You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Chris Yelland’ tag.

Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation AfriSake has taken court action to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane and private service provider PEU Capital Partners… (more)

On 5 December 2013, Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation, AfriSake, initiated court proceedings to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and private service provider PEU Capital Partners (Pty) Ltd (PEU) from proceeding. The contract, with service fees to PEU estimated to be in excess of R27-billion over the contract period, was established in May 2013, when the City of Tshwane approved a 10-year arrangement to outsource its entire electricity metering and revenue collection activity to a private company, PEU… (more)

EE Publishers has received substantial information that Eskom is currently in the process of terminating the Alstom boiler protection contract at Medupi power station. The boiler protection software in a coal-fired power station is a critical safely item subject to stringent regulatory controls. In the light of Eskom’s negative experience with Alstom, the utility intends to appoint an alternative contractor (likely to be Siemens) to complete the job. A change in software supplier by Eskom at this late stage poses further serious risks to the delivery of first power from Medupi, currently scheduled for the second half of 2014… (more)

On 5 December 2013, Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation, AfriSake, initiated court proceedings to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and private service provider PEU Capital Partners (Pty) Ltd (PEU) from proceeding. The contract, with service fees to PEU estimated to be in excess of R27-billion over the contract period, was established in May 2013, when the City of Tshwane approved a 10-year arrangement to outsource its entire electricity metering and revenue collection activity to a private company, PEU… (more)

Letters to the editor this month focus on Eskom and the cost of coal price controls, a response to an article by Chris Yelland, and on the allure of old radio receivers… (more)

 

For about two to three years now, Eskom has been lobbying government to declare coal a strategic resource, introduce mechanisms to control the price of coal to the utility, and limit the export of coal. This is being done, apparently, in efforts to try and secure the supply of coal for power generation at prices acceptable to the utility. The lobbying seems to have borne fruit. In terms of proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the minister of mineral resources may, by decree in the Government Gazette from time-to-time, declare selected minerals to be strategic, and limit the export of the declared strategic minerals… (more)

During a high-profile site visit on 11 April 2013, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba advised Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi executives, in the presence of the assembled media, that first power from Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any such delays occurred… (more)

On 11 April 2013, public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba told Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi that first power from the Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any delays did occur. The Eskom CEO and his executive team assured the minister that the situation had been fully analysed, that the problem areas had been identified and were being dealt with, and that the due date would indeed be met… (more)

During a high-profile site visit on 11 April 2013, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba advised Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi executives, in the presence of the assembled media, that first power from Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any such delays occurred. But only three months later, at a media briefing on 8 July 2013, Eskom confirmed what was already generally known, namely that the due date of end December 2013 was increasingly unlikely and unrealistic… (more)

Delegates at the ninth annual conference of the Ilumination Engineering Society of South Africa (IESSA) heard that competition from lighting manufacturers in the Far East does not pose a real threat to the local industry as many industry doomsayers seem to think. Addressing an open panel discussion, EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland said the real danger in terms of the influx of product from abroad lies with South Africa’s regulatory mechanisms which are failing us… (more)

Differences in interpretation between Eskom and BHP Billiton in respect of the termination date of the electricity supply agreement for the Hillside Potline 1 and 2 aluminium smelters in Richards Bay, South Africa, could negatively impact Eskom’s balance sheet and income statement to the tune of billions of rands. The electricity prices and contract period for Hillside Potlines 1 and 2 are defined in the main pricing agreement [1] and contract between Alusaf (subsequently Billiton, now BHP Billiton South Africa) and Eskom, signed in 1992… (more)

It was most interesting and enlightening to listen to Chris Yelland on 702’s money show yesterday evening, regarding wind turbines. Whilst I appreciate the need of alternative sources of primary energy, in my personal opinion the usefulness of wind turbines has been somewhat overstated, as they are indeed reliant on the instantaneous velocity of the available wind… (more)

In order to understand the application by Eskom to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for a review of the special electricity pricing agreements between Eskom and BHP Billiton for Hillside Potlines 1, 2 and 3, and the powers, authority and duties of the Regulator in such matters, it is necessary to look at the relevant South African legislation covering the regulation of electricity and its pricing… (more)

