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Transmission & Distribution News

ANC shies away from endorsing asset sales

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2019 South Africa’s ruling party approved a range of proposals to revive economic growth, but stopped short of endorsing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s controversial plan to sell some state assets. There was “broad consensus” among members of the African National Congress’s National Executive... 

All mobility heading to electric future; solar and storage seen as key enablers

By: Schalk Burger     2nd October 2019 The Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI’s) electric mobility initiative uYilo director Hilten Parmar on Tuesday highlighted that worldwide all forms of mobility, including personal, freight, aviation and marine transport, were moving towards the use or inclusion of electric systems. The... 

Eskom’s stand-alone credit rating cut deeper into junk at Fitch

By: Bloomberg     1st October 2019 Eskom Holdings’ stand-alone credit profile was downgraded one-notch at Fitch Ratings, signaling the South African power utility’s worsening ability to repay debt without additional government support. Weakening revenue growth, profit-margin compression because of lower tariff increases, and... 

Eskom’s stand-alone credit rating cut deeper into junk at Fitch

October is deadline for Eskom with CEO, rescue plan awaited

By: Bloomberg     30th September 2019 Debt-laden South African power utility Eskom Holdings has narrowed its search for a new chief executive officer as the government finalizes a plan to rescue the business. The measures are key in a state effort to overhaul what’s seen as the biggest threat to South Africa’s economy: the company... 

Eskom’s CEO-shortlist candidates include former executive Maroga 

By: Bloomberg     26th September 2019 South African power company Eskom Holdings has shortlisted three candidates for chief executive officer to lead the loss-making utility out of its debt crisis, according to three people familiar with the process. Andy Calitz, who started his career as an electrical engineer at Eskom, made the... 

Zambia to import electricity from South Africa to plug severe deficit

By: Bloomberg     25th September 2019 Zambia will import electricity from South Africa starting next month to help plug a severe deficit that’s causing daily power cuts lasting about eight hours, according to the acting managing director of the power utility in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer. State-owned Zesco concluded... 

South Africa lines up rare eurobond as concern over Eskom grows 

By: Bloomberg     23rd September 2019 South Africa is back in the eurobond market for the first time since May last year, looking to offer securities with returns that compensate investors for mounting fiscal woes. The government is marketing 10- and 30-year dollar securities with yields of between 5% to 5.125% and about 5.875%... 

Eskom says DA information regarding imminent load-shedding is not true

By: African News Agency      20th September 2019 Eskom on Thursday said there was no truth to suggestions from the Democratic Alliance that the power utility would again embark on scheduled blackouts later this month but conceded that the system remained fragile ahead of its summer maintenance programme. "Eskom would like to assure its... 

Eskom says DA information regarding imminent load-shedding is not true

Korea electricity utility offers knowledge and equipment to SA

By: Schalk Burger     20th September 2019 National utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) stands ready to provide electricity and equipment services in South Africa as part of its goal of growing its export business, Kepco small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and start-up VP Hwang Kwang-Soo says. The utility has experience... 

Interest grows around self-supported masts

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     20th September 2019 Steel products and related services company Structa Group senior mechanical engineer Erasmus Cilliers says the option to use self-supported masts is becoming prevalent in deciding the type of structures to use in transmission and communication projects. This is especially prevalent when the... 

NO SUPPORT Self-supported masts are designed to support conductors without any external support such as a strut or stay wires
NO SUPPORT Self-supported masts are designed to support conductors without any external support such as a strut or stay wires

Decentralised generation has big implications for distribution network

By: Schalk Burger     20th September 2019 The electricity distribution network will become increasingly important – and has to become increasingly smart – to meet future electricity needs amid the growth of variable and decentralised generation, a range of experts say. The electricity distribution industry will have to change drastically... 

Decentralised generation has big implications for distribution network

Compression glands suited to harsh environments

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     20th September 2019 The nonmetallic Pratley Tufflon compression gland is chemical-resistant and manufactured from tough engineering plastic, which makes it ideal for the distribution of electricity, says industrial products and adhesives manufacturer Pratley MD Eldon Kruger. Unlike ordinary polyvinyl chloride glands... 

Zambia may import 300 MW of power from South Africa, prices could double – minister

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 MW of electricity, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said on Tuesday, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin. Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams,... 

East, Southern African power grids to be connected in next 2 to 3 yrs – Kenya

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 The power grids of East and Southern African countries will be interconnected in the next two to three years after completion of various high voltage lines, paving the way for regional trade, a senior Kenyan energy official said on Tuesday. Power shortages and outages are common across both... 

Eskom sought advisers to help implement government bailout

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Eskom Holdings, the State-owned South African power utility with about $30-billion of debt, sought advisers on how to implement a government bailout seven months after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the company would be reorganised. Eskom issued an invitation to tender for “financial services for... 

Ghana power producers say plan to save costs carries hefty bill

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Ghana’s plans to stop paying for power that it doesn’t consume may cost the country as much as $2-billion in upfront claims. Private operators will not accept Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s proposal to renegotiate agreements and will demand the full payment of their contracts’ termination... 

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says he expects the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to be considered for approval by Cabinet at its next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday September 18. The IRP has not been updated since the IRP2010 was officially... 

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

More people refusing to pay their electricity bills

By: Kim Cloete     10th September 2019 Eskom is facing an uphill battle in Soweto, in Gauteng, as well as in other municipalities, where people are increasingly refusing to pay for electricity, with a sharp drop in payments since last year. The picture is particularly bad in Soweto, where Eskom staff also face a risk of violence. 

