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Environmental News

Carbon storage vital to chemicals projects

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 With the global drive to meet climate targets and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a vital emissions reduction technology for the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, says international think-tank Global CCS Institute advocacy and... 

ESG gaining prominence in SA, but more to be done

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th March 2020 Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is gaining prominence in South Africa, but is still not at the level it should be, a panel of speakers at FTI Consulting’s ESG breakfast discussion, held in Johannesburg on Tuesday, agreed. Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership... 

A recycling plan to clear wind turbine blades from landfills

By: , Bloomberg     9th March 2020 It’s difficult to recycle a gigantic wind turbine. The blades are built to withstand extreme weather, from scorching desert heat to hurricane-like winds, and that means their life almost always ends in a landfill. In Europe alone, about 3,800 blades will be removed every year through at least... 

Company to improve processes with new furnaces

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 Local metalworking company Thomas Foundry is set to improve and increase the efficiency of its metalworking and manufacturing processes with the purchase of four new induction furnaces. The order was placed in September last year to replace three decommissioned furnaces – a 1 t furnace and two 5... 

Company to improve  processes with new furnaces
FORGING AHEAD The company has purchased 4 new furnaces to reduce electricity consumption, improve quality and productivity, improving environmental compliance and reducing maintenance costs

4IR, rail projects can grow local foundries industry

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 The local foundries, forges and casting industry can benefit from following the global trend of metal casting companies implementing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies. An abundance of infrastructure projects, such as rail projects from State-owned rail utility Transnet, has the... 

4IR, rail projects  can grow local  foundries industry
GLEN DIKGALE There are opportunities for the local foundry industry. Government is increasingly talking about sourcing equipment locally, so we need to comply with requirements

M&R confirms coronavirus-linked disruptions at two project sites 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2020 Specialist engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has initiated a study into the potential health and commercial effects of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, on its projects and people, confirming on Thursday that the outbreak was already affecting project delivery in South Africa... 

M&R confirms coronavirus-linked disruptions at two project sites
Photo by Creamer Media
Murray & Roberts CEO Henry Laas

Standard Bank releases policy on lending to thermal coal mining projects 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th March 2020 Financial services provider Standard Bank has released its Thermal Coal Mining Policy, making it the first South African bank to publicly release a policy on lending to coal mining projects. This follows a landmark shareholder vote in favour of a climate risk-related shareholder resolution which... 

Standard Bank releases policy on lending to thermal coal mining projects

Global warming fast shrinking rainforest role as climate protector

By: , Bloomberg     5th March 2020 The amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide that can be sucked up from the atmosphere and stored by tropical forests is falling as the global climate heats up, researchers said on Wednesday. They warned in a study that rainforests could tip from absorbing carbon to becoming a source of emissions... 

Mpact performs well, despite 2019 financial year not having gone ‘to plan’

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2020 The weak South African economy, low business and consumer confidence, as well as the re-emergence of load-shedding and uncertainty in a number of areas, had a marked impact on paper and plastics packaging business Mpact’s customers and consumer-facing business in 2019. This resulted in tough... 

Mpact performs well, despite 2019 financial year not having gone ‘to plan’
Mpact's paper punnets

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

By: Kim Cloete     4th March 2020 Getting more energy to more people in Africa is imperative, particularly as the continent's population is set to soar over the next few decades, the Africa Energy Indaba has heard. “This is an opportunity for all of us to move forward faster and further together,” World Energy Council secretary... 

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

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

Standard Bank issues South Africa’s first offshore green bond

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Standard Bank has issued its first-ever green bond through a private placement with development finance institution, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The $200-million bond, which is Africa’s largest green bond and South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance, has been listed on... 

Standard Bank issues South Africa’s first offshore green bond
Photo by Creamer Media
Standard Bank CE Sim Tshabalala

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... 

Beware of biodegradable and compostable plastics – Plastics SA

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 The introduction of bioplastics to South Africa’s burgeoning and well-developed recycling industry should carefully be considered, says plastics industry association Plastics SA. Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources that are not grown or intended for human... 

Beware of biodegradable and compostable plastics – Plastics SA
LITTERING IS TRASHY Alternatives to conventional plastic packaging do not change consumer behaviour with regard to littering

Products reduce plastic waste, improve packaging

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 Packaging supplier Baypac Solutions’ innovative solutions have resulted in its  customers being able to reduce their use of disposable plastic by 50% on average. Using one or all of Baypac Solutions’ Lock n Pop adhesive, Anti-Slip sheets and 55-layer Nanotechnology stretch film can halve stretch... 

Retailer to reduce single-use plastic impact

28th February 2020 Retail company Pick n Pay is moving to dramatically reduce the impact of single-use plastic and packaging by 2025. Since 2018, the retailer has successfully implemented a number of initiatives to reduce packaging and single-use plastic at its stores and throughout its supply chain. 

Flooring company to start green project

By: Halima Frost     28th February 2020 Flooring contractor KBAC Flooring will handle a 1 400 m2   external raised paving installation project in Centurion for M&T Development, set to start in April 2020. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa using a unique locally manufactured product. KBAC Flooring will... 

Flooring company to start green project
UPLIFTING Raised flooring allows for increased aesthetic appeal and accesses to hidden building services

Cableway company is taking on a mountain of waste

By: News24Wire      27th February 2020 There is an ongoing battle to keep Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain clear of rubbish. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) is actively engaged in recycling the rubbish that accumulates as a result of human activity on the mountain. 