The third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for the five-year period commencing 1 April 2013 has further revealed a picture of the national electricity utility, Eskom, in distress. On the basis of the Treasury’s instruction that there would be no further government guarantees, subordinated loans or equity from the sole shareholder (government), Eskom has been between a rock and a hard place… (more)

The third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for the 5-year period commencing 1 April 2013 has further revealed a picture of the national electricity utility, Eskom, in distress… (more)

Energy minister Dipuo Peters has announced financial closure for some 1425 MW of renewable energy (RE) projects for the first bid window of the renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) procurement programme… (more)

A significant milestone for renewable energy in South Africa was reached on 29 October 2012 when the minister of energy, Dipuo Peters, announced financial closure for some 1425 MW of renewable energy projects for the first bid window of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme… (more)

CBI-electric, the only manufacturer of miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) and earth leakage protection units (ELPUs) in African, has reported that counterfeit copies of its electrical products are being manufactured in China and imported into South Africa… (more)

The annual financial results for the financial year ending 31 March 2012 of South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, Eskom, were announced on 14 June. Eskom is a state owned enterprise, wholly owned by the South African government… (more)

CBI-electric, the only manufacturer of miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) and earth leakage protection units (ELPUs) in African, has reported that counterfeit copies of its electrical products are being manufactured in China and imported into South Africa… (more)

From small beginnings, Africa is slowly awakening to the opportunities of engaging on its own terms with the international science, engineering and technology, food and agriculture, manufacturing and business communities to achieve appropriate foreign investment and sustained economic growth… (more)

Significant new initiatives are under way by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the electronic component and electronics manufacturing sectors in South Africa to make this industry more globally competitive. Whilst the electronics manufacturing sector is somewhat fragmented in South Africa, there are in fact some strong electronics manufacturing niches in the country, such as prepayment electricity meters, television sets, DSTV decoders and set-top boxes, vehicle tracking and security systems, and contract manufacturing… (more)

In South Africa, media criticism is directed at an investigative media intent on exposing hypocrisy, fraud and corruption, which of is course denied vehemently or underplayed by government and big business as the work of a so-called “unpatriotic” media that focuses on the bad news rather than the good; a media whose investigative instincts and work impinges on the dignity and privacy of the targets. Or so it is claimed… (more)

With thoughts of economic stagnation, manufacturing decline, automation and associated job losses on our minds, and with the threat posed by China looming large as the de facto manufacturing workshop of the world, four intrepid South African “techies” set off for the windy city of Chicago, Illinois, to find out more at the 2011 Rockwell Automation Fair held from 15 to 17 November 2011… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

On 23 August 2011, EE Publishers hosted an open panel discussion and debate in Midrand, entitled “Renewable Energy in South Africa – going backwards or forwards?” At the debate, key players in the renewable energy (RE) sector of South Africa covered the background on where the country finds itself now, as well as the road ahead in the implementation of the ambitious renewable energy targets detailed in the national integrated resource plan for electricity, IRP 2010 – 2030. This will involve the installation of some 9200 MW of wind generation capacity, 8400 MW of solar photo-voltaic (PV) capacity, and 1200 MW of concentrating solar plant (CSP) capacity by 2030… (more)

by Chris Yelland and Mark Botha, EE Publishers

The policing of electrical installation work to ensure the integrity of workmanship and the safety of residents, occupants and workers within domestic dwellings, buildings and factories has a long and torturous history in South Africa. While electrical contractors clearly need independent oversight to ensure there is no danger to life or property, this oversight surely should not be provided by external agents of the Department of Labour operating with exemptions from the competency and accreditation requirements of the Electrical Installation Regulations… (more)

by Mark Botha and Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

The debate around hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo is an issue of national and public interest. Shale gas extraction has the potential, some say, to change the face of the country’s power industry and improve the lives of millions of South Africans. Public opinion, however, is a powerful force well-known to have hampered the nuclear industry in the past… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers
 
