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Transmission & Distribution News

Zambia's State power firm Zesco has $3.5bn debt - energy minister

By: Reuters     15th October 2021 Zambia's State power utility Zesco had a total debt of $3.5 billion as at September 2021, Energy Minister Peter Kapala told parliament on Friday. He added that Zesco had made $400 million in loses between 2018 and 2019 owing to the depreciation of the local Kwacha currency. 

Electricity wheeling can reduce load-shedding risk if legal, technical uncertainties are addressed

By: Donna Slater     15th October 2021 Tariffs and the legal framework governing the wheeling of electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), which are taking advantage of the recently declared 100 MW licence threshold, will be key factors in IPPs’ ability and willingness to feed surplus power into regional and national power... 

Magazine cover image

Eskom aiming to secure concessional funding for R400bn just energy transition project pipeline 

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2021 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has identified a pipeline of ‘just energy transition’ projects valued at about R400-billion that it will seek to fund using concessional finance raised from international financiers that have committed to supporting decarbonisation initiatives in developing... 

Photo of Eskom's rock-man statue at Megawatt Park

CoJ signs agreement to possibly take over Soweto, Sandton supply from Eskom

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2021 The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with State-owned power utility Eskom with a view for City Power to potentially take over electricity supply for 14 areas in Soweto and Sandton. The affected areas include parts of Soweto, Sandton, Orange Farm, Ivory... 

Eskom confirms load-shedding to be suspended on Thursday, but warns system constraints remain

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2021 Power utility Eskom on Wednesday evening confirmed that load-shedding would be suspended from 05:00 on Thursday morning, but warned that there were still significant risks to some generating units, which could force Eskom to implement load-shedding at short notice should it lose further... 

South Africa needs to ramp up critical minerals exploration as world decarbonises - study 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2021 The South African mining sector can remain internationally competitive and support socioeconomic development only if it drives decarbonisation and adapts to the global shift in commodity demand towards minerals used in green sectors such as renewable electricity and electric vehicles (EVs), a new... 

A photo of an iron-ore stockpile

De Ruyter: Eskom working to avoid load-shedding during elections  

By: News24Wire      13th October 2021 Eskom is working to avoid load-shedding for the election season, says the power utility's CEO André de Ruyter. he power utility last week Thursday introduced stage 2 load-shedding. He affirmed that Eskom was working on repairs. "Our current planning is that we will lift load-shedding by tomorrow... 

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Sacci business confidence lower in September, but remains above pre-Covid levels

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2021 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci's) business confidence index (BCI) declined to 91 in September after having registered its highest level this year to date of 97 in May. The level of 91 in September, nevertheless, reflects a better business confidence level than the... 

Ramaphosa lends his weight to plans for raising concessional funding for ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has doubled down on his argument that South Africa needs to act with “urgency and ambition” in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but stressed that such increased ambition could not be achieved without financial support from developed economies. In his latest weekly... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Eskom denies Joburg ANC claim that city will take over power supply  

By: News24Wire      8th October 2021 Eskom has refuted a statement issued by the African National Congress’s Greater Johannesburg Region branch over an apparent power-purchase agreement between the city and the state-owned power utility. In Friday's statement, the ANC said Mayor Mpho Moerane had signed an agreement that will allow... 

Eskom logo

Alarming chunk of Eskom capacity is down as load-shedding hits again

By: News24Wire      8th October 2021 Load-shedding is back, and with a large chunk of Eskom's capacity down, the country's power supply is under a severe strain. On Thursday, after 77 days without load-shedding, Eskom announced that it would resume stage 2, as breakdowns amounted to 14 982 MW, while planned maintenance is 5 334 MW... 

Candle

Eskom to implement power cuts to replenish reserves

By: Reuters     7th October 2021 South Africa's struggling state power utility Eskom said it would implement scheduled power cuts from Thursday evening to replenish emergency generation reserves. The "stage 2" power cuts, which requires up to 2,000 megawatts of capacity to be shed from the national grid, will be implemented from... 

PCC’s Olver sees updating IRP to exclude new coal as key policy priority

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) executive director Dr Crispian Olver says updating South Africa’s energy policy to exclude any new coal capacity to 2030 and beyond, while increasing the allocation for renewable energy to at least 30 GW by the end of the decade should be key priorities for... 

Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver
Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver

Ramaphosa moots possible hydrogen partnership with Namibia as he punts Boegoebaai export hub 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa stands ready to be a major exporter of green hydrogen and has described the special economic zone (SEZ) proposed for development at Boegoebaai, in the Northern Cape, as a major step towards realising the country’s potential to be a global leader in... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Eskom calls on public to reduce energy use  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th October 2021 Power utility Eskom is calling on the public to reduce electricity use, as the system is under pressure owing to a number of generating unit breakdowns. Total breakdowns amount to 14 925 MW, while planned maintenance is 4 759 MW of capacity. Should there be any further breakdowns, Eskom might be... 

