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Electricity News

Solar PV brings hope for eSwatini

By: Kim Cloete     4th March 2020 The Kingdom of eSwatini, previously called Swaziland, is confident it is on the right track by developing its renewable energy sector to help reduce its reliance on its neighbours for power. eSwatini Energy Minister Peter Bhembe on Tuesday said his country had developed a comprehensive, long-term... 

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it has started with its work to implement the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) 2019 from a policy and regulatory point of view. A Section 34 determination is needed to operationalise the IRP 2019, which supports a diverse energy mix. 

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

Cosatu urges private pension use to help to save Eskom 

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 South Africa’s biggest labour federation said private pensions must be used alongside those of government workers as part of a plan to rescue the state power company from crippling debt and spur economic growth. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) advocated the use of so-called... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4% 

By: Reuters     3rd March 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a revised 0.8% contraction in the third quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a contraction of 0.1% in quarter-on-quarter and... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4%

Nigeria’s immense gas reserves offer great scope to boost economic growth

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Nigeria is hoping to make the most of its immense gas reserves, but needs to refine its legislation and get its projects moving swiftly.  Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo from the Nigerian Ministerial Task Force on Power said Nigeria had the ninth largest gas reserves in the world and was number one... 

Companies urged to gear up for gas revolution in Mozambique

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Key players in the gas industry have urged the South African government and companies to gear up for the tremendous opportunities that the gas resources uncovered in Mozambique will offer.  A final investment decision (FID) has been taken for two projects, while the FID for a third project is... 

Germany moves into hydrogen with lessons from Opec, Russia 

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 Germany is taking its first steps to build an economy based on hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, seeking to deliver both green growth and to avoid being trapped by a small cartel of suppliers. Ministers have been quietly lining up deals with nations including Nigeria that might produce hydrogen... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2020 Eskom's megapower station Medupi is suffocating South Africa in more ways than one: It is not just a financial black hole; it is also a health and environmental catastrophe. And the installation of crucial technology to make it less poisonous has once again been delayed. For years, Eskom has... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers

No loadshedding expected on Tuesday, but possibility has increased

By: African News Agency      3rd March 2020 Loadshedding was not expected on Tuesday, but the possibility of rotational blackouts had increased due to a high number unplanned outages, Eskom said on Monday night.   "We are utilising emergency generation reserves to supplement supply. The generation system remains constrained, vulnerable and... 

 No loadshedding expected on Tuesday, but possibility has increased

Natural gas has potential to change energy sector dynamics 

By: Kim Cloete     2nd March 2020 The South African Gas Development Company, also known as iGas, says the dynamics for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are in South Africa’s favour, with LNG prices at the lowest point in real terms since the history of the trade and more projects coming on stream. “LNG has a versatile delivery system.... 

Natural gas has potential to change energy sector dynamics

Fund helps to bring 8 major African projects to fruition

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Finance organisation, the Private Infrastructure Development Group’s Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), last year garnered $242-million worth of new loan commitments towards projects in Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. The EAIF’s loan portfolio grew by... 

Perdekraal East, Kangnas wind farms both receive last loads

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 All turbine components have been successfully transported to two of the country’s largest wind farms. The final loads for the Perdekraal East Wind Farm arrived on February 21, while the final loads for Kangnas Wind Farm arrived on February 26. 

Perdekraal East, Kangnas wind farms both receive last loads
The last load onward to Perdekraal East Wind Farm

Likelihood of load-shedding grows as more generation units trip

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2020 Eskom says that while it still does not expect to implement rotational load-shedding on Monday, the likelihood of power cuts has increased. "Overnight some generation units tripped unexpectedly, further reducing available capacity. We are utilising more emergency generation reserves than... 

 Likelihood of load-shedding grows as more generation units trip

DMRE plans to resume solar water heater programme

By: Simone Liedtke     28th February 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is finalising an internal audit on a bidding process to enable the finalisation of contractual arrangements with appointed service providers for the department’s National Solar Water Heater Programme. Following the conclusion of the audit, the... 

No load-shedding expected on Friday, says Eskom

By: Reuters     28th February 2020 Load-shedding was not expected on Friday, Eskom has said. The power utility said it was using emergency reserves to supplement generation capacity during peak demand. "We remind customers that as the generation system remains constrained, vulnerable and unpredictable, load-shedding could be... 

No load-shedding expected on Friday, says Eskom

Does nuclear have a future in South Africa?

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 Will South Africa ever build a new nuclear power plant (NPP)? Well, and I hope the revelation doesn’t ruin the dramatic flow of my narrative, I haven’t a clue. I don’t think anyone does. There is a lot of opposition to any such idea. Or, rather, there is a lot of opposition to the idea among... 

Water challenges flagged as potential deterrent to investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 Amid growing uncertainty on the rising cost and scarcity of water, infrastructure gaps and the potential of water-shedding, water and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are increasingly looming large on the radar of ratings agencies. South Africa stands at the cusp of another... 

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The level of activity in the local stainless steel sector’s value chain has dwindled in the past decade, mainly owing to international competition, low steel prices and the slow growth of the local economy. 

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020
FULL OF VIGOR Stainless steel is one of the youngest industrial materials globally, managing to positively change people’s lives

Local steel industry still holds much potential 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF). 

