Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

Power utility Eskom will seek waivers on nuclear rules

Eskom will apply to the Treasury for a series of waivers and exemptions from procurement regulations as it forges ahead with its plan to build a fleet of six to eight nuclear plants to generate 9600 MW of energy.

President Jacob Zuma is determined to proceed with the nuclear build programme, despite critics saying it is not necessary and beyond the means of a fiscally constrained government. His stance led to the removal of Tina Joemat-Pettersson as energy minister and her replacement by Zuma supporter Mmamoloko Kubayi.

The government’s nuclear plans have been red-flagged by credit ratings agencies, which downgraded SA to junk status.

Business Day, 21 April 2017

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

There is more interest in nuclear energy in sub-Saharan Africa than is generally realised. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), countries in the region that are individually planning or considering nuclear power are Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. And the first African Youth Nuclear Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in late March. The sub-Saharan Africa countries that attended were Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and Sudan (plus North Africa’s Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia).

“I was at the inaugural meeting of the African Youth Nuclear Summit,” pointed out WNA director-general Agneta Rising at the recent Nuclear Africa 2017 conference in South Africa. “There is a desperate need for Africa to have more nuclear energy. In Africa, you can hardly find any nuclear energy at all. It has to grow.”

Engineering News, 21 April 2017

Egypt secures future solar power supply

In North Africa, Egypt has secured a future 400 MW of solar power through a 25-year power purchase agreement with several partners.

The agreement was signed earlier this month with the Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi and the Ambassador of Norway Mr Sten Arne Rosnes and independent power producer (IPP) Scatec Solar.

The deal is for the delivery of electricity from six solar plants totalling 400 MW (DC).

ESI Africa, 21 April 2017

Gigaba: Government committed to renewable power despite Eskom's cost claims

New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said government is still committed to its renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP) despite claims by Eskom that it is costly.

Gigaba was speaking to journalists at a briefing ahead of his trip to the U.S. for the IMF/World Bank Spring Meeting this week.

Gigaba was answering a question about government’s stance on the REIPPP, following the new Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi's decision to delay the signing off of Eskom's Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with key renewable energy IPPs on Tuesday.

News24, 19 April 2017

Gigaba slams Eskom’s “mistake” of contradicting government policy on renewables

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says Eskom made a “mistake” by raising its corporate difficulties in relation to the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable-energy generators in a way that undermined the policy position of government on both the energy mix and the renewable-energy programme.

Speaking ahead of his departure for the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington D.C., Gigaba stressed that government policy with regard to the integration of independent power producers (IPPs) into the country’s electricity network “remains unchanged” and that there should be no “uncertainty as to our commitment to the energy mix and the renewable-energy programme”.

Engineering News, 19 April 2017

Koeberg Unit 2 shut down for planned maintenance

Unit 2 of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station was shut down on Monday for a scheduled refuelling outage, after a record 492 days of uninterrupted run.

The refuelling outage will take about two months to complete, with Unit 2 expected back on line by May.

Unit 1 is currently operating optimally and is contributing 930 MW to the national grid.

Engineering News, 18 April 2017