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Transmission & Distribution News

AfDB finances cross-country power initiative, youth development in Ethiopia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2021 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed two grant agreements for new projects with the Ethiopian government, which aims to boost youth employment and electricity trade between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The grants are grouped under the bank’s concessional lending window and will comprise... 

More municipalities procuring their own power  

23rd July 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the increasing number of big cities and medium-sized municipalities that are looking to either build or procure new electricity capacity. 

Image of Terence Creamer
More municipalities procuring their own power

Wheeling framework remains an inhibitor to IPPs, says association  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2021 The current South African power industry structure is supportive of wheeling, in theory, but issues persist that limit the development of more third-party network access and the development of a competitive, open-access electricity market, the South African Independent Power Producers Association... 

SAIPPA independent consultant Andrew Carr
SAIPPA independent consultant Andrew Carr and CPCS principal consultant Ian Johnson touch on South Africa's wheeling issues

Stage 2 load-shedding to hit SA on Thursday amid cold front  

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2021 Eskom will implement stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 to 21:00 on Thursday night due to generation issues, combined with the severe cold weather, the power utility announced.  "Unfortunately, a generation unit each at Tutuka and Medupi Power Stations were forced offline this afternoon, increasing... 

Electricity pylons

PowerGen, partners to connect 55 000 people to electricity in Nigeria

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd July 2021 Grid and off-grid distributed energy developer PowerGen is partnering with CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA), Oikocredit, Triodos Investment Management, and EDFI ElectriFI to electrify the homes of 55 000 people in rural Nigeria. The project is supported by grant funding from the World Bank and... 

Cape Town electricity outages the work of syndicates, Eskom says

By: News24Wire      16th July 2021 Recurring vandalism of Cape Town electricity infrastructure could be the work of syndicates, Eskom believes. The vandalism of Eskom kiosks in Eerste River has left customers without electricity supply for the second time in less than a month, the power utility said in a statement. 

Opinion: Inclusive process now vital to define a collective electricity industry vision

15th July 2021 In this opinion article, Energy Intensive User Group CEO Fanele Mondi says that, although reforms allowing for higher levels of own generation will make a significant difference, there is also an urgent need for South Africans to collectively shape the future of the electricity supply industry... 

An image of Fanele Mondi, the CEO of the Energy Intensive User Group

New initiative launched to raise awareness on key role of power grids in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2021 The RES4Africa Foundation, an Italian non-profit organisation that promotes the development of renewable energy on the continent, has launched a Grids4Africa initiative to support the development of the transmission and distribution networks needed to raise levels of renewables deployment and... 

An image of power lines

AfDB provides $6m grant to launch West Africa desert-to-power programme

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided a $6-million grant to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to conduct prefeasibility studies for the construction of the Sahel Transmission Backbone that will link regional solar parks in five countries that contribute... 

Cape storm could cause lengthy power outages, warns Eskom

By: News24Wire      12th July 2021 Severe winter weather in the Western Cape poses a threat to Eskom's network, the power utility warned on Monday. In a statement, Eskom said strong winds, extreme cold and heavy rainfall could affect electricity supply, potentially leaving some customers with prolonged periods without power. 

Eskom remembers former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane

By: Donna Slater     12th July 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has conveyed its “heartfelt” condolences on the death of former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane, who succumbed to Covid-19-related illness on the morning of July 12.   Ngubane joined the Eskom board of directors as a nonexecutive director on December 11, 2014, and was... 

Photo of Eskom's former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Ben Ngubane

Drone and NDT firm join forces

By: Halima Frost     9th July 2021 Materials testing and inspection service provider Dekra Industrial has joined forces with aerial solutions and drone services company Sky Africa Drones to offer a drone inspection service that combines the technologies of high scope non-destructive testing (NDT) systems with the manoeuvrability... 

The use of drones to conduct non-destructive testing on taller installations and hard to reach areas is even more possible
SKY HIGH The use of drones to conduct non-destructive testing on taller installations and hard to reach areas is even more possible

Eskom’s debt below R400bn amid funding talks, Gordhan says

By: Bloomberg     1st July 2021 South African power utility Eskom Holdings has reduced its debt to less than R400-billion as discussions ensue to secure funding for a transition to renewable energy, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The state-owned company announced in May it had reduced debt by a fifth to about... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Bloomberg
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Zimbabwe faces lengthy power outages after surge hits plants

By: Bloomberg     29th June 2021 Zimbabwe faces prolonged power outages after a surge in electricity imports from neighboring South Africa overloaded its network and caused generating plants to fail, Energy Minister Soda Zhemu said. The surge caused a nationwide blackout in the early hours of Monday, as it affected output at the... 