Parliament briefed on Eskom's continuing financial challenges 

By: Kim Cloete     10th September 2019 Eskom’s debt is reaching R450-billion, with no signs of letting up as borrowing increases, revenue remains flat and municipalities renege on their commitments even further, Parliament has heard. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza outlined... 

Pravin Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Pravin Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza

Uganda seeks $3.5bn in private money for power transmission

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Uganda is seeking $3.5-billion in private investment to expand its power-transmission network in attempt to curb spending without slowing its economic growth. Liberalizing transmission will provide additional resources needed to transmit power from new generation projects including the 600 MW... 

Moody’s says fixing Eskom is complex, will take time

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Fixing loss-making power utility Eskom Holdings is complex and it will take time for the government and the company to agree to a plan, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The energy firm, which supplies about 95% of the country’s power, has R450-billion of debt and is surviving on state... 

Moody’s says fixing Eskom is complex, will take time

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2019 Talks around restructuring Eskom Holdings’ bonds must be approached carefully to avoid spooking the market, according to S&P Global Ratings. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday the government will consult with the power utility’s debt holders on any reorganization and that... 

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

Korea electricity utility offers knowledge and equipment to South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     6th September 2019 National utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) stands ready to provide electricity and equipment services in South Africa as part of its goal of growing its export business, Kepco small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and start-up VP Kwang-Soo Hwang said on Thursday. The utility has... 

Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding 

6th September 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Natasha Odendaal about the state of South Africa’s electricity system and whether the country faces more load-shedding over the summer months. 

Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding
Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding

South Africa to consult Eskom debt holders on reorganisation  

By: Bloomberg     5th September 2019 South Africa’s government is intent on putting embattled state power company Eskom Holdings back on a sustainable footing and will consult with its debt holders on any reorganisation, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said. “I think the market understands that we are going to run a fair... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Eskom confident of avoiding summer load-shedding but does not rule it out  

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2019 State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday said it was unlikely that there would be any load-shedding over the next seven months as the utility’s generation performance was starting to improve. The embattled utility had managed to avoid load-shedding for 164 consecutive days, with an average... 

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Plant maintenance can trigger load-shedding, Eskom warns   

By: News24Wire      4th September 2019 Eskom will attempt to avoid load-shedding in the coming summer months, the power utility said on Wednesday. It has now been 164 days since the last bout of load-shedding. However, plant maintenance which often takes place during the summer time may trigger outages, the utility said as it... 

Eskom chairperson & acting CEO Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson & acting CEO Jabu Mabuza

Electricity issues a major constraint on investment – Mantashe  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th September 2019 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has urged continued foreign investment into the country’s resources sector, saying that the government is actively working to address electricity issues, which have constrained economic growth. Speaking on the sidelines of... 

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at the Africa Downunder conference in Perth.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at the Africa Downunder conference in Perth.

Eskom breakup could begin with spin-off of transmission unit

By: Bloomberg     3rd September 2019 South Africa, under pressure to save loss-making power utility Eskom Holdings, should quicken the process of spinning off one of its units as a first step toward overhauling its operating structure, according to two people familiar with the options being presented to the government. Eskom, which... 

Molefe coughing up the money bit by bit, Solidarity says

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2019 Solidarity’s legal team today gave yet another urgent instruction to the sheriff to proceed with the seizure of Brian Molefe’s property to pay the outstanding legal costs of approximately another R200 000 owed to Solidarity in terms of a court order. “Molefe is running out of time. So far, he... 

Eskom appoints Mandla Maleka interim group treasurer

By: African News Agency      2nd September 2019 Mandla Maleka has been appointed Eskom interim group treasurer following the end of Andre Pillay’s tenure with the company on August 30, the State-owned electricity utility said on Sunday. Maleka joined Eskom in 1999 after serving as a director in the National Treasury budget office, Eskom said... 

Tesla batteries are keeping Zimbabwe’s economy running

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2019 Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla to help them pay their bills. Amid power outages of as long as 18 hours a day, Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile-phone operator, is turning to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker and storable-energy company for batteries that can keep its base... 

‘Too big to fail’ makes Eskom debt a good bet in low-yield world  

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2019 South Africa’s pledge not to let Eskom Holdings fail is enticing yield-starved investors to the company’s dollar debt. Bondholders from New York to Seoul say they’re happy to hold onto the power company’s securities – and in some cases add to their holdings – because of their extra return... 

‘Too big to fail’ makes Eskom debt a good bet in low-yield world

Eskom says Medupi station's last unit synchronised to the grid

By: African News Agency      28th August 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says its Medupi coal-fired power station in Limpopo has produced first power out of its last unit. In a statement late on Tuesday, Eskom said Unit 1 attained 190MW earlier in the day, making it the last of Medupi's six units to be synchronised to the national... 

Medupi Power Station
Medupi Power Station

Eskom tells senior managers unit separation to take 3 to 5 years

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2019 Eskom Holdings, the South African power utility struggling with almost $30-billion in debt, said it will take as long as three to five years to comply with the government’s plan to split the company into three separate units. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in February that the company would be... 

Eskom chairperson and interim CEO Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson and interim CEO Jabu Mabuza

South Africa to seek budget spending cuts as debt climbs 

By: Bloomberg     22nd August 2019 South Africa is seeking to cut government budgets as it moves to contain debt after promising billions of rands to rescue its power utility and a weak economy damps tax collection. The National Treasury has asked departments to prepare proposals on how to reduce expenditure in a way that has the... 

Mantashe sees unions backing Eskom rescue 

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2019 South African labour unions that oppose the government’s plans to split embattled State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings into three units will ultimately have to support the reforms, according to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Eskom, which supplies about 95% of the... 

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