the Engineering News team to visit the company’s project site in the Free State, South Africa. Creamer Media journalist, Simone Liedtke, gives us the update. 

Local natural gas producer keeping its foot on the gas
Local natural gas producer keeping its foot on the gas

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables  

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 Organised business, labour, community and government have officially signed a social compact in support of debt-laden Eskom that also endorses the need for a “just transition” for coal workers and communities as the electricity system begins to transition to higher levels of renewable energy and... 

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables

EIUG urges members to apply for relief under negotiated pricing agreement framework 

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 The Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) has welcomed the ‘Short-Term and Interim Long-Term Negotiated Pricing Agreement (NPA) frameworks’ approved by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and is encouraging its members to apply for these opportunities where... 

EIUG urges members to apply for relief under negotiated pricing agreement framework

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2020 Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) used the platform created by ongoing National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) hearings to call for a moratorium on additional electricity tariff hikes, arguing that further increases would undermine the country’s... 

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity

Public hearing participant questions Nersa mandate in evolving electricity market 

By: Donna Slater     4th December 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa was outdated, and regulation changes were needed to bring it in line with current trends, the only respondent to public hearings into gold miner Gold Fields' application to build a 40 MW solar plant near its mine in Westonaria said on Thursday. Brian... 

New group CEO announced for Necsa

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th December 2020 The South African Cabinet announced on Friday that, at its Wednesday virtual meeting, it had ratified the appointment of Loyiso Tyabashe as the new group CEO for the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa). He holds a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and... 

New group CEO announced for Necsa
Loyiso Tyabashe

Sasol's rights issue and 2.0 transformation programme  

4th December 2020 Sasol is still mulling over whether or not to proceed with a rights issue to help it deal with its debt burden. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses this and the ‘Sasol 2.0’ transformation programme. 

Sasol's rights issue and 2.0 transformation programme
Sasol's right issue and 2.0 transformation programme

Genset range equipped with built-in automatic transfer switch panel

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     4th December 2020 In response to market requirements for a stationary quality genset (generator set), power solutions provider HIMOINSA launched the new HS stationary genset range in October.   HIMOINSA Southern Africa business development director Matthew Bell explains that the design of the range resulted in the... 

Genset range equipped with built-in automatic transfer switch panel
NOTHING BUT QUALITY The range was designed to produce a competitively priced, versatile and modular genset that is fast and easy to install

Bigger not always better with gensets – OEM

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th December 2020 Bigger is not always better when considering generators (gensets) and standby power, and it is vital that site-specific power requirements and conditions are taken into account during the design phase of these power supply products, says local manufacturer Zest WEG.  

Bigger not always better with gensets – OEM
GENERATION OPTIMISATION In addition to cost savings, optimal design for the intended purpose also helps avoid delays in standby power kicking in during power failures for critical operations

Solar project roll-out under way as Ford eyes energy self-sufficiency by 2024

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2020 The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has kicked off a 13.5 MW, R135-million solar-energy project at its Silverton assembly plant, in Pretoria. The project forms part of a larger programme to develop an integrated renewable- energy solution for the facility, with the aim to be... 

Fall in energy efficiency investment threatens climate goals – IEA 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd December 2020 Investment in energy efficiency worldwide is on course to fall by 9% in 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts, warning that the Covid-induced slump threatens international climate goals. The agency’s ‘Energy Efficiency 2020’ report estimates that global primary energy intensity... 

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd December 2020 The planned growth of South Africa’s wind-energy sector over the coming decade, and beyond, will require a material upscaling of the country’s training infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient South African wind technicians trained to support the building and maintenance of an expanding... 

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out
Photo by Saretec
Trainee wind technicians being put through their paces as the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre

Financing instruments need to be overhauled for a successful just transition

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) points out that South Africa needs to overhaul its existing financing mechanisms and instruments if communities are to truly benefit from a just energy transition to a green economy. This emerged as a central theme during a TIPS-hosted development... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol is keeping its rights-issue powder dry, indicating on Wednesday that a final decision on any possible issuance, including its scale, will depend on various factors, including whether or not it is successful in completing yet more asset disposals. CEO... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Germany scraps renewable fee on hydrogen to encourage new technology

By: Reuters     2nd December 2020 Germany's government on Wednesday lifted a charge levied on power prices to support renewable energy for producers of so-called green hydrogen, part of a bid to encourage the nascent technology for low-carbon fuels. The Berlin cabinet decided to waive the renewable energy fee under the EEG... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 The main environmental and social impacts of the propose 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi river, including serious negative impacts on adventure tourism and on the habitat of a rare bird species, were highlighted during a virtual stakeholder engagement on... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism
Batoka Gorge site

Irena partners with Ocean Energy Europe to foster incentives, regulatory reforms for ocean energy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2020 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) to accelerate the commercialisation of ocean energy technologies by promoting the right policy incentives and innovative business models in Europe and globally. OEE and... 

Eskom to be charged with misleading regulator over pollution

By: Bloomberg     30th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s State power utility, said it will be charged with supplying misleading information to the national air quality officer as well exceeding emissions limits at the Kendal coal-fired power plant and breaching its Atmospheric Emission License. “Eskom can confirm it has... 

