Projects and energy weekly snippets

Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

Electrification scheme in focus, says Eskom

With 90% of South Africa now having access to electricity, the utility will now put special focus on the three provinces that are lagging behind with electrification, namely KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

Eskom has managed to electrify 37 880 households across the country within the first quarter of its current financial year (1 April to 30 June 2017), with 9 886 households being connected in KwaZulu-Natal, followed by 9 755 households in the Eastern Cape, and 7 502 in Limpopo.

ESI Africa, 21 August 2017

Still much uncertainty as LPG stakeholders grapple with market inquiry findings

The [Competition] commission initiated the market inquiry in August 2014, after it had observed that certain features of the sector “prevented, distorted or restricted competition”.

These features were highlighted as market structure, the regulatory environment in terms of pricing and non-pricing regulations and its impact on competition, high switching costs for LPG gas distributors and limited use of LPG at household level. The Competition Commission also underscored limited domestic supply, long-term supply agreements and possible coordinated behaviour in setting deposit fees and selling LPG through cylinders as key features of concern.

Based on the findings, the commission tabled recommendations to introduce new measures to promote competition, to be implemented by the Department of Energy, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, the Department of Transport, Transnet National Ports Authority, refineries, LPG wholesalers, distributors and end-users.

Implementation dates range from as early as next month to March 2019.

Engineering News, 18 August 2017 

Organisation lobbies government to kick-start biogas market 

The Southern African Biogas Industry Association (SABIA) chairperson Jason Gifford explains that the organisation’s working groups are in discussions with the Department of Energy and the Department of Environmental Affairs with the hope that the departments will, respectively, alter the biogas allocation in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and prescribe or determine a financial value for specific environment benefits achieved through the use of a renewable-energy source.

Gifford notes that, while the REIPPPP has seemingly stalled, SABIA would like the biogas allocation of 1 MW of installed capacity to be altered so that projects are allocated on a kilowatt basis. He notes that this change would enable biogas to compete with wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

Engineering News, 18 August 2017 

Wind body aims to use mentoring scheme to support gender transformation

The WindAc Africa Mentoring Programme seeks to promote the professional and personal development of youth who are interested in pursuing careers in the energy sector.

The programme will also proactively address issues of gender and transformation in the wind sector by connecting male and female students with exclusively female mentors.

This approach will be pursued to sensitise the next generation of male leaders to the challenges faced by women in the energy sector, according to the Call-for-Mentors statement.

“It is intended that, when they enter the workplace, they will promote gender inclusivity and contribute to changing workplace culture,” the statement reads.

Engineering News, 18 August 2017 

African Development Bank says Eskom’s success is critical for Southern Africa 

Eskom’s success is critical for all the countries in the Southern African region, says president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.

He was speaking at the National Treasury on Friday at the signing of a new host-country agreement between the bank and the South African government.

Adesina said Eskom was a factor in the economy’s weakening based on the lack of electricity for mining companies, which also impacted neighbouring countries. He said the bank would continue to invest and support Eskom. "It’s a sign of confidence in SA and a sign of confidence in Eskom. SA cannot develop in the dark."

Business Day, 18 August 2017 

Eskom Science Expo attracts innovation

The Bojanala Regional Eskom Expo for Young Scientists has created a platform for youth to showcase their innovations, one being from young scientist Phemelo Motloba.

Motloba (17) has found a way of generating electricity from a local plant well-known as Mokura (the castor-oil plant or ricinus communis) by extracting oil from it, the parastatal said in a statement.

He entered his project into the Bojanala Regional Eskom Expo for Young Scientists and titled it “Alternative energy from the toxic shrub”, which proposes and shows how this plant can be put to good use.

ESI Africa, 18 August 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.

For more information contact Charles MaraisPhilip van Rensburg or Mzimasi Mabokwe.

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