Increase in nuclear vendor workshops in South Africa
The DoE confirmed over the weekend that further nuclear vendor workshops would be held with China, France, the United States and South Korea for the remainder of November. The first such workshop, which was held in the Drakensberg in late October, was held with the Russian Federation and was attended by a number of officials from Rosatom.
The workshops are aimed at giving the vendor countries an opportunity to display their technology offerings and how they would be able to meet South Africa's needs with regards to job creation and financial objectives.
The consultations with the various countries focused on pressurised water reactor technologies similar to the Koeberg plant, situated in the Western Cape.
17 November 2014 - Engineering News
$65million power upgrade for Zimbabwe
On 18 November 2014, the Infrastructure and Development Bank of Zimbabwe was to issue a $15million bond as well as a $50million bond with coupons of 8% over five years to purchase prepaid meters. Although Zimbabwe imports electricity from its neighbours within the Southern African Power Pool, there is still an insufficient supply of electricity for businesses and households.
The money will be used to upgrade a small power plant in Harare and contribute towards expanding the 750 MW Kariba hydro power station. Zimbabwe contracted China's Sino Hydro to add 300 MW at Kariba, with China Eximbank covering 90% of the cost.
18 November 2014 - Engineering News
Growing concerns around the REIPPPP delay
Independent Power Producers are urging government to finalise the date for financial close for the 17 projects awarded preferred bidder status following the third round under the REIPPPP. The preferred bidders were identified approximately a year ago and the projects were initially scheduled to reach financial close on 30 July 2014.
The DoE then indicated that the revised deadline would be towards the end of November 2014 and it appears that this deadline will similarly be postponed due to grid-connection issues.
DCD Business Manager Henk Schoeman, whose company has invested ZAR300 million to set up a wind-tower manufacturing plant at Coega in the Eastern Cape, said the delays were having adverse consequences. "The stellar success of the programme and rapid growth in the industry has meant that we are under pressure to manage our production with extreme care to ensure we deliver to all our clients on the contractual dates, given our present capacity. But the present delays have extremely adverse consequences as we now have to wait with production until financial close occurs. Moreover, our future is dependent on the comfort of our clients that the programme is proceeding."
Similar distress is being felt by the solar PV sector as well as CSP developers.
19 November 2014 - Engineering News
Another silo on the verge of collapse
Solidarity head of energy industry Deon Reyneke warned that Majuba Power Station located in Mpumalanga has another silo (silo 30) with a visible two metre long crack. Eskom refused to comment on the condition of silo 30 and further warned that it may implement load shedding on Thursday evening as it faced more energy constraints owing to undisclosed technical challenges.
This comes as a great concern following the collapse of silo 20 earlier this month. Reyneke said that they were not prepared to subject the source of their information to possible intimidation and victimisation. They could, however, confirm that a senior manager has revealed in an official Eskom meeting that the company has been aware of the structural problems with Majuba’s silo 20 since at least September this year.
21 November 2014 - Engineering News
Kenya to upgrade transmission network
Kenya Power, the country's utility has secured a $190million loan from Standard Chartered Bank to upgrade it transmission network and add 500 MW to its existing 1665 MW of generation capacity by 2017.
Kenya Power is the main electricity transmission company in the east African nation, which suffers from frequent blackouts because of generation shortfalls and an ageing grid. The upgraded network is expected to cater for an additional one million new customers including industrial, commercial and domestic users. Kenya Power at present serves about 2.8 million customers out of a population of 40 million.
Kenya relies heavily on renewable energy such as hydro power and geothermal for its electricity.
21 November 2014 - Engineering News