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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)

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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)

The 7th Cigré southern African regional conference was held at the Lord Charles hotel in Somerset West from 7 – 11 October 2013. The program consisted of a day of tutorials, a study group colloquium, two days of technical papers and a day of technical visits. An interview of Klaus Frölich, president of Cigré, is included… (more)

The intermittent nature of many renewable energy (RE) systems makes them unsuitable for use as a sole source of supply, but combining different RE technologies or combining them with other conventional forms of generation can give better overall performance… (more)

 

Large parts of Johannesburg were plunged into darkness for almost a week recently as the result of industrial sabotage caused by disgruntled City Power employees. To discover what caused this extended power outage, EE Publishers’ Roger Lilley interviewed City Power’s director: Engineering Operations and official spokesperson, Louis Pieterse. In an attempt to display their disapproval of City Power’s decision to implement shift work, thereby slashing the company’s overtime bill, and the operators’ pay-packets dramatically, the operators decided to embark on a wildcat, unprotected strike. Some of them – wishing to make a point – switched off a number of circuit breakers in a few substations and minisubs around the city… (more)

With a number of tower blocks in downtown Johannesburg, ABSA has made use of rooftop space to construct SA’s largest groundmount-style, rooftop-based PV system eight storeys above street level… (more)

SANSA Space Operations, in conjunction with the SA-EU strategic partnership The Dialogue Facility, hosted an event to disseminate the results of the SATSA (SBAS Awareness and Training for South Africa) project which is drawing to a close… (more)

Australian researchers have created the first ever interior 3D map of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa by using a breakthrough mobile laser mapping system, the ZEB 1. This detailed record will be of great assistance in preserving the cultural heritage of the site… (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)

Better energy management – a must, not a luxury. Eric Léger was recently appointed as country president of Schneider Electric South Africa, a company with a German name but French parentage. Léger was previously country president of the company in Korea and Taiwan where he was responsible for business growth and before that he represented Schneider Electric in several other countries in similar positions… (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)

During the recent floods in Mozambique a section of the Cahora Bassa HVDC line was damaged. This had a huge impact on the transfer of power between Mozambique and South Africa with one of the 533 kV DC lines out of service. Quanta Services Africa was awarded the contract in February for the short term emergency restoration of this line… (more)

Power factor correction (PFC) is generally applied to save on maximum demand charges or power factor penalties levied by electricity distributers. If properly applied, PFC can also reduce energy consumption in many types of installation… (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)

In an interview with EE Publishers features editor Hans van de Groenendaal, he attributed his company’s success not to its varied international market exposure, but to the fact that it is a “perpetual start-up company” always on the look-out for innovation and new markets to explore. Newly-appointed Schneider Electric South Africa country president Eric Léger held the same position for Korea and Taiwan respectively before coming to South Africa well-versed in the company’s operations and in doing business with diverse cultures… (more)

Supporting the annual Eskom Science Expo for Young Scientists is more than spending a few thousand rand from the corporate social investment budget; it is an investment in the development of skills to support the future of South African enterprise… (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)

The organisers of the South African Surveying and Geomatics Indaba 2013, the South African Geomatics Institute (SAGI) and EE Publishers, are pleased to announce that the conference will be opened by Mmuso Riba, the Chief Surveyor-General of South Africa. The conference is being held on 23 and 24 July 2013 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg… (more)

South Africa has a long history in space related activities but until the formation of the South African Space Agency (SANSA) in 2010, these activities were fragmented with periods of high levels of activity followed by a slump in activity. Being a growing knowledge economy, South Africa cannot afford this fragmentation… (more)

EE Publishers is pleased to announce changes in the editorial team of Energize which will take place from the June edition. Roger Lilley, who recently joined EE Publishers, will take over as editor of Energize… (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)

A 20% import duty was imposed on LED lamps and fittings as of 1 January 2013, and a further application by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for another duty increase is currently pending. How this would impact the SA LED manufacturing and distribution industry, the local energy efficiency drive and the influx of inferior product from abroad was discussed at a recent meeting of members of the Illumination Engineering Society of South Africa (IESSA)… (more)

