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Transmission & Distribution News

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.  

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition  

20th November 2020   Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about plans by Eskom to repurpose and repower three coal-fired power stations that are due for decommissioning, why it is important for creating a just transition framework and the need for South Africa to determine... 

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition
Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 Access to dry-type transformer technology has been boosted throughout Africa, following the partnership of South African transformer supplier Trafo Power Solutions with Italian transformer manufacturer TMC Transformers at the end of 2018. “The business prospects for TMC in Africa are quite good... 

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa
DAVID CLAASSEN Dry-type transformer technology is safer and requires less maintenance

European firms say South Africa’s poor utilities deter investment

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2020 European businesses are delaying investment in South Africa because of poor power and water supply and the costs of complying with Black economic empowerment legislation, representatives of an industry body said. South Africa has suffered intermittent power outages since 2008 after the state... 

Eskom Political Task Team remains concerned about debt owed to the utility 

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th November 2020 The Eskom Political Task Team has agreed that all avenues should be explored to deal with the utility's debt challenge, including dealing with the underlying causes; for example inefficiencies, cost overruns, misappropriation of funds, cash losses due to unpaid debt by municipalities and other... 

Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight 

6th November 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about power utility Eskom's unsustainable debt position and financial loss and the tariff increases it is seeking.  

Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight
Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight

Credible pipeline of projects seen as key to achieving R1-trillion infrastructure goal  

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted the importance of project preparation to unlocking the mostly private finance that will be needed to realise government’s goal of investing R1-trillion in infrastructure over the coming four years and turning South Africa into a “building site”. Speaking... 

Credible pipeline of projects seen as key to achieving R1-trillion infrastructure goal
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Eskom introduces 400 kV transmission line construction project to municipalities

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has introduced its project for the construction of the 282 km of 400 kV transmission line, with associated feeder and transformer bays, which will be construction between the Gromis substation, in the Northern Cape, and the Juno substation, in the Western Cape. The... 

Fresh moves under way to address debt albatross at lossmaking Eskom 

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2020 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Friday that a “second round” of work is being initiated in an effort to find a solution to Eskom’s unsustainable debt burden in line with the recent social compact between government, community, labour and business to “mobilise funding to address... 

Fresh moves under way to address debt albatross at lossmaking Eskom
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office   

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office
IPPO head of technical Pervelan Govender told participants attending the virtual 2020 edition of Windaba that there was potential grid and just-transition virtue to be derived from locating new renewables projects in Mpumalanga. Video & Editing: Kutlwano Matala & Nicholas Boyd. 16.10.2020

Eskom's State of the System briefing 

23rd October 2020 Eskom delivered its State of the System briefing this week. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer attended the session and unpacks the prognosis for electricity supply for the summer months. 

Eskom's State of the System briefing
Eskom's State of the System briefing

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom, which is ramping up the maintenance of its unreliable and unpredictable coal power stations, anticipates that there will be a ‘step change’ in the performance of the fleet from April 2021, but has also warned that the risk of load-shedding will persist until at... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
CEO Andre de Ruyter and COO Jan Oberholzer

Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision  

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that a significant and accelerated expansion of South Africa’s grid infrastructure, beyond that catered for by its current R118-billion investment plan to 2030, is required to integrate the 30 GW of mainly wind and solar generators that will have... 

 Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision

Eskom to resume construction of 400 kV line in SA's KwaZulu-Natal province 

By: African News Agency      19th October 2020 Eskom said on Monday work was set to resume on the final leg of an approximately 123 km transmission power line running through the uMgungundlovu and uThukela district municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal province. In a statement, the state power utility said final construction of the 47 km leg of... 

 Eskom to resume construction of 400 kV line in SA's KwaZulu-Natal province

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan 

16th October 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the unveiling of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the role of electricity and renewable energy in that plan and whether South Africa will be able to solve its power crisis within the next two years.   

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan
Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter  

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has drawn a direct link between securing the investment required to address South Africa’s growth-sapping electricity supply gaps – including some R100-billion to further develop the grid in ways to unlock what will be mostly private generation investment ­– and the... 

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit  

By: Reuters     15th October 2020 South Africa will roll out a big infrastructure spending programme and large-scale employment stimulus to revive an economy that was ailing even before the coronavirus crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. Unveiling a Covid-19 economic recovery plan in parliament, Ramaphosa said the... 

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity  

9th October 2020 There is a growing determination among some municipalities to begin building and procuring their own electricity to reduce their dependence on Eskom. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the prospects in this regard. 

Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity
Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity

De Ruyter: Benefits of Eskom maintenance to be felt by April 2021, but power cuts won't be over

By: News24Wire      9th October 2020 The effects of Eskom's maintenance programme - which is expected to ease the risk of load-shedding- would be felt by April next year as the power utility works to ensure the long-term sustainability of its infrastructure, its CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Thursday. "We anticipate that by April next... 

De Ruyter: Benefits of Eskom maintenance to be felt by April 2021, but power cuts won't be over
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 Energy expert Clyde Mallinson is calling on government to urgently overhaul its Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which he says not only fails to address the country’s immediate electricity needs, but will also lock in dirty and expensive energy for the... 