Within a few weeks, Judge Kgomo of the South Gauteng High Court will rule on whether Eskom must hand over certain documents requested by Media 24 in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act that would reveal details of secret pricing deals with BHP Billiton that have long been held to be confidential. However the matter may not end here, but could be heading for the Constitutional Court… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

Phindile Nzimande, former CEO of EDI Holdings (Pty) Ltd, has been appointed CEO of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) with effect from 1 May 2011. This follows a decision by the cabinet announced in December 2010 to disband EDI Holdings by 1 April 2011… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

At long last, the cabinet has approved and published the national Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2010. Now this just has to be passed by parliament and published in the Government Gazette. Let’s hope there will not be further delays, and that a measure of certainty will prevail so that the electricity sector can get down to work. But what is IRP 2010? Why is it important? And what exactly does it say?… (more)

by Chris Yelland and Peter Adams, EE Publishers

Products that allow electric plugs to be inserted incorrectly, thereby exposing users to live parts and the risk of lethal electric shocks, can be found for sale at major retail outlets in South Africa. But despite its mandate to enforce compulsory specifications and ensure public safety, the National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications says it has no grounds to take action. There is clearly something very wrong in “the state of Rome”… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, Mark Botha and Chris Yelland, EE Publishers
 
It is well known that the price of electricity in South Africa has been too low for years. The generation capacity crisis in 2008 prompted a review of Eskom’s build programme and associated funding plan. The original expectation was that there would be a short-duration adjustment to bring prices to the correct level, and thereafter electricity prices increases would follow inflation. But the adjustment did not develop in line with expectations, and price increases much higher than inflation are expected for many years to come… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

In recent months and at various venues Eskom has been lobbying and punting the view that a new dispensation and enabling environment is required for the utility to secure the cheap and abundant supplies of coal needed for its current and future fleet of coal-fired power stations. When pressed for details, Eskom officials become a little coy. But stripping aside the euphemisms, what Eskom is saying is that, in the light of higher global demand and world market prices for even the low-grade coal used in Eskom power stations, the utility is having difficulty matching these prices and contracting on a voluntary basis with the coal miners to secure its medium and long-term coal supplies… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director 

EE Publishers is actively encouraging the submission of civic-minded articles, news, pictures and audio/video clips from its readers and the general public for consideration for publishing in its magazines, email newsletters and website.

To this end, EE Publishers has established a facility at its website for readers and the general public to upload articles, files and supporting documents under the category of Citizen Journalism.

In addition, EE Publishers has established a Facebook page entitled EE Publishers for Citizen Journalism, where readers may submit short commentaries, articles, pictures, captions, links, audio/video clips, etc., following widely familiar procedures.

Upload a Citizen Journalism submission at EE Publishers’ website
Post to the EE Publishers for Citizen Journalism wall on Facebook

… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

Get The Daily EE News free – a round-up of local and international news and information in the energy, power, electricity, electronics, measurement, automation, computer, telecomms and geographic information science sectors. The Daily EE News organises information and links shared by EE Publishers on Twitter into an easy-to-read newspaper-style format. Simply bookmark http://paper.li/eepublishers/1293469668 to view The Daily EE News at any time, or click the Subscribe button on The Daily EE News to receive a two-line plain-text email reminder and link when The Daily EE News is published each day at 12 noon. The Daily EE News is also archived daily, to enable you to view all back issues… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

Chris Yelland speaking on Radio 702 on Friday 7 January 2011 with Stephen Grootes, discussing Eskom and the state of the electricity power system in South Africa.

