Eskom sticks on price for renewables

The standoff between the Department of Energy and power utility Eskom looks set to continue for a while, with both sides digging in on their positions on price.

Head of the department’s independent power producer (IPP) unit Karen Breytenbach said on Thursday that she was optimistic the impasse would soon be overcome.

But Eskom is insisting that unless producers are willing to reduce the prices agreed on with the department, the utility will not be able to connect them to the grid.

Business Day, 3 February 2017

Eskom’s refusal to sign new renewables PPAs costing jobs, investments – DCD

Fears that state-owned Eskom’s protracted delay in concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with selected independent power producers (IPPs) could result in job losses and the idling of projects, are emerging, as DCD Wind Towers starts cutting jobs.

The ZAR536 million DCD Wind Towers venture, based in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, in Port Elizabeth, has laid off almost 30 workers and placed 140 staff on short-time, DCD Group CEO Digby Glover said in a statement on Friday.

Engineering News, 3 February 2017

LPG to impact on power demand positively

If households were to use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), this would have a positive impact on electricity demand during peak times, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGSASA) CEO Kevin Robertson says.

From a domestic perspective, the peak demand periods are early mornings, late afternoons and evenings, when families use energy for cooking, as well as water and spatial heating – especially during the colder months; switching to LPG would make more electricity available for commercial and industrial requirements, he explains.

Moreover, Robertson adds that the World LPG Association states that there are more than 1000 applications of LPG and that millions of people use LPG in applications across the commercial business, industry, transportation, farming, power generation, cooking, heating and recreation sectors.

Engineering News, 3 February 2017

Wind in the sails of SA’s renewable energy sector, as Trialpha invests

There is no shortage of investment in South Africa’s fledgling renewable energy sector, despite Eskom having put a freeze on new energy agreements.

The recent acquisition of three wind farms by Trialpha Investment is in line with international trends towards consolidation in the sector.

Trialpha received the Competition Tribunal’s go-ahead to exercise control over Kouga Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape, RustMo 1 Solar Farm in the North West and SlimSun in Malmesbury in the Western Cape.

Business Day, 1 February 2017

All four Ingula units now up and running

Electricity supplier Eskom has brought the last unit of the Ingula pumped storage scheme, a hydro-power station in the Drakensberg Mountains, into commercial operation, marking the completion of building activity at the power station.

The handover of the unit from Eskom’s capital projects division to the generation business unit increases the utility’s total installed capacity by 333 MW, to nearly 44 000 MW.

Ingula has four generating units of 333 MW each and was the smallest of Eskom’s infrastructure projects under construction in the past 10 years. Its completion allows the state utility to generate full revenue from the project, helping to finance its capacity expansion programme.

Business Day, 31 January 2017

Mozambique: gas development projects awarded to three firms

On Monday, the National Petroleum Institute (NPI), announced that the government of Mozambique has awarded three contracts for gas development projects across the region.

Norway's Yara International, Shell Mozambique and GL Energy Africa are the selected firms taking part.

Engineering News reported that Yara will develop fertilisers and 30 MW to 50 MW of power; Shell Mozambique will produce diesel and 50 MW to 80 MW of power; and GL Energy Africa will produce 250 MW from gas resources, the NPI said in a statement on its website.

Last year, the government issued a tender requesting interested developers to bid for the development of natural gas from the Rovuma Basin, which attracted 14 companies.

ESI Africa, 31 January 2017