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Electricity News

Egypt mulling Blackstone unit's offer to take over power plants

By: Bloomberg     28th May 2019 Egypt is considering offers from a Blackstone Group unit and Edra Power Holdings of Malaysia to take over three power plants co-built by Siemens – a move that could cut the North African nation’s debts while bringing in much-needed foreign investment. Both Blackstone’s Zarou and Edra have voiced... 

IEA urges support for research into small modular reactors

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2019 The International Energy Agency (IEA) says countries intending to retain nuclear power as an option in their clean-energy transitions should support innovative new reactor designs with lower capital costs and shorter lead times, such as small modular reactors (SMRs). The recommendation is made in... 

Sakeliga heads to SCA over power interruptions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th May 2019 Business organisation Sakeliga will be heading to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), in Bloemfontein, to have the judgment that prohibits State-owned power utility Eskom from unlawfully interrupting the electricity supply to defaulting municipalities upheld. On March 7, the North Gauteng High... 

Enel’s fourth South African wind farm to start operating in 2021

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th May 2019 Energy company Enel’s renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power (EPG) South Africa has started construction on its 140 MW Oyster Bay Wind Farm, in the Kouga municipality, in the Eastern Cape. The €180-million wind project comprises 41 turbines and will generate around 568 GWh/y, which effectively... 

Botswana cancels 100 MW solar power tender, plans to reissue

By: Reuters     27th May 2019 The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), has cancelled a tender in which it was seeking private investor partners to build a 100 MW solar power plant, and plans to reissue the tender to make the project fully private owned, the state-owned utility said on Saturday. "The project which was initially... 

Senegal imports turbines for West Africa's first big wind farm project

By: Reuters     24th May 2019 Senegal started importing turbines for its first large-scale wind farm on Thursday, the biggest such project in West Africa that will supply nearly a sixth of the country's power. Privately-owned British renewable power company Lekela expects the wind farm, located in Taiba Ndiaye, about 100 km... 

BMG extends supply of gearboxes and variators

24th May 2019 Engineering consumables and components distributor Bearing Man Group (BMG), as exclusive distributors for gears and drives manufacturer Varvel Group in sub-Saharan Africa for more than 40 years, has extended the supply of Varvel gearboxes and variators for small- and medium-power applications.... 

BMG extends supply of  gearboxes and variators
TRACKING THE SUN BMG’s Varvel worm gearboxes are installed on solar panels to ensure that they are in an ideal position to track the sun

New VSD software offers energy savings

By: Cameron Mackay     24th May 2019 Electrical and energy solutions provider Zest WEG Group is deploying a new plug-and-play variable speed drive (VSD) software solution that achieves automatic energy savings when used with any standard electric motor. The solution was developed by WEG Group software engineers in Brazil. 

New VSD software offers energy savings
LIGHTEN THE LOAD While there are a variety of different sized motors that will have different efficiencies, energy savings increase exponentially as the load decreases

Collaboration gives rise to advanced automation

24th May 2019 UK industrial technology group Rolls Royce Power Systems and automation technology group ABB are in a global partnership on microgrid technology with advanced automation. Together, the two companies will offer an innovative, energy efficient microgrid solution for utilities, islands, as well as... 

Collaboration gives rise to advanced automation
Photo by Bloomberg
GRID STABILITY ABB Ability e-mesh can ensure a stable power grid, even with a high share of renewable energy from various sources

Vert supplies Leroy-Somer motors in Southern Africa

24th May 2019 Electric power generation solutions provider Vert Energy is the sole supplier of electric motors manufacturer Leroy-Somer in Southern Africa. Vert Energy supplies the entire Leroy-Somer (LS) range, including standard and adapted ac and dc motors, geared and brake motors, variable speed drives... 

Vert supplies Leroy-Somer motors in Southern Africa
SAFETY IN EXTREME CONDITIONS The range is ideal for pump, ventilation, agitator and mixed applications in refineries, pipelines, petrochemicals and food industries

Company introduces new ACS6080 drive

24th May 2019 Automation technology provider ABB has expanded its all-compatible drives offering to include the ACS6080 medium voltage (MV) drive for critical applications. The new drive introduces an innovative control technology, developed by the company, that brings high-performance motor control to... 

