Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

New electricity generation: Eskom outlines transmission spending plans

Eskom plans to spend ZAR174.5 billion on its transmission and distribution network over the next 10 years, largely to improve reliability and accommodate new generation capacity, Eskom’s senior manager for infrastructure investment planning Leslie Naidoo said on Thursday.

He was presenting the utility’s transmission development plan (TDP) to 2027 to give stakeholders an opportunity to give input, which is a requirement of Eskom’s transmission licence.

The integration of renewable energy independent power producer (REIPP) projects, as well as the government’s decision to go ahead with the procurement of 9600 MW of new nuclear power, in the teeth of public disapproval, puts pressure on existing transmission lines and substations.

Business Day, 20 October 2017

Nuclear reaction to cabinet reshuffle – South Africa

President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle – his 12th since he came into office in 2009 – has been met with widespread condemnation across South African society, with many claiming that it is little more than a ploy to ram through the massively controversial nuclear deal with Russia that hit a High Court roadblock back in April.

In case you missed the news, Mmamoloko Kubayi has been replaced by the former Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo.

This edition of President Zuma’s game of musical chairs at the energy ministry comes only months before the much-awaited Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan are due to be finalised, further suggesting that vested interests and the protection of the nuclear agenda are playing a role in cabinet appointments.

ESI Africa, 19 October 2017

South African court revokes shale gas regulations – AgriSA

The ruling marks the latest setback to South Africa's shale gas ambitions after a scientific study published last month suggested its Karoo Basin probably has a fraction of estimated deposits, deflating expectations of an energy bonanza.

"The judgment in our favour shows what can be accomplished when a community rallies around something as potentially devastating as fracking," Janse Rabie, AgriSA's natural resources chief, told Reuters.

Engineering News, 19 October 2017

Eskom announces nuclear power plant site

New nuclear build in South Africa advances a step further as the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has granted Eskom permission to proceed with the nuclear installation at Duynefontein in the Western Cape.

The site is located next to the existing Koeberg nuclear power station.

In a statement issued by the state-owned utility, Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer Dave Nicholls stated: “We welcome the authorisation by the Department of Environmental Affairs on the Final Environmental Impact Report (F-EIR) for the Nuclear-1 Power Station and associated infrastructure, and consider this an important milestone in the development process of South Africa’s nuclear programme.”

ESI Africa, 16 October 2017 

Kenya adds natural gas to its energy mix

Midway Resources International’s subsidiary Zarara Oil & Gas Ltd, has recently announced that it will soon start drilling two wells of natural gas after Kenya's National Environment Management Authority approved environmental licences for well sinking on Pate Island off the coast in Lamu.

The East African reported that the energy ministry has set strict deadlines for the company to begin drilling Pate 2 by the end of the year and later Pate 3.

The deadlines set are in line with the government wanting to reduce the country's dependence on expensive hydro and thermal power.

ESI Africa, 16 October 2017

The above reflects a summary of certain news articles published during the preceding week. It is not an expression of opinion in respect of each matter, nor may it be considered as a disclosure of advice by any employee of Hogan Lovells.