“Reliable, cost-effective electricity is vital not only to improving people’s lives but to the economy’s ability to attract investment and create jobs. Our Integrated Resource Plan must be carefully calibrated to ensure that energy security is not compromised,” says Black Royalty Minerals CEO Ndavhe Mareda. “In particular, a rapid and aggressive transition away from coal will put the entire economy at risk. We need to strike the right balance.” Mareda argues that South Africa’s current draft Integrated Resource Plan is too ambitious and that attempts to meet the targets will have serious consequences. It is important to recognise that coal provides 76 percent of South Africa’s energy at present, and the country is still investing large amounts of money in new coal-generation. In addition, the country has large reserves of coal. It is thus important that the nation gets a proper return on its investment in this technology. At the same time, the coal industry employs some 82 000 people earning more than R22 billion, and it supports economic activity related to its value chain valued at R61 billion. “It is vital that we plan carefully to ensure that new jobs are created to counterbalance those that are lost, and that the economic contribution of the coal value chain is replaced. It is also very important to consider affordability - if electricity is too expensive, it will deter investment and will also impact the poor,” he points out. One also needs to recognise that South Africa currently lacks a significant domestic renewable technology sector, and thus its capacity to provide significant numbers of new jobs is non-existent. In addition, a high reliance on imported technology and skills will reduce the multiplier effect the industry will have on the economy as a whole. The truth is that while renewable energy is making huge strides, it is not yet ready to provide the all-important base power that any economy depends on. It is subject to the vagaries . . .
The Electrical Contractor's Association for South Africa (ECA SA) showcased Port Elizabeth based Building Automation firm, BA Systems, in their October 2018 Magazine, Electrical Contractor. BA Systems scooped the ECA SA Presidential Award as the Best Contributor to Energy Efficiency following their project at the Product Testing Institute in the Coega IDZ, Port Elizabeth. This R4 Million project saw Building Automation Systems facilitate the installation of the building management system, and help the facility attain a 5 Star Green Star compliance rating. Green Star is a voluntary rating system for building projects, and is used to encourage the implementation of new and emerging technology, and to encourage a more environmentally friendly approach to designing and developing buildings. The Design phase of the Product Testing Institute building attained a 6 Star rating. The Product Testing Institute has been fitted with a modern building management system, which allows for cost efficient, environmentally friendly, automated management of the lighting, air-conditioning and blinds within the facility. Through the clever use of C-Bus and StruxureWare systems, Building Automation Systems was able to reduce power consumption by ensuring that lights and air-conditioners are not left on needlessly when an area is unoccupied. With the use of sensors located throughout the building that provide feedback to the building management system, it is possible for the building management and maintenance employees to monitor and keep track of the water, electricity and gas consumption, along with the amount of Solar Power generated. This information provides valuable insight into the cost of running and maintaining the facility. A record of environmental conditions is also maintained, with the current and previous day’s weather conditions being shown on the system monitor. The environmental factors will over time reveal the peak periods for Solar PV production, . . .
Petroleum giant’s Enterprise & Supplier Development fund provides an encouraging stimulus for a South Durban engineering firm. David Swartz grew up hard in the Durban township of Wentworth, where opportunities were scarce. His dreams of becoming an architect, thwarted by the modest financial position of his parents, saw him kick-off his working career as a semi-skilled artisan in local industry. Not one to accept mediocrity, David studied diligently to achieve diplomas in project management, auditing and contracts management. His hard work eventually earned him a contracts management role at packaging and paper giant, Mondi. In 2009, with a vision of owning his own engineering services company, David left Mondi to pursue his dream. Convincing his wife Melanie to join him, the duo setup a Level 1 B-BBEE accredited project management consultancy, with David’s technical focus complimenting Melanie’s ability to manage and streamline office processes. Operating out of their modest rented home, they soon landed a project management contract with Trotech Engineering to help manage a tank maintenance contract at the Engen refinery. When Trotech’s contract expired in 2014, David faced losing his own contract and essential income. However, a chance discussion with an Engen representative at the refinery ended up changing David Swartz’ future in a flash. It was suggested to David that he tender for the complete Engen refinery tank project solution contract. Undaunted, David Swartz Engineering Services (DSES) was born, adding its name to a tender list of 24 other companies. When Engen informed David and Melanie that DSES was on a shortlist of two companies, David sensed that Engen had been impressed with what they saw in him. Yet, when Engen actually awarded the contract to DSES, he found himself hopelessly unprepared for the challenges of owning and operating an engineering services company. “We started out with no money and a critical need to employ people . . .
MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane welcomed the release of the long-awaited draft of the national reviewed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) earlier this week. “The policy is a game changer for the province and will help it to spearhead substantial job creation and investment. The effect is that it could ensure the province comes good on its aspiration to maximise its already-significant position in the renewable energy and gas sector,” he explains. The national policy, which provides clear and succinct certainty on how South Africa will generate the additional capacity it requires over the next decade, points to the influential role for renewable energy and gas which for the province would mean liquid natural gas (LNG). “What’s exciting about this new way forward is that this policy could open the floodgates for even greater growth for the province. We are open for business and ready – technically, institutionally and in terms of location processes,” he explains. Close on 75% of the additional capacity that is being planned will come from solar, wind and gas with the remaining going to hydro and coal, much like the trend globally where more renewable power capacity has been added than coal, nuclear and gas power over the past few years. Mabuyane explains that the proposed additional energy generation mix affirms Eastern Cape’s current energy footprint and the province’s sustainable energy strategy. “In the case of renewable energy, just over 50% of the additional capacity will come from wind and solar. In this respect, the Eastern Cape has significant resources as well as an impressive existing footprint with over 16 wind farms and one solar farm. In the case of gas energy – which is to contribute almost 23% of this new energy - the IRP points to the likelihood of a 1,000 MW gas-to-power project at Coega whose state of the readiness is well-known. “The province has been preparing for this . . .
Nairobi, Kenya (August 20, 2018) – The African Power Platform (APP) has been launched as a new initiative to connect Governmental and Private Stakeholders of the African power sector by creating a network where they can connect with ease. The APP is a channel of communication for the market and assists in circulating and propagating tenders, business opportunities and intelligence to Members for business expansion. “My love and commitment to Africa played a major role on the decision of launching the African Power Platform,” says Jorge Lascas, Founder and Managing Director of the APP. A firm believer in the social and economic growth of Africa, the APP, maintains that it is imperative to create one platform where Independent Power Producers, Developers, Financiers, Consultants, and other like-minded individuals, along with Ministries, Regulators and Utilities can share ideas and possible solutions concerning the lack of electricity in Africa. To further assist in the continent’s social and economic growth, APP Members have the ability to stay abreast on current events concerning the power sector by signing up for newsletters and press releases. The organisation has also created a means by which Members can share information regarding networking events. It is through this social and economic development, as well as the financial assistance of members, that the APP hopes to contribute to Africa's electrification. “Power is critical for every single country in Africa and we are here to support all of them equally,” says Lascas. According to the APP, there are more than 600 million people in Africa without electricity. “We will be in soft launching until the end of 2018 and expect to gather 50 members during this period. It will allow us to fine tune and optimize our strategy. In 2019 we expect to go full power and register 100 members.” says Lascas. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
A brand new study into the future of African power utilities and the challenges they face has highlighted four possible scenarios of what the continent’s energy sector will look like by the year 2030. In the whitepaper, titled: “The Future of Energy and Power Utilities in Africa”, utilities are envisioned to either become “The Lions of Africa”, “Hungry Hyenas”, “An Elephant Herd” or “White Elephants”, with each scenario having different consequences for both the African energy industry at large as well as the consumer. The research project was conducted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Clarion Energy, organisers of flagship energy events such as African Utility Week, Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria and the Utility CEO Forum series - meetings and events that share ideas, encourage networking and facilitate business partnerships across the continent. Can utilities remain relevant? “The future of power and energy in Africa is at a significant junction” says Natalie Bacon, programme director at African Utility Week, “and African states and the power stakeholders operating within this sector realise that the impact of providing universal access to affordable energy will not only lead to accelerated economic development but significant social improvements. Yet, to achieve universal access executives have many strategic decisions ahead of them.” She explains: “hitherto business as usual for utilities has meant bulk energy production and distribution through coal-fired power plans, centralised grids and public sector monopolies. However, this is quickly coming under threat from new models of energy production and distribution. The four scenarios outlined by the study will help utilities and the wider industry visualise what African utilities could look like in 2030 and try to answer the important question of how utilities can remain relevant, effective and lead the African . . .