CT Lab to install 1 300 Otello edge devices for real-time power grid visibility

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2021 Stellenbosch technology company CT Lab will deploy 1 300 Otello edge computing devices on State-owned power utility Eskom's grid to change how power is seen and managed on the grid, enabling full visibility of the power grid in real-time. Visibility is becoming a deciding factor in the... 

Eskom to implement 1.5% basic wage increase, changes to employee benefits

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom will implement a 1.5% basic wage increase with effect from July 1. Eskom says the offer is dependent on the efficiencies and savings realised from reviewing certain elements of employee benefits where there are excesses. The utility has identified possible... 

Emergency power fiasco compounds South Africa’s energy crisis

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2021 The debacle surrounding South Africa’s bid to secure emergency power supplies has highlighted a dysfunctional energy policy that’s subjecting Africa’s most-industrialised nation to intermittent blackouts. Since March, the energy department has identified companies it wants to provide almost 2 000... 

Emergency power fiasco compounds South Africa’s energy crisis

SAPVIA adds voice of support for 100 MW distributed generation licensing-exemption threshold

By: Simone Liedtke     17th June 2021 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has added its voice to the growing number of supportive voices following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the licensing threshold for embedded generation plants will increase to 100 MW. In welcoming the news, SAPVIA... 

SAPVIA COO Niveshen Govender
SAPVIA COO Niveshen Govender

Eskom experiencing increase in electricity theft, illegal connections

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom says it is experiencing an increase in electricity theft, especially in high-density areas, which leads to the failure of its equipment. Eskom warns against illegal connections, meter tampering and buying electricity from illegal syndicates, stating that this leads... 

Hawks, Eskom investigators nab syndicate selling illegal prepaid electricity with 'ghost machines'

By: News24Wire      10th June 2021 The Hawks have uncovered a well-organised syndicate selling illicit prepaid electricity on a large scale, costing Eskom millions in revenue, and arrested seven suspects. The Hawks pounced on the suspects, aged 28 to 67, in the early hours of Wednesday in Gauteng. 

UAE ratifies extradition treaty as South Africa pursues Guptas

By: Bloomberg     9th June 2021 The United Arab Emirates Embassy in South Africa said it has ratified an extradition treaty with the African country. The treaty was signed on April 11, the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday. Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the South African Department of International Relations and... 

Eskom moves to Stage 4 load-shedding from 14:00 to 22:00 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th June 2021 Load-shedding will be increased to Stage 4 from 14:00 this afternoon until 22:00 tonight, after which it will revert to Stage 2, Eskom has announced. It says this is due to additional breakdowns of a unit at Medupi and two units at the Duvha power station, together with the high winter demand, as... 

Eskom moves to Stage 4 load-shedding from 14:00 to 22:00

Stage 2 load-shedding to start at 10:00, to continue until Sunday

By: News24Wire      9th June 2021 Stage 2 load-shedding will start from 10:00 on Wednesday morning until 22:00 on Sunday night, Eskom announced. This is due to delays in returning generation units to service at Kusile, Tutuka, Duvha, Kendal and Koeberg power stations. 

Stage 2 load-shedding to start at 10:00, to continue until Sunday

Stage 2 load-shedding from 5pm – Eskom

By: News24Wire      8th June 2021 Stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 17:00 on Tuesday due to delays bringing generating units back online, Eskom said in a statement.  Eskom earlier warned that the power system was severely constrained. Breakdowns currently total 15 498 MW of capacity, while another 1 273 MW of... 

Stage 2 load-shedding from 5pm – Eskom

Johannesburg seeks R3.8bn for solar, gas and batteries

By: Bloomberg     4th June 2021 South Africa’s biggest city plans to seek at least R3.8-billion in investment in solar and gas-fired power as well as battery storage to improve electricity supply. The City of Johannesburg will issue a request for information for the construction of a 150-megawatt solar plant, 50 megawatts of... 