“Is Chernobyl dead? Essays on energy – renewable and nuclear” by CM Meyer is a fascinating new book, breathtaking in its scope and gripping in its coverage. The 302-page book has 51 easy-to-read chapters (essays), each one essentially self-contained and extensively referenced, woven together to form the whole. There are also over 100 figures and pictures, many of them rare and retrieved from international archives, with significant historical interest… (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)

Every time I meet Andy Brauer at a conference or business event we spend more time talking about emerging and future technology than about his job at Business Connexion as CTO. Andy is a true techno futurist so when I had the opportunity to speak with him about new technologies that would drive business of the future, we were soon deep in conversation over a cup of coffee… (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)

South Africa recently heard the news that it is getting the lion’s share of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. This is great news for South Africa and its partner countries but what is the future of fracking in the Karoo and how will it impact on the SKA project. After nine-years of sweat and tears by the South African and Australian SKA site bid teams, the independent SKA Site Advisory Committee (SSAC), composed of world-renowned experts, carried out an objective technical and scientific assessment of the sites in South Africa and Australia, and by consensus identified Africa as the preferred site… (more)

In her budget speech to parliament on 17 May 2012, energy minister Dipuo Peters noted that, while the implementation of the solar water heater (SWH) programme was making headway, the majority of the systems installed were imported. This is especially true of low-pressure systems used in the RDP housing drive and in the medium-income residential sector… (more)

The Cigré Steering committee held its 2012 meeting from 24 to 27 April at the Thandeka lodge in the Waterberg. The meeting included an Africa day on 26 April, where South African companies, Powertech Transformers, Pfisterer, and Eskom gave presentations on the work done by their companies to the committee. Mike Rycroft Editor of Energize, attended the meeting and interviewed the President, Andre Merlin… (more)

Carbon taxes and levies have the effect of increasing the price of energy in the countries where they are introduced, and this is causing migration of manufacturers to countries with less stringent emission control laws. This so-called “carbon leakage” is becoming a major concern, and countries  are introducing a host of mitigation measures to plug this “leakage”. This country would be well advised to consider the experience of others before putting a price on carbon… (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)

A glance through Vector this month tells us that skills shortages in this country are fast becoming a serious threat to industry and economy alike. Industry players are exasperated, calling, as does ECA(SA) president Mark Mfikoe, the inability to develop skills “the biggest scandal in this country”… (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)

We welcome to the EngineerIT team Shaun Austin as marketing and sales executive and Zhandré Brandt as advertising sales assistant. Shaun will be assisting Irene Blythe and getting to know EngineerIT’s market and customers over the next few months… (more)

GISSA and EE Publishers invite you to participate, sponsor, exhibit and present at GISSA Ukubuzana 2012, the conference and exhibition of geo-informatics, surveying, remote sensing and location-based services. This event is being held on 2, 3 and 4 October 2012 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg and is expected to be a highlight of the GIS industry calendar… (more)

In her article, “Solar heater rules eclipse local firms” (Mail & Guardian, 11 November 2011), Lynley Donnelly reports that solar water heater (SWH) makers in the Western Cape are “shutting their doors after decades in business”… (more)

The two satellites being built by students of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) include a beacon operating in the 20 m amateur band. The first of the two is a single CubeSat 10 x 10 x 10 cm with a mass of one kilogramme… (more)

This story has its origin in a garage, where in 1975 Andy Chisholm started making printed circuit boards (PCBs) at his home in Cape Town. As his list of customers grew, so did his need for staff and working space. He formed a company called Renak and moved from his garage to premises in Plumstead and later to a larger factory in Diep River… (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)

EE Publishers is pleased to announce that, for the third consecutive year, it will be sponsoring the prize money of R25 000 for the 2011 SAIEE National Student Project Competition organised by the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers and hosted by the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus… (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)

EE Publishers has established a facility at its website for citizens to upload articles, files and supporting documents under the category of Citizen Journalism. In addition, a Facebook page entitled EE Publishers for Citizen Journalism has been set up to post commentaries, pictures, captions, links & audio/video clips… (more)

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