Click here to listen to the discussion (MP3 audio file)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers, www.eepublishers.co.za

Once again, public sector governance issues, and battles between the CEO, the board and the responsible minister have rocked South Africa. Eskom, SAA, Transnet, the SABC… and now, in the latest saga, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). On 15 November 2010, Chairperson Cecilia Khuzwayo indicated that the regulator had suspended its CEO, Smunda Mokoena, for “alleged gross transgression of NERSA’s code of conduct”. Whilst official spokesman Charles Hlebela would not be drawn on the specifics, an article in The Times on 15 November went a step further, quoting a source alleging that that “quite recently he (the CEO) chaired a meeting completely drunk”, and that “he had a drinking problem that was getting out of hand”… (more)

Reliable sources have revealed that the cabinet has decided to withdraw a bill published on 17 June 2009 proposing an amendment to the constitution of South Africa in respect of the existing entrenched rights and obligations of local government entities (i.e. municipalities) to distribute electricity. This decision by the cabinet is said to be the precursor to the disbanding of EDI Holdings (Pty) Ltd by 1 April 2011. EDI Holdings is a state owned company that was established by government on 1 July 2003 to project-manage the restructuring of the EDI… (for more see http://www.eepublishers.co.za/view.php?sid=23975)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers, www.eepublishers.co.za

This article was first published on 12 November 2010 in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian, www.mg.co.za.

In a world of rising energy demand, natural gas as a low carbon energy solution is playing an increasingly important role in many countries. Natural gas is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels, but is in relatively scarce supply in South Africa. Given its environmental benefits and the need to diversify and secure energy supply, what is the role of natural gas in meeting electrical energy demand in South Africa, and what building blocks are needed today to establish a vibrant gas industry for South Africa in future?… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize

This article was first published in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian, www.mg.co.za.

Three announcements in the last few weeks have created new hope that the long-awaited renewable energy (RE) programme will get underway, namely: the request-for-information on renewable energy projects from the Department of Energy (DoE); the announcement by the minister of energy of the establishment of a solar park in the Upington area; and the release of the draft integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010) for public comment… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

There has been some criticism of the lack transparency and inadequate time allowed for effective stakeholder engagement in the 20-year Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP 2) currently under development by the Department of Energy (DoE) in South Africa (Energize, May 2010 issue, page 15).

Many stakeholders and interested parties may wish to be involved but may not be aware of the stakeholder engagement process currently in progress, of the DoE website at www.doe-irp.co.za where information and documentation on the process may be obtained, and of the tight time-lines involved… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers
 
On 16 April 2010, Fin24 sent out a report that may have startled some, and sent shudders through ideological die-hards within the Tripartite Alliance.
 
The article was apparently based on discussions with Eskom’s new finance director, Paul O’Flaherty, and human resources director, Bhabhalazi Bulunga. It stated that “Eskom is planning a major restructuring, which could involve a partial privatisation and a major shake-up of its labour force”, and that “the company may be split up, and certain of its assets privatised, in a similar fashion to that of arms utility Denel”.
 
The very same day, this was promptly and vehemently denied in a press release from Eskom’s media desk, in which O’Flaherty is quoted as saying that “Eskom is looking at standardising and streamlining its systems and processes across the business. We have had no discussions about reducing our workforce and have not made any changes to our labour policies”. The press release stated categorically that Eskom has no plans of restructuring as outlined in the Fin24 article.
 
Two apparently contradictory reports? Let’s take a closer look at the three pillars of Eskom’s business – generation, transmission and distribution – to try and understand what’s actually going on here… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

After gazetting a flawed and widely criticised 3-year interim electricity integrated resource plan (IRP 1) on 31 December 2009, well after Eskom had submitted its initial (45% pa for 3 years) and revised (35% pa for 3 years) multi-year price applications to NERSA in the second half of 2009, the DoE is now franticly working on the long overdue real thing – a 20-year national integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP 2) as required in terms of the National Energy Act of 2008, the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, and the Electrical Regulations on New Generation Capacity of 2009… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

It’s official – we’ve got the loan. And from the limited information available at this time it appears that it is unconditional, this despite the lack of support from significant shareholders of the World Bank. It has been reported that the USA, UK, Italy, Norway and Netherlands abstained from voting on the loan application.

