Thermal storage extends solar power generation

Many commercial Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants are operating in various places around the world, the technological development of storage capacity is advancing with each new CSP plant that comes online. The 50 MW Bokpoort CSP plant is capable of storing more than nine hours of thermal energy. At its recent inauguration, EE Publishers sought to find out more about its thermal storage system to shed light on why solar developers are going this route. ACWA Power’s Solafrica Bokpoort CSP pro

SAPP member states plan more transmission interconnectors

Only 34% of the available electricity was traded between the Southern African Power Pool’s (SAPP’s) member states during 2016, this owing to the lack of transmission and distribution capacity in the region, said Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi at the 49th SAPP Conference of Meetings in Pretoria recently. The total electricity traded in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region during 2016 was 1-million MW (worth US$76-million) out of a possible 2,8-million MW.

The future of electricity: a grid utility

Transforming power utility Eskom into a transmission and distribution business and expanding the grid infrastructure to transmit electricity to service potential demand in other African countries is the most suitable solution to the utility’s future survival, according to panellists and delegates at the “Thinking energy – Grid resilience” workshop hosted by the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) in Johannesburg recently.

Strong planning and management urged as SA begins to come to terms with its water scarcity

It is common cause that South Africa is facing various challenges with regard to its water resources and the manage- ment thereof. It is also well recognised that South Africa needs to intensify its efforts to protect its already limited water resources and materially improve the efficiency of water use. But the development of new and, as critically, the maintenance of existing water and wastewater infrastructure is also a priority – one reflected in the fact that the Presidential Infrastructur

New antenna unveiled at space operations

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. The South African National Space Agency recently inaugurated a new Ku-band In Orbit Test limited-motion antenna – the latest addition to its growing number of technologically advanced antennae at its Space Operations facility, to assist clients in successfully commissioning new satellites. Joanne Taylor reports. Joanne Taylor: The new R17-million facility, internally funded by Sansa, comprises a 10 m Ku-direct broadcast sate

Illuminating the oldest castle in South Africa

Jolting a three-century-old castle into the 21st century with lighting designed to allure and dazzle tourists, yet to be delicate on the old walls, is not a simple feat. The more than 300-year-old Castle of Good Hope received a modern face-lift in the form of a beautiful lighting solution to bring its historic architecture to life. Located in Cape Town and built between 1666 and 1679, the castle is known as the oldest surviving building in the country and has been the centre of civilian,

Updated: Appeal stalls RCA clawback of R42-billion by Eskom from electricity customers

Both Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) have submitted applications for leave to appeal a 16 August 2016 judgement by Judge Cynthia Pretorius in the Pretoria High Court . (See editor’s note below.) The judgement by Judge Cynthia Pretorius had set aside NERSA’s R11,2-billion regulatory clearing account (RCA) award for Eskom’s 2013/14 financial year, and declared the award “irrational, unfair and unlawful”. The award had allowed Eskom to recover R11,2-billion from el

3D printing may shape a new manufacturing revolution

Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, is consumer and industry ready. It is gaining momentum as a viable tool for home use and the manufacturing of parts, from scissors handles to titanium aircraft spares. Early examples of 3D printing emerged in the 1980s, but the printers were large, expensive, difficult to acquire and limited in what they could produce, explains Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Science and Technology Park professor Deon de Beer.

Tax incentives to stimulate minerals beneficiation

The push for the local beneficiation of South Africa's mineral wealth, which is a key element in South Africa’s economic strategies, including the National Development Plan, has received a boost in the form of the research and development (R&D) tax incentives that were effected in October last year. The South African R&D tax incentive regime aims to provide an additional ‘super’ 50% income tax deduction on eligible R&D expenditure in the mining industry, which would equate to a saving of 14% ta

In conversation with Hans van de Groenendaal, amateur radio enthusiast: A lifelong passion

Following his International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Diamond Award in August 2016 (see EngineerIT August 2016, page 6) , I chatted to Hans about his life-long interest in amateur radio – where it started, and where it is today. Radio amateurs in the early days were in the frontier of communication and broadcasting development, and today’s radio amateurs still experiment with new technology –  youngsters today are still interested in radio because it can be integrated with modern computer tech

