Eskom considers US$7.3b investment in wind and solar projects

SOUTH AFRICA – State utility Eskom, which supplies almost all of South Africa’s electricity from coal-fired power plants, is considering spending R106 billion (US$7.3 billion) investment on wind and solar energy by 2030. The investment plan, which Eskom could carry out by itself or in partnerships, is the most detailed demonstration yet of the utility’s ambition to move away from coal by taking advantage of the nation’s abundant wind and solar resources.  The state-owned company envisages spending R61.75 billion (US$4.2 billion) on wind power and R44.25 billion (US$3.03 billion) on…

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Eskom aims to sharply reduce its coal-fired power by 2031

SOUTH AFRICA – State-owned power utility Eskom has said it plans to reduce its output of coal-fired power by 8,000 to 12,000 MW through plant closures over the next decade, a cut that amounts to up to 30% of its current capacity. The mothballed Komati power station, brought back to service in the early 2000s to help deal with chronic electricity shortages in Africa’s most advanced economy, will be completely closed by October 2022, Eskom said. Eskom, which is Africa’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, is pitching a US$10 billion plan…

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Medupi coal power station project finally complete after six years delay

SOUTH AFRICA – Eskom’s Medupi coal power station in Lephalale, Limpopo has finally reached commercial operation six years after the first unit began supplying power to the grid, the sixth and last generating unit at Eskom’s Medupi. It is the fourth-largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world and has been beset by cost overruns and significant design issues that led to major delays in the project. Breakdowns of units had often contributed to the recent spate of load shedding.  Eskom said in a statement that…

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Mining company Seriti to conclude acquisition of South32 coal assets

SOUTH AFRICA – Coal mining company  Seriti Resources, has released a statement indicating that all conditions of its acquisition of South32 SA Coal Holdings Proprietary Limited (SAEC) have been fulfilled and the sale is expected to be completed on 1 June 2021. The new shareholders of 100% of SAEC will be Seriti Resources (90%), and the SAEC Employee and Community Trusts (5% each). Since signing the transaction in November 2019, it has been subject to various conditions precedent that have required, amongst others, the approval of the Competition Tribunal, the…

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Kibo Energy signs deal to co-develop renewable energy projects in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Kibo Energy, a multi-asset energy development company, has said it has entered into an agreement with Industrial Green Solutions (IGES) to jointly develop a portfolio of waste to energy projects in South Africa with an initial target of generating more than 50 megawatts of electricity for sale to industrial users. The deal entails the establishment of Newco, in which Kibo will hold 65 percent for an equity loan contribution of US$796,000 as project development funding for the initial project, while IGES will hold 35 percent for an equity contribution…

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Eskom Uganda to rehabilitate Kiira hydropower plant at a cost US$1.4m

UGANDA – Eskom Uganda, the subsidiary of South African energy utility Eskom, will invest US$1.4 million in the rehabilitation of the 200 MW Kiira hydropower plant. The project will be implemented by the Austrian company Andritz Hydro and the Austrian company will supply and install the new equipment, which will have a life cycle of 15 years.  The operations initiated by Eskom Uganda are aimed at upgrading the regulator in units 14 and 15 of the Kiira hydropower plant, located just outside the town of Jinja in the Eastern Region…

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Mobility firm Planet42 becomes the first company in Africa to be certified carbon neutral

SOUTH AFRICA – South African-based Planet42 has become the first mobility company in Africa to be certified carbon neutral. The company achieved the certification under The CarbonNeutral Protocol, one of the world’s leading frameworks for carbon neutrality. To offset their emissions, Planet42 has chosen to support a wind farm in South Africa’s Northern Cape province near the town of De Aar, a project that aims to reduce South Africa’s dependency on coal and other fossil fuels via wind turbines. For the past decade, South Africa has been during an energy…

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Mining company Exxaro Resources to offload thermal coal amid environmental concerns

SOUTH AFRICA – Coal and heavy minerals mining company Exxaro Resources, public utility Eskom’s biggest coal supplier, has become the latest company to offload thermal coal assets as pressure mounts for mining companies to reduce exposure to fossil fuels amid climate change concerns. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed mining firm announced the sale of its Exxaro Coal Central (ECC) to black-owned and private mining operator Overlooked, without disclosing the value of the transaction. Exxaro said the sale was part of playing a meaningful role in helping black mining operators obtain…

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Eskom adds 800MW to the grid as Kusile Power Station comes online

SOUTH AFRICA – Electricity public utility Eskom has added up to 800MW of supply to the national grid after unit 3 at the Kusile power station was brought online. The activation of unit 3 means Kusile, whose construction is years behind schedule due to labour disputes and design problems, is now producing up to 2.4GW of electricity from three of its six units. “Bringing the 800MW unit to commercial status means construction activity has come to an end on half the eMalahleni, Mpumalanga project,” Eskom said in a statement. “The…

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ENGIE acquires 40% stake in 100MW Xina Solar One in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA –  French multinational electric utility company ENGIE has reached an agreement to acquire from Abengoa a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company. The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand. Power is contracted through a 20 years Power Purchase Agreement with state utility Eskom.  Xina Solar One is supplying clean…

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