Johannesburg seeks R3.8bn for solar, gas and batteries

Wage dispute at South Africa's Eskom to go to mediator 

By: Reuters     2nd June 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has declared a dispute over wages with labour unions after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on pay increases, its spokesperson said on Wednesday. Eskom said it made a final offer of 1.5% increase in the basic salary, which unions rejected. 

Renewables to take lion’s share of energy investment in 2021, but still falling short of net-zero goal

By: Terence Creamer     2nd June 2021 Renewables projects are expected to account for 70% of a record $820-billion in new power generation investment in 2021, as global electricity deployments exceed those of oil and gas for the sixth year in a row. Nevertheless, a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report warns that energy... 

Renewables to take lion’s share of energy investment in 2021, but still falling short of net-zero goal

Mozambique launches construction of $1bn power plant, transmission line

By: Reuters     1st June 2021 Mozambique on Monday began construction of gas-to-power plant and transmission line projects worth $1 billion in the southern province of Inhambane as the government aims to boost energy supply. The World Bank is one of the financing partners of the infrastructure projects, alongside the United... 

Eskom warns of high probability of load-shedding for the rest of this week 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st May 2021 Power utility Eskom will implement Stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 on Monday afternoon until 05:00 on Tuesday morning. It has also warned that there is a possibility that load-shedding would continue throughout the week. The utility noted that it has had to resort to load-shedding as a result of... 

Eskom warns of high probability of load-shedding for the rest of this week

Eskom should not probe CEO over racism allegation, advocate says

By: Bloomberg     31st May 2021 Eskom Holdings CEO Andre de Ruyter should not be subjected to an investigation over racism allegations leveled by the company’s now fired chief procurement officer, an advocate hired to make a ruling on the CPO’s conduct said. By setting up the probe in response to allegations leveled by the CPO,... 

Four energy scenarios that may define Southern Africa’s energy transition

By: Donna Slater     27th May 2021 Four vastly different energy transition scenarios, from very ambitious to the least ambitious, were posited by management advisory Africa International Advisors integrated energy practice leader Henry Gilfillan this week. The four scenarios, presented during a webinar on hydrogen, gas and... 

South Africa may need to save indebted State firms, Finance Minister says

By: Bloomberg     27th May 2021 South Africa’s cash-strapped State companies may struggle to refinance their debts, requiring the government to provide support, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said. The ten most-indebted State firms have an estimated R289.9-billion in loans maturing by the end of March 2025, Mboweni said in a... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Lesotho may see water revenue and undersea cable share seized

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 Lesotho is facing the loss of revenue from water and power sales to South Africa and may see its share of an undersea communications cable seized after it breached the terms of a contract with Frazer Solar. Under a global enforcement order, following the award of €50-million in damages in an... 

City of Joburg tries to strike balance between revenue, relief in new budget 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2021 In its R73.3-billion budget statement for the 2021/22 financial year, the City of Joburg (CoJ) has attempted to strike a balance between the needs of residents and the institution’s ability to provide services, considering continued Covid-19 impacts. The budget comprises of R65.1-billion in... 

Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo
Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo presents the City of Joburg budget for 2021/22 and the medium-term

Eskom warns of highly likely nationwide power cuts

By: Reuters     25th May 2021 South African power utility Eskom said there was a high probability it would have to implement nationwide electricity cuts on Tuesday owing to breakdowns at a number of its generation units. "While no loadshedding is anticipated at this point, Eskom could be forced to implement Stage 1 or, if... 

Numsa, NUM says Eskom fails to 'engage meaningfully' in wage negotiations

By: Donna Slater     20th May 2021 Labour unions the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on May 20 said State-owned power utility Eskom's management team had refused to "engage meaningfully" in ongoing wage negotiations. In a joint statement, the unions said Eskom was... 

Load-shedding suspended until Tuesday evening

By: News24Wire      18th May 2021 Eskom has suspended load-shedding for Tuesday morning and afternoon, and is expected to implement it again at 17:00. The power utility said the round of stage 2 cuts will then run until 22:00 on Tuesday night, the original ending time for the round of load-shedding announced on Sunday. "Over the... 

Load-shedding suspended until Tuesday evening
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