Company introduces new ACS6080 drive
VERSATILE CONTROL The ACS6080 controls all types of AC motors including induction, synchronous and permanent magnet, without the need for different software

New motor released to electric drives and controls industry

24th May 2019 Automation technology solutions provider Tectra Automation’s new MS2N Synchronous Servo Motor is the company’s latest innovative product offering to the electric drives and controls industry. The MS2N servo motor range combines high dynamics with compact dimensions and energy efficiency, with... 

New motor released to electric drives and controls industry
VERSATILITY IN APPLICATION The MS2N includes over 50 motor types in six motor sizes, five motor lengths and more than 20 fully configurable options

Enviro dept invites public comment on sulphur dioxide emissions amendment  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd May 2019 The Environmental Affairs Minister has temporarily withdrawn a provision that would have allowed for a doubling in the amount of harmful pollutant sulphur dioxide companies may emit. This follows environmental organisation GroundWork’s litigation, instituted last month, seeking to have the... 

Enviro dept invites public comment on sulphur dioxide emissions amendment

Pioneering system holds huge potential for microgrids

By: Kim Cloete     23rd May 2019 A sharper focus on renewable energy has led to increased opportunities for microgrids in rural areas, industrial and commercial parks and residential developments in African countries. “Technology is progressing very fast on alternative energies and systems. An increased focus on renewable energy... 

South Africa’s fiscal crisis, price volatility among top energy risks for this year 

By: Kim Cloete     23rd May 2019 The South African National Energy Association (Sanea) has outlined its nine top energy risks for 2019, with price volatility and uncertainty, and South Africa’s fiscal crisis, among the top risks at both the country and industry level. The issue of price volatility and uncertainty was significant... 

South Africa’s fiscal crisis, price volatility among top energy risks for this year

University of Nottingham academics patent gravitational energy storage using soil batteries

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd May 2019 Academics have patented new concepts on electric power energy storage using gravity, with the concept of gravity energy storage using soil batteries being promoted by two University of Nottingham academics – European Academy of Sciences fellow and World Society of Sustainable Technologies... 

Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa announces IPO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2019 Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the Mozambican concessionaire of the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant, has announced the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) for up to 7.5% of its shares to individual Mozambican nationals and collective national investors. The IPO will see a first... 

Nersa to host workshop to clarify licensing process for small-scale power plants 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2019 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says it will, in due course, host a stakeholder workshop in order to provide clarity on the processes it will follows, as well as information it requires, in order to register or licence small-scale embedded generators (SSEGs). In a statement... 

Nersa to host workshop to clarify licensing process for small-scale power plants

Kibo subsidiary to acquire UK gas-fuelled power plant project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd May 2019 Aim- and JSE-listed Kibo Energy’s 60% subsidiary MAST Energy Developments (MED) has executed an agreement to acquire Bordersley Power Limited (BPL) from Balance Power Projects. BPL – a special purpose vehicle – will comprise a 5 MW gas-fueled power generation plant, which will be supported by an... 

Eskom keeps investors in the dark as debt speculation mounts 

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2019 As speculation swirls about plans to deal with Eskom Holdings’ crippling debt load, one group of stakeholders hasn’t been consulted – owners of the company’s R243-billion of bonds. South Africa’s State-owned power utility is groaning under almost R500-billion of bond and loan debt, according to... 

Court date set for Cape Metro's bid to buy power directly from IPPs

By: African News Agency      22nd May 2019 The City of Cape Town on Tuesday welcomed the high court in Pretoria setting a date for its petition to buy electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs). The City wants the Energy Minister and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to allow it to purchase power from... 

Mboweni bemoans 'madness' of Eskom debt  

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2019 South Africa’s embattled State power utility must prioritise collecting the money it is owed by municipalities as a first step toward becoming financially sustainable, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said. Eskom Holdings has reported that municipalities owed it R17-billion in arrears for power... 

Mboweni bemoans 'madness' of Eskom debt
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Transport of wind turbine components for two projects under way

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2019 Turbine tower sections for the Kangnas Wind Farm and Perdekraal East Wind Farm are being transported from the Port of Saldanha Bay and from Atlantis to the project sites. The two wind projects, which form part of Bid Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement... 

Company uses macadamia nut shells to purify water

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th May 2019 Kusini Water has developed a locally designed solar-powered water purification system that uses an activated carbon filter made from locally sourced macadamia nut shells and that is being used to meet the water needs of schools and communities in South Africa.   The system was developed by... 