Electricity grid collapses in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy 

By: Reuters     30th November 2020 Nigeria's national electricity grid collapsed on Sunday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said in a statement. Power outages in Nigeria, the most-populous nation in Africa, are common, but a system collapse is unusual. 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

27th November 2020 In this opinion piece, Standard Bank corporate and investment banking CE Kenny Fihla writes about governments turning to public-private partnerships to deliver large-scale projects. Given the pressure on investment yields in developed markets, African nations have an opportunity to attract... 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

SA's prospects for future coal projects 

27th November 2020 The role of new coal in South Africa’s electricity mix is coming under increasing scrutiny, with Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter the latest to question whether it can indeed be built. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the prospects for future coal projects. 

SA's prospects for future coal projects
SA's prospects for future coal projects

DNG Energy says LNG bunkering hub to benefit South Africa, rest of the world 

By: Simone Liedtke     27th November 2020 Natural gas distributor DNG Energy’s floating storage unit (FSU), in Algoa Bay, South Africa, once operational and delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2021, is set to secure energy for various industries and numerous households, while also creating jobs and contributing to skills... 

DNG Energy says LNG bunkering hub to benefit South Africa, rest of the world
DNG Energy group CEO Aldworth Mbalati gives Engineering News some more insight into the company's LNG bunkering hub project, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Video: Recorded via Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Darlene Creamer.

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 An influx of inferior-quality competitive electrical connector products into South Africa is a threat to the local manufacturing industry, owing to their unreliability, says electrical connector supplier Alexander and Poole area manager Juanita Fisher-Hill. “The greatest offenders are companies... 

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector
JUANITA FISHER-HILL Counterfeit parts neither carry a warranty or guarantee nor do they contain any of the inherent safety features

Pneumatic breakers increase efficiency and productivity

27th November 2020 The powerful, lightweight and ergonomic RTEX and TEX pneumatic breaker ranges from industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco exemplify abalance between high performance and high comfort, says Atlas Copco portable products business line manager David Stanford. 

Pneumatic breakers increase efficiency and productivity
RTEX PNEUMATIC BREAKERS The breakers have a breaking power that matches much heavier top class 30 to 35 kg breakers

Local company overcoming power challenges with flow battery system 

By: Schalk Burger     27th November 2020 Local electronic printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer Bosco is using a flow battery energy storage system alongside a rooftop solar energy and a battery management system (BMS) to keep a crucial production line and its engineering and sales departments free of disruptions caused by power... 

Waterloo solar PV farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     26th November 2020 The 75 MW Waterloo solar photovoltaic (PV) farm, located 10 km outside of Vryburg, in the North West province, has started commercial operations. The project achieved full quality and grid-code compliance by local engineering, procurement and construction contractor juwi Renewable Energies on... 

Waterloo solar PV farm starts commercial operations

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance  

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2020 Six steps could be taken immediately by the South African government and the energy regulator to unlock more self-generation investment by residential, commercial, industrial, mining and agricultural consumers so as to minimise power shortages and reduce the threat of load-shedding, a newly... 

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance

Nersa to host public hearing on Gold Fields' South Deep solar plant application 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 NYSE- and JSE-listed Gold Fields’ South Deep mining operation has lodged an application with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for an electricity generation licence for a proposed 40 MW solar photovoltaic plant at the mine, in Westonaria. Nersa has advised that a public... 

Nersa to host public hearing on Gold Fields' South Deep solar plant application
South Deep mine

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 The surge in borrowing costs affecting most African countries in the wake of the economic and fiscal harm that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic poses a serious risk to the much-needed recovery in energy investment across the continent, which is set to collapse by 30% in 2020. International... 

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Western Cape launches Municipal Energy Resilience project

By: Donna Slater     24th November 2020 The Western Cape government has launched its three-year Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project to assist municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations, which may include buying energy directly from independent power producers (IPPs). 

Eskom’s turnaround strategy to bear first fruit in April 2021 

By: Donna Slater     24th November 2020 Eskom CEO André de Ruyter says progress is being made in the unbundling of the utility and that “by April [2021], we should see a change”. He noted that the negative impact of load-shedding on the economy is well known and it is something that Eskom wishes to put behind it as quickly as possible.  

Nedbank provides financing options for solar power

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th November 2020 Banking institution Nedbank is exploring financing options for solar photovoltaic (PV) installation for homeowners and has implemented several options for businesses wanting to install solar PV plants. Nedbank Home Loans strategy head Bruno Cing’andu noted during a November 24 webinar, hosted by... 

A ‘just transition’ is complicated – panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2020 As South Africa emerges from the Covid-19-induced economic crisis, the most strategic objective would be to relieve the economy and its growth path from the stronghold of insufficient access to sustainable and competitive power generation, advisory Pan-African Investment and Research Services... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has again called on government to open the way for the procurement of more new electricity capacity in addition to the 11 800 MW outlined in a recently gazetted Ministerial determination, cautioning that the 1 500 MW of new coal included in the determination is unlikely... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row

By: Donna Slater     23rd November 2020 Capetonian Zirk Botha – a former naval combat officer and adventure racer – is preparing final arrangements to depart from Cape Town on a 7 000-km-long solo rowing trip on his boat Ratel across the Atlantic ocean, to Rio de Janeiro. Sponsored by the company he works for – juwi Renewable Energies... 

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row
Zirk Botha practicing on his boat - Ratel
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