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power
Clyde Mallinson

Manufacturing tipping point could be pushed back by innovation and tech – De Ruyter

By: Donna Slater     23rd September 2020 Addressing the Manufacturing Circle annual general meeting (AGM) on September 22, Eskom CEO and former Manufacturing Circle former chairperson Andre de Ruyter said that investing in research, embracing innovation and technology and lowering manufacturing costs are equally critical in boosting... 

Kangnas wind farm's main transformer energised

By: Donna Slater     21st September 2020 The main transformer of the 140 MW Kangnas wind farm, on the outskirts of Springbok, in the Northern Cape, was energised on September 21. The 250 MVA transformer was locally manufactured and was transported to site from Gauteng by road.  

Some positive movement on the electricity front 

17th September 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's concurrence with a Ministerial determination that paves the way for the resumption of regular procurement and the significance of Eskom having signalled its support... 

Some positive movement on the electricity front
Some positive movement on the electricity front

Locally-produced fuel cells being used by army field hospital  

8th September 2020 From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. Sashnee Moodley: 

Locally-produced fuel cells being used by army field hospital

Load-shedding to move to Stage 3 on Friday

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd September 2020 Power utility Eskom announced on Thursday afternoon that it would implement Stage 3 load-shedding from 08:00 to 22:00 on Friday. Load-shedding moved from Stage 2 to Stage 4 on Wednesday afternoon. 

Eskom: More load-shedding ahead, additional stages loom as utility battles breakdowns

By: News24Wire      2nd September 2020 Eskom has said in a statement that due to a severely constrained generation system as a result of multiple unit breakdowns, it will be implementing load-shedding again on Wednesday. A total of ten generation units have broken down at seven power stations in a matter of two days, with the power... 

Eskom: More load-shedding ahead, additional stages loom as utility battles breakdowns

M&R holds on to shrinking South African unit amid hopes of infrastructure-led recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2020 JSE-listed engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) is “holding on” to its South African-aligned business unit that focuses on power, industrial and water despite the fact that its contribution to the group’s R54.2-billion order book has slumped to less than one percent, or only... 

M&R holds on to shrinking South African unit amid hopes of infrastructure-led recovery
M&R CEO Henry Laas

DMRE starts procurement process for 2 000 MW of electricity capacity 

27th August 2020  Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the process initiated by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to procure 2 000 MW of electricity capacity to fill an emergency supply gap and what this process says about the how the department... 

DMRE starts procurement process for 2 000 MW of electricity capacity
DMRE starts procurement process for 2 000 MW of electricity capacity (Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

Projects developed in renewables zones, gas and grid corridors ‘not exempt’ from environmental processes 

By: Terence Creamer     26th August 2020 The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has dismissed suggestions that renewable-energy projects developed within the designated Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs), including the three new zones being proposed, will be exempt from all environmental authorisation... 

Projects developed in renewables zones, gas and grid corridors ‘not exempt’ from environmental processes

Eskom Transmission head says policy, legislative and regulatory changes needed to facilitate unit’s full independence  

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 The head of Eskom’s Transmission division has outlined some of the progress being made to establish an Independent Transmission System Operator (ITSO) but has also warned that full separation will take time and will also require major policy, legislative and regulatory changes. The creation of... 

Eskom Transmission head says policy, legislative and regulatory changes needed to facilitate unit’s full independence
Eskom Transmission CEO Segomoco Scheppers on the progress being made in setting up an Independent Transmission System Operator and the gaps that remain. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Africa’s most-industrialised economy will probably shrink by 8%

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2020 Slow reforms and the return of rolling power cuts in South Africa could threaten the recovery of an economy that probably bottomed in the second quarter. Africa’s most-industrialized economy will probably shrink by 8% in 2020, according to the median estimate of 29 economists in a Bloomberg... 

Africa’s most-industrialised economy will probably shrink by 8%

Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential 

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says that, while South Africa has strong onshore wind potential, it would nevertheless encourage domestic policymakers to begin creating the framework for an offshore wind industry given the country’s “excellent” offshore wind-energy potential. The World Bank... 

 Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential
South Africa's offshore wind resource

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal energy mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 In about 2060, the ideal energy mix would be one with only non-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, pumped hydro and hydrogen, says global energy advisory UL. 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal  energy mix
JAMES TRUDEAU It is “very critical” that Eskom increases its energy storage capacities to support a more diversified energy portfolio

Eskom replaces energy chief 

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s monopoly power utility, shuffled some senior managers weeks after missing its own target for restricting power outages. Bheki Nxumalo has moved from his position as head of generation to the post of a group executive overseeing new projects and will be replaced by... 

Eskom replaces energy chief

Eskom to implement rolling power cuts as generation units break down  

By: African News Agency      18th August 2020 South African utility Eskom said on Tuesday it would implement rolling blackouts from 4pm until 10pm, and again the following day, after breakdowns in some generation units left the electricity system severely constrained. In a statement, Eskom said six generators had been returned to service at... 

Eskom to implement rolling power cuts as generation units break down

Power system severely constrained for this week ahead as return of generation units delayed, says Eskom

By: African News Agency      17th August 2020 Embattled State-owned power utility Eskom has warned that the power system will be severely constrained for the week ahead as the return to service of generation units has been delayed. "Eskom wishes to inform the public that the power system will be severely constrained this coming week due to... 

Power system severely constrained for this week ahead as return of generation units delayed, says Eskom
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