Nhlokomo Mhlophe has made significant strides to realise her ambition of becoming a “strong, independent black woman”. Now, thanks to her place in Engen’s Graduate Development Programme, she’s preparing to focus on the second half of that goal – to empower other women like her. Speaking out to mark Women’s Month, Mhlophe recalls how she was once among that majority who believe they’re not enough – not good enough at sport, not clever enough, and not popular enough. Today she’s a proud Bachelor of Commerce graduate of Rhodes University, and has a job in Engen’s Enterprise, Risk and Assurance department in Cape Town. “During my school years, I lived between my father in Isipingo and my mother in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, attending school in Amanzimtoti. “But my family always stood behind me, including sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. Without them I wouldn’t be half the person I am today,” she says. Mhlophe knows, however, that it was her own motivation that sent her in search of a spot in the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) programme at Mangosuthu University of Technology when she was still at high school, setting her life on its current trajectory. “I used to see the scholars coming out of the university and I wanted to know what they were doing. I asked someone one day and they told me all about the EMSS programme, so I decided to join too,” she recalls, adding that the extra lessons proved crucial during her matric year. Internal Audit manager Bea Ndlovu, her mentor in Engen’s Graduate Development Programme, has been another source of inspiration, providing her with support but also teaching her by example the value of good reasoning skills, and of critical analysis. The empowerment of black women is a top priority for Engen, according to Unathi Njokweni-Magida, head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement in the company’s Corporate Strategy and Communication division, who says they are focused on integrating . . .
This past weekend, Tsogo Sun's Mykonos Casino played host to renowned comedian, Jonathan from Radio Raps. Known for bringing the best in family entertainment, Jonathan had the crowd in stitches with his Genuine show, held at the Athene Conference Centre, which saw over 450 fans fill the venue. Genuine is a one-man show filled with brilliant humour as the talented comedian questions humanity, our vulnerabilities and what makes us unique. “This is proof that the West Coast people love Radio Raps, especially with this being his second sold-out show at Mykonos in the space of a few months,” says Natasha Brand, Marketing Manager at Mykonos Casino. In honour of Father’s Day which was recently celebrated, Mykonos Casino also hosted a private show with Radio Raps on Friday, 22 June at the Black Pearl Restaurant . For more information on upcoming events, visit: https://www.tsogosun.com/mykonos-casino/whatson CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Kouga Wind Farm ushered in Global Wind Day on Friday by announcing that the R4-million custom-built library and IT centre that it is building for the Sea Vista community outside St Francis Bay is on track to open in October. Celebrating the announcement are community members (from left) Babalwa Sahluko, Nozuko Ntshota and Ragel Goeda, who themselves have benefited from another of the wind farm’s community projects – the Rainmakers women empowerment programme. The seven-month programme has seen groups of women from the Sea Vista, Umzamowethu, KwaNomzamo and Kruisfontein communities undergoing specific skills development and business training, to equip them to identify and implement impactful upliftment projects in their communities. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Harvesting icebergs and learning from forests on how to run a city were offered as solutions to Cape Town’s water woes on Wednesday at a power and water utility conference underway in Cape Town. Salvage expert Nick Sloane addressed delegates at the African Utility Week conference during a keynote session on Wednesday where solutions from nature were explored to address increasing energy and water constraints. “It sounds like a crazy idea but if we break it down, it is not so crazy after all,” Sloane started his address. His address followed director of water and sanitation in the City of Cape Town Peter Flower’s presentation on Tuesday on the water crisis in the city. Flower told delegates the city still needs to reduce consumption to 450 million litres of water per day to keep Day Zero at bay. With the current usage at 500 million litres per day, the situation remains dire despite measures employed by the city to reduce consumption. According to Captain Sloane the answer may just be in “mother nature’s icebergs” – a total of 140 000 icebergs to be specific - drifting in the southern oceans and melting. Harvesting icebergs, he said, can help provide at least 20% of Cape Town’s water needs. He told delegates icebergs break off in Antarctica and hold some of the purest quality water that is between 15 000 and 20 000 years old. “About 2000 million tons of ice are breaking off every year,” he said. The idea is to use the current system to guide these icebergs towards the Cape. “So, they are coming our way, we just need to know how to deal with it.” Sloane said the iceberg can be captured in the area round Gough island and will ultimately have to be guided and moored about 40 km offshore from St Helena island to be harvested. He said they will then have to “create a saucer to capture the melting water that can deliver up to 60 million litres per day”. With milling this volume can increase to 150 million litres a day that is then pumped into tankers and . . .