Company uses macadamia nut shells to purify water
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
The Heidelberg Kusini Water plant

Load-shedding’s impact on first-quarter GDP ‘more muted’ than thought – Intellidex

By: Simone Liedtke     17th May 2019 Based off high-frequency data, the impact of record load-shedding during the first quarter of this year is “more muted than previous estimates would suggest”, financial consultant Intellidex said on Friday. The company explained that it could account for about R300-million per stage per day so... 

Nordic countries strengthen partnerships with sub-Saharan Africa

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2019 The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are strengthening their partnerships with sub-Saharan African countries to increase green electrification and water security. The four countries are known for their expertise in developing viable and innovative energy systems, with a... 

Municipal electricity tariff increase yet to be approved, says Salga

By: Simone Liedtke     17th May 2019 The South African Local Government Association on Friday said the municipal electricity tariff for the 2019/20 financial year is yet to be approved. The association said that, contrary to information in the public domain about a more than 15% increase in municipal electricity tariffs, as a result... 

Greenpeace welcomes move to license SSEG projects

By: Simone Liedtke     17th May 2019 Greenpeace Africa political adviser Happy Khambule says rooftop solar is a “no-brainer” and has welcomed the move by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe “to finally make sure that the country can go ahead with the installation of rooftop solar”. The Minister earlier this week instructed the National... 

Pioneers and projects that shone at African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2019 A dynamic South African leader in renewable energy, a former influential government minister in Ethiopia, the Ghana Grid Company and a range of renewable energy projects were among the winners at the annual African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards announced in Cape Town this week. The... 

Winter plan: Eskom requires efficient use of electricity

17th May 2019 With colder weather conditions expected across the country and the demand for electricity projected to increase, South Africans can make a huge difference by rallying towards the common cause of using electricity efficiently, which has the potential to reduce demand by up to 500 MW – saving the... 

Winter plan: Eskom requires efficient  use of electricity
ESKOM We promise to keep our customers informed about the state of our power system on a continuous basis

Nuclear is a solution to Eskom’s woes 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th May 2019 The success of all the countries that have undertaken large nuclear programmes shows that nuclear energy is a credible solution to State-owned power utility Eskom’s power challenges, says retired Eskom chief nuclear officer David Nicholls. 

Nuclear is a solution to Eskom’s woes
Retired Eskom Chief Nuclear Officer David Nicholls discusses the power utility, scan the barcode with your phones QR reader, or go to ‘Video Reports’ on www.engineeringnews.co.za/ Camerawork: Christo Greyling. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.04.2019

Eskom unbundling will allow for efficient and effective management

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th May 2019 The challenges facing State-owned power utility Eskom can be mitigated through proper, efficient and effective management, which is possible with the company’s unbundling, says Stellenbosch University Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) director Professor Sampson Mamphweli. 

Eskom unbundling will allow for efficient and effective management
SAMPSON MAMPHWELI There is a greater need for a balanced energy mix between coal, gas and renewable energy

Eaton acquires controlling interest in Turkish company

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2019 Power management company Eaton has acquired a controlling interest in Ulusoy Elektrik, a manufacturer of medium-voltage electrical equipment based in Ankara, Turkey. The acquisition will help Eaton develop innovative power solutions for the African market. “The acquisition of Ulusoy Elektrik... 

Sakeliga welcomes Radebe's decision on private electricity generation

By: African News Agency      16th May 2019 Business organisation Sakeliga on Thursday welcomed Energy Minister Jeff Radebe's decision to allow private businesses to generate their own power and feed it into the grid. The energy department this week confirmed Radebe gave the National Energy Regulator of South Africa the go ahead to licence... 

Sakeliga welcomes Radebe's decision on private electricity generation
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Power Africa moves towards its goal of bringing more energy to the continent

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2019 Power Africa, which was launched by former US President Barack Obama six years ago, is working towards its target of providing energy access to an additional 60-million new homes and businesses and adding 30 000 MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity on the African... 

Energy in focus following elections 

16th May 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s focus on Eskom and South Africa’s energy sector as he considers the appointment of a new Cabinet, as well as the changes on the regulatory front with regard to small-scale embedded... 

Energy in focus following elections
Energy in focus following elections

Mozambique power utility begins the long process of recovery following cyclones

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2019 Mozambique’s energy sector is trying to get back on track following the devastation wreaked on its power system by Cyclone Idai in March and cyclone Kenneth in April.   Electricity Company of Mozambique chairperson and CEO Aly Impija told delegates attending the African Utility Week, in Cape... 

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