Local steel industry  still holds much potential
International Steel Fabricators CEO Neels van Niekerk discusses the South African steel sector. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 30.01.2020

Eskom power cut derails Western Cape train service, Mbalula not impressed

By: African News Agency      27th February 2020 Commuter trains throughout the Western Cape came to a halt on Thursday as Eskom disconnected power to Metrorail due to unpaid bills, causing transport chaos in the province. Limited service was restored by late afternoon after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), which owns... 

Implats evaluating 200 MW solar power plant in Zimbabwe  

By: Martin Creamer     27th February 2020 Zimbabwe platinum group metals mining company Zimplats is in the midst of a feasibility study to evaluate the construction of a 200 MW solar power plant, Implats CEO Nico Muller said on Thursday. Speaking to Mining Weekly following the company’s interim dividend reinstatement and generation of... 

Implats evaluating 200 MW solar power plant in Zimbabwe
Implats CEO Nico Muller talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Video: Kutlwano Matlala.

Schneider Electric Academy 4IR energy skills 

27th February 2020 Electricity management company Schneider Electric’s academy is linked to its global community of practice, and provides training on new energy and electricity management technologies. Schalk Burger has the story. 

Schneider Electric Academy 4IR energy skills
Schneider Electric Academy 4IR energy skills

Cities to receive grant funding in efforts to boost infrastructure development

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 Cities will receive grant funding through the integrated city development grant to institutionalise an effective system for preparing programmes and projects. This is in an effort to continue expanding the tools available for South African provinces and municipalities to improve spending, after... 

Cities to receive grant funding in efforts to boost infrastructure development

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday that R16.4-billion would be allocated to South African Airways over the medium term to “repay the airline’s guaranteed debt and to cover debt-service costs”. Speaking to lawmakers, Mboweni said the “SAA Sword of Damocles has now fallen on us”,... 

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 With a weak economic outlook characterised by a real gross domestic product that is expected to grow at 0.9% in 2020, 1.3% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022, South Africa is in dire need of far-reaching structural reforms to achieve faster economic growth. In contrast, global economic growth is expected... 

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth

Ethiopia asks US to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Ethiopia has asked the United States to postpone what was expected to be the final round of talks on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam, it said on Wednesday, delaying the potential resolution of a dispute that sparked a years-long diplomatic crisis. "We have asked that we need more time for... 

Ghana weighs debt buyout to restructure costly power deals

By: Bloomberg     26th February 2020 Ghana is considering to buy out the debts of independent power producers as a step toward restructuring contracts and reducing its power bill, according to people familiar with the matter. West Africa’s second-biggest economy currently pays as much as $500-million a year for power it doesn’t... 

Charge copper thieves with economic sabotage, says Mbalula 

By: African News Agency      25th February 2020 Copper thieves should be charged with economic sabotage rather than common theft, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula suggested in Parliament on Tuesday. Mbalula told the portfolio committee on transport that stolen copper rail cables were exported to India through Mozambique by syndicates, and... 

 Charge copper thieves with economic sabotage, says Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Eskom faces closure threat at biggest working power plant 

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2020 Eskom Holdings is battling to keep all the units of its biggest operational power plant open after being served with a compliance notice by South Africa’s environment ministry because of its high levels of air pollution. The indebted power utility has failed to fully repair pollution-abatement... 

Eskom faces closure threat at biggest working power plant

No power cuts planned for Tuesday after generation units return to service

By: News24Wire      25th February 2020 Eskom says it does not expect to have to implement power cuts on Tuesday after additional generation units returned to service overnight. The utility, in a morning power alert, said that the generation system had held up well since Sunday with emergency reserves at adequate levels. Eskom has... 

 No power cuts planned for Tuesday after generation units return to service

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI   

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler confirmed on Monday that the energy and chemicals group made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with its request for information (RFI) on possible emergency electricity solutions that could be “grid-connected in the shortest time at... 

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler on the need for a culture change at the company following major cost overruns at its US project. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

Industry strongly opposed to further tariff increases for Eskom 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Monday hosted the last of its public hearings on Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) application for the 2018/19 financial year, with various organisations having expressed their opposition to the granting of further tariff increases... 

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’  

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has indicated that its capital expenditure (capex) will continue to taper during its 2020 and 2021 financial years as the group seeks to deleverage a balance sheet that reached “peak gearing” of close to 65% in the six months to December 31, 2019. Sasol’s gearing... 

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’
Sasol CFO Paul Victor on how capex will be tapered as it seeks to navigate its 'peak gearing' phase. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

SAB calls for ‘clear process’ on self-generation licence applications

By: Simone Liedtke     24th February 2020 South African Breweries (SAB) on Monday published a call for a clear process to be implemented with regard to generation license applications above 10 MW, which it says will assist the company in achieving its sustainability vision. The company welcomed the government’s commitment in this year’s... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce

By: Sane Dhlamini     24th February 2020 The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry labelled the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ plan to save ailing power utility Eskom using Government Employees Pension Fund funds as immoral. Cosatu recently suggested saving Eskom by using R250-billion from the Public Investment Corporation,... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce
Photo by Supplied by Cape Chamber
President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs

Mboweni’s budget unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s budget this week is unlikely to convince Moody’s Investors Service that he has a credible plan to rein in government debt. Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll... 

No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom

By: African News Agency      24th February 2020 No load-shedding is expected on Monday, as the power generation outlook is positive, with four generation units returning to service, Eskom said. "With the planned return of four generation units, as well as adequate emergency reserves, Eskom does not expect to implement rotational load-shedding... 

 No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom
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