The award will come as a great relief to the government, the ANC, Eskom and those concerned about security of supply in South Africa through the construction of the 4800 MW Medupi coal-fired power station, scheduled to start coming on stream in 2012. The loan will ensure that there should be no delays to Medupi as a result of funding issues… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter
 
At its annual general meeting on 26 March 2010, outgoing president of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), du Toit Grobler, and honorary treasurer Les James reported “a significant fraud” having taken place within the SAIEE during the year ending 31 December 2009. The qualified audit report presented by external auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers at the AGM states that “An employee stole   R703 452 due to fraudulent transactions. A forensic audit has been conducted, but has not yet been completed. A further amount of R234 320 relating to the financial year has been identified as suspicious transactions. As the forensic audit is underway, the impact on the financial statements could not be established”… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter
 
Various media have already reported Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll as saying that Anglo would consider investing in a power station if necessary. Fin24 has reported sighting documents showing that Anglo is being considered as an investor in Kusile, the R142-billion coal-fired power station being built near Delmas, in which Eskom is seeking a 30% to 49% private equity partner, although this has since been denied. Now the Anglo website has officially announced its study for the construction of a new coal-fired power station using circulating fluidised-bed combustion technology. What will be next?… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter

There’s been a lot of media coverage of the pending World Bank loan of US$3,75-billion for Eskom. According to analysts, it is unlikely that the loan will not be granted. But who is the World Bank, how does it make its decisions, and what are the stakes?

The current funding shortfall for Eskom’s new build programme (Medupi, Kusile and Ingula) will only partially be met by the World Bank loan, and one must not lose sight of what funding is still to be secured, namely: the $3,75-billion (R27-billion) World Bank loan itself; the R8,5-billion additional borrowings required as per MYPD2; the cash shortfalls of R14-billion and R7,9-billion as per MYPD2; a price increase of some R17-billion for Medupi in coming years; and R20- to R40-billion private equity funding for Kusile. This gives a total current funding shortfall of R94- to R114-billion!… (more)

Informed sources within Eskom Generation have indicated to EE Publishers that significant further cost increases can be expected for both Medupi and Kusile power stations.

In the case of Medupi, provision has been made at a cost of “several hundred million rands” in the current R125-billion price tag to ensure that the plant is ready for the incorporation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant. The FGD plant itsself will be installed under a seperate contract at the first general overhaul cycle of Medupi power station in about 2018.

Kusile, on the other hand, will have FGD plant installed from the beginning during the construction of the power station, and its cost is therefore included in the current overall R142-billion price tag. Further pushing up Kusile’s price will be a significant additional cost of interest during construction, as well as contract price escallation, resulting from construction delays and the moratorium on placing of contracts since December 2008 due to the absence of a funding plan for the Eskom new-build programme… (more)

You are cordially invited to attend an open and interactive workshop, panel discussion and debate hosted by trade union, Solidarity. A panel of experts will discuss funding plans for Eskom and its MYPD (multi-year price determination) application to NERSA for an increase in the average price of electricity of 45% per annum for three consecutive years.

DATE: 3 December 2009
TIME: 09h30 for 10h00 to 13h00, followed by lunch, courtesy of Solidarity
VENUE: Centurion Lake Hotel, Centurion, Pretoria (directions below)
COST: No cost, free-of-charge
 
Chris Yelland, managing director of EE Publishers, will act as the facilitator and chairperson for the discussion. The panel of experts will comprise:
 
  • Chris Hart: senior economist at Investment Solutions, a provider of multi-manager investment portfolios, with assets under management of over R100-billion
  • Andrew Kenny: consulting engineer, with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering, formerly of Eskom and senior research officer at the Energy Research Institute of the University of Cape Town
  • Mike Schüssler: senior economist and partner of Economists.co.za, a specialist economics consultancy to government, business and industry

… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

On Thursday 29 October, well over a week ago, a fateful Eskom board meeting heralded an unprecedented management crisis within this key South African state-owned enterprise.

The company is still reeling from a generation capacity crisis, the power black-outs of 2008, a serious skills shortage, a funding crisis for its new-build programme, and applications to the Regulator that would increase the price of electricity five-fold over the five-year period from 2008 to 2012.

Of course it is no coincidence that the new crisis has occurred at this critical juncture. In fact, this latest management crisis is simply a manifestation of the convergence of pressures and tensions arising from these and manyother issues at this time… (more)

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