Six Green stars for Department of Environmental Affairs head office

The new Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) head office, in Pretoria, has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star South Africa (SA) Office Design certificate by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). It is the first government building in South Africa to achieve a 6 Star Green Star SA rating and also the first 6 Star-rated green building in the City of Tshwane. The project was awarded the highest score for a large commercial office space of this magnitude by the GBCSA. The DEA is d

Current Projects | Africa Water-Sector News & NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence

It is common cause that South Africa is facing various challenges with regard to its water resources and the manage- ment thereof. It is also well recognised that South Africa needs to intensify its efforts to protect its already limited water resources and materially improve the efficiency of water use. But the development of new and, as critically, the maintenance of existing water and wastewater infrastructure is also a priority – one reflected in the fact that the Presidential Infrastruc

Mine mechanisation helping to tackle safety, cost and productivity issues

The recent focus on South Africa’s platinum and gold mines has intensified owing to labour problems and this has, in turn, brought into sharp focus the bloated mine work-forces, which surprises the international mining community, as most overseas mining companies have moved towards mechanised mining methods. Part of the reason for South African mines’ large workforce is that labour is plentiful and has been low-cost for years. Further, there is no easy path to mechanisation and workforce reduct

Project Pinboard - October 2017

The Swaziland Rail Link project is an inter-railway initiative between Transnet Freight Rail, South Africa, and Swaziland Railway which entails the construction of a 150 km line from Lothair, South Africa to Sidvokodvo, Swaziland, and revamping two existing lines, the first from Ermelo to Lothair in South Africa and the other one from Sidvokodvo to Richards Bay in South Africa. The project’s objective is to provide a viable general freight diversionary route to remove traffic from the coal line

Yellow metal’s upward trajectory expected to continue throughout 2013

Despite high gold prices, production of the yellow metal in South Africa has failed to respond meaningfully to worldwide demand, rising only 0.2% in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS’s Gold Survey 2012 – Update 2. Towards the end of last year, the gold price had increased on a yearly basis for ten years and most international financial institutions believe the trend will continue throughout 2013, states the survey. But the local gold mining sector’s bene- fiting from the projected price

Energy-efficient tenant brings its own products to the green table

Schneider Electric’s “Rainbow Hive” South African headquarters is home to 200 of its local employees. The offices were designed with energy-efficiency at the forefront and aim to attract young professionals. In this article, I explore how renewable energy and energy-efficient building management were used to make it as energy-efficient and as financially feasible as possible. Located in Waterfall City, Gauteng, the company occupies 4265 m² of the 14 869 m² lettable area in the Allandale buildin

Afrikaans is Groot

A local Afrikaans cultural music show held 12 sold-out shows in two cities, offering fans exciting lighting displays and quality acoustics.Only three years old, Afrikaans is Groot has become an increasingly popular Afrikaans cultural music show with the likes of Juanita Du Plessis, Theuns Jordaan, Steve Hofmeyr, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Robbie Wessels, Lianie May, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Jay, Riana Nel, Jannie Moolman, Arno Jordaan, Jak de Priester, Eden, Corlea Botha and Dewald Wasser

Sasol inaugurates R1.5bn gas-fired power plant

Sasol New Energy on Wednesday inaugurated South Africa’s first gas engine power plant at its Sasolburg site, in the Free State. The facility, which was built at a cost of R1.5-billion, represented the largest single investment in gas engine technology in Africa. It has an operating capacity of 140 MW, enough to power 200 000 households. Half of the electricity generated by the plant will be used by Sasol's adjacent chemical factory, Sasol Infrachem, with the remainder to be fed into the nation

Engineering News - West Africa has potential for top-five gold spot

JOHANNESBURG ( – West Africa has the potential to become one of the top five gold-producing regions in the world, according to Wood Mackenzie mining industry analyst Jonathan Leng. Numerous new gold-mining projects are being developed in West Africa, particularly in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but none of them are big enough to threaten the top gold producer, China, he adds. “The recent boom in the industry is the result of two main factors
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