De Ruyter says 'substantial' concessional finance available to support just energy transition 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Tuesday that the message of the climate envoys who visited South Africa in the run up to the COP26 climate talks in Scotland was that there is “substantial concessional financing available” to enable South Africa to pursue a just energy transition. He indicated,... 

Photo of Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Eskom CEO bemoans slow pace of talks on cutting R402bn debt

By: Bloomberg     20th September 2021 Talks about reducing the South African state power utility’s R402-billion debt to a manageable level are taking too long, its CEO Andre de Ruyter said. Eskom Holdings, which produces most of South Africa’s power, can’t meet its running and debt service costs and is dependent on government... 

Eskom evacuates staff who hid in locked Ga-Rankuwa offices to escape angry residents

By: News24Wire      14th September 2021 Power utility Eskom safely evacuated its employees that it claimed were being held against their will by angry residents of Morula View in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, over the lack of power supply in the area. According to Eskom, the hostage situation followed the community's demand for the... 

South Africa’s green energy push hinges on R402bn debt fix

By: Bloomberg     14th September 2021 The head of South Africa’s State power utility needs to substantially reduce its R402-billion of debt to realise his vision of transforming the coal-addicted behemoth into a leading green-energy producer and create as many as 300 000 jobs in the process. Eskom Holdings supplies more than 90% of... 

Zimbabwe utility to cut power by 12 hours a day amid shortage

By: Bloomberg     13th September 2021 The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution said Sunday it has begun daily 12-hour power cuts due limited generation at its thermal plant and repairs on the dam at Kariba Hydro Power Station. The company “is experiencing a power shortfall due to generation constraints at Hwange Power... 

Opinion: African power project boon?

10th September 2021 In this opinion piece, law firm Bowmans head of banking and finance Shamilah Grimwood-Norley, writes about the power supply challenges in Africa and how governments are increasingly looking to private sector investment to improve electricity supply. 

A photo of Bowmans head of banking and finance Shamilah Grimwood-Norley
Bowmans head of banking and finance Shamilah Grimwood-Norley

Eskom unbundling fails to cut solvency risk, Futuregrowth says

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Futuregrowth Asset Management said that despite efforts to make South Africa’s Eskom Holdings profitable, including a process of unbundling its divisions into separate entities, “the core problem of debt” has yet to be addressed. The utility that reported a fourth straight full-year loss on Aug.... 

Senegal starts clock on $550m US grant to boost power supply

By: Reuters     9th September 2021 Senegal has completed reforms that will unlock a five-year grant of $550-million from the United States that will help build high-voltage power transmission lines and substations to boost access to electricity. The grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the U.S. government's main... 

ANC offers strong endorsement of Eskom’s just energy transaction following lekgotla  

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) has given its backing to the just energy transaction being pursued by State-owned electricity producer Eskom. In closing remarks following the NEC’s September lekgotla, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said that the... 

Photo of the Komati power station
The Komati power station

Eskom warns of ongoing injections unless solution is found to ‘unsustainable’ debt 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom’s debt burden remains “unsustainable” despite an R81.9-billion reduction in its gross debt to R401.8-billion in the year to March 31, 2021, during which the entity remained a going concern only because of a R56-billion government injection. The utility reported a... 

Photo of CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Steep electricity tariffs cause outcry in Western Cape legislature

By: News24Wire      27th August 2021 Opposition parties in the Western Cape legislature have attacked the City of Cape Town's electricity hike and questioned whether relief to residents will be widened. GOOD general-secretary Brett Herron accused Local Government and Environment MEC Anton Bredell of being a "messenger for the City". 

Eskom, W Cape govt welcome amendments giving effect to 100 MW reform

By: Donna Slater     13th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) August 12 Gazetting of its amendment to Section 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act has been welcomed by State-owned power utility Eskom and the Western Cape provincial government. The amendment permits private electricity generators to... 

City Power clamps down on illegal connections  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2021 Johannesburg utility City Power plans to impose steep fines on those who connect to the Johannesburg power grid illegally, in efforts to recoup non-technical losses that amount to about R2-billion a year. The move also follows the fatal electrocution of two people in Crosby, during which City... 

From a coal-to-gas conversion to a microgrid factory, Eskom builds Komati’s just energy transaction case 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is hoping to transform the workshops at the Komati power station – identified as the flagship site for the piloting of a broader ‘just energy transition’ programme that couples decarbonisation with social upliftment – into a factory capable of manufacturing... 

Photograph of the Komati power station
A file photo of the Komati power station, which has generated electricity since 1961

New framework needed to accommodate third-party electricity generators on the national grid

By: Donna Slater     28th July 2021 The wheeling and trading of electricity produced by third parties into the national grid is a complex issue that requires frameworks and grid capacity building, State-owned power utility retail pricing corporate specialist Shirley Salvoldi has said. She spoke during a webinar on the topic of... 

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
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