Govt working on environmental fiscal reform paper, as carbon tax increases 5.6%

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 The National Treasury on Wednesday confirmed that government was preparing to publish an environmental fiscal reform review paper. The paper will explore the potential for new environmental taxes and reforms to existing instruments, such as restructuring the general fuel levy to include a local... 

Govt working on environmental fiscal reform paper, as carbon tax increases 5.6%

Fears of water’s ‘day zero’ spur Cape Town to consider rainless day fund

By: , Bloomberg     26th February 2020 Scarred by a water shortage that almost saw Cape Town become the first major world city to run out of water, local authorities are planning measures ranging from cutting down alien trees to establishing a “rainless day fund” to cushion its more than four-million people from the next dry spell.... 

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

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... 

Cape Town adds more energy to Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The decision to host this year’s Africa Energy Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on March 3 and 4, rather than in Johannesburg, where it was hosted previously, has resulted in increased interest from African and global delegates to attend the event, says Africa Energy Indaba... 

Cape Town adds more  energy to Indaba
ENERGISING AFRICA The sub-Saharan and East African regions will feature strongly at the indaba as electricity demand in these regions, and the rest of Africa, is growing

Energy institute to focus on IRP at Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The publication of the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in October last year will be a significant focus area for State-owned energy researcher the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) at this year’s Africa Energy Indaba. “The publication of the IRP provides... 

Energy institute to focus on IRP at Indaba
BARRY BREDENKAMP We certainly don’t have to re-invent the wheel, there are many African countries doing exceptional work in this area, and we can learn from them

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 This year’s Africa Energy Indaba will provide light-emitting-diode (LED) technology provider Grandstage Trading with opportunities to explore how it will achieve its objectives through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will be a significant topic... 

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba
CHRISTINE MASAITI An important factor of the discussions at the indaba which could be of great benefit is encouraging the public to move to LED lighting technology

Indaba increases prospect of project funding

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 The Africa Energy Indaba provides an ideal opportunity for State-owned export credit agency (ECA) the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) to become more involved in the funding of significant energy infrastructure projects. “The Indaba raises the ECIC’s profile as an... 

Indaba increases prospect of project funding
ATTRACTING THE GLOBE The ECIC’s mandate from government is to make local exports attractive to international buyers to attract foreign income, stimulate local economic growth and create jobs

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Africa can meet its major sustainable energy and development goals without becoming more energy intensive, as it has a unique opportunity to use renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency to meet its development needs and provide reliable and modern energy services. This is the... 

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Rice University laboratory chemists, led by James Tour, have in the science journal Nature introduced a process by which almost any source of carbon can be turned into graphene flakes, the university said. The gram-scale bottom-up flash graphene synthesis process is quick and cheap and can... 

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene
FLASH GRAPHENE Undergraduate intern Christina Crassas, chemist James Tour and graduate students Paul Advincula and Duy Luong turn carbon black into graphene in a flash

Ethical engagement rings that are truly eco-friendly, guilt-free

By: , Bloomberg     20th February 2020 When Krish Himmatramka was working as an engineer in the oil industry, he would spend his spare time in his trailer in northern Louisiana scouring the Internet for the perfect engagement ring for his girlfriend. But he struggled to find one that was ethically and sustainably produced.  After... 

Climate change threatens South Africa's socioeconomic development – Creecy

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Climate change poses a "significant risk" to South Africa's socio-economic development, Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said in the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Tuesday. She acknowledged Ramaphosa's undertaking for a "decisive... 

Climate change threatens South Africa's socioeconomic development – Creecy
Photo by Donna Slater
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

South Africa's permission for ACWA plant expires, lawyers say

By: , Bloomberg     19th February 2020 ACWA Power has been informed by the South African government that its environmental authorisation to build a 306 MW coal-fired power plant in the country has expired, according to lawyers opposing the project. The authorisation for the Khanyisa coal-fired plant lapsed on October 31, 2018, and the... 

Adam Habib resigns as Wits Vice-Chancellor

By: Sane Dhlamini     18th February 2020 Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand Adam Habib has announced his resignation from the university at the end of December this year, after seven years at the helm. He will be joining the School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS, in London, as director, from... 

Adam Habib resigns as Wits Vice-Chancellor
Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, Adam Habib

Govt allocates R143m for drought relief in Limpopo

By: African News Agency      18th February 2020 South Africa's department of human settlements, water and sanitation has allocated R143-million for drought relief in Moutse in Limpopo province. The funds will be administered by water board Lepelle Northern Water within Sekhukhune district municipality towards drilling new boreholes and... 

Govt allocates R143m for drought relief in Limpopo
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu

Greenpeace confirms activists appeared in court after display at cricket game

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th February 2020 Environmental organisation Greenpeace Africa says ten of its activists appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning. The activists were arrested on Sunday after running onto the SuperSport Park Stadium cricket pitch, in Centurion, wearing superhero costumes.  

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 While the energy transition is gaining a lot of traction, integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo laments that the battery storage narrative is “still dominated by electric vehicles (EVs)”. He tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly that there is still a lack of... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo chats to Engineering News & Mining Weekly about the energy transition, how vanadium plays a role in this as well as how this fits into the company's growth plans. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Kruger National Park urges stakeholders to protect the Sabie river

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th February 2020 Representatives from the Kruger National Park, a South African National Parks (SANParks) reserve, this week met with the traditional leaders of Bushbuckridge, to strengthen water education and to ensure that water is used sparingly in order to preserve the Sabie river. Kruger National Park... 

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