PetroSA to spend big on Mossel Bay refinery (R3bn)

Engineering News, 12 October, 2016.

(Disclaimer – this article isn’t about electricity, but about wasting taxpayer’s money on sunk costs in a stranded asset.)

STATE-owned gas-to-liquid producer PetroSA plans to spend more than R3bn over the next five years to improve the refining capacity of its Mossel Bay plant and to ensure the security of its energy supply.

It will also be seeking strategic partnerships to assist in the implementation of its plans.

(EG-SA contributor note: Here we go again! How can we even consider spending this much on “the feasibility/ front-end loading stages as part of the long-term planning for ensuring the sustainability of the gas-to-liquid refinery” R3bn on planning!!! And only last year PetroSA declared a loss of R14.7bn, see here.)

Read the full article here.


Energy Minister says Eskom to fund nuclear as new procurement framework is unveiled

Engineering News, 11 October, 2016.

Eskom’s balance sheet will be used to leverage funding for government’s anticipated multibillion-rand nuclear build programme, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced on Tuesday.

(EG-SA contributor note: And this is the same Eskom pleading for government guarantees and MYPD tariff increases to keep them afloat? If the government is the guarantor then the tax payers are effectively at risk if Eskom defaults.

She told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy that the National Treasury would not be funding the programme, but that Eskom would raise the money in the international markets and would be the owner-operator of the nuclear build programme…

(EG-SA contributor note: And the IRP has been postponed again, and the IEP not mentioned – the IRP is supposed to be based on the broader IEP, which includes gas strategy)

…Joemat-Pettersson said the IRP had to be approved by Cabinet before being published for broader consultation. The plan had been due to go to Cabinet this week, but was postponed…

(EG-SA contributor note: Note also the renewed attack on Pravin Gordhan this week – getting ready for a Cabinet re-shuffle to get him out of the way of the nuclear deal? See this article

And click here for the full Engineering News story

Tina Joemat-Pettersson to present IRP to the Cabinet next week

BDLive 10 October, 2016.

ENERGY Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Monday that she would present the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and an integrated energy plan to a Cabinet subcommittee on Wednesday and to the Cabinet next week.

Wide consultations, including with Eskom, had been taken on both plans, she said.

(EG-SA contributor note: Wide consultations? When were these held and with whom? At least there will be public consultations after the Cabinet has seen the IRP and IEP)

The plans will reflect the government’s commitment to an energy mix that included nuclear energy, and will lay the foundation for the government’s future energy procurement.

They would not necessarily be approved by the Cabinet but would be released for public comment, Joemat-Pettersson said.

The minister reaffirmed the government’s unequivocal commitment to the renewable energy programme, but said some deadlines would be changed due to a change in circumstances.

All determinations issued in the past would go ahead, Joemat-Pettersson said at a media briefing to announce the preferred bidders for the first stage of the government’s coal-based independent power producer procurement programme (IPPPP)

Circumstances that had changed, the minister said, included the economic situation, the exchange rate and Eskom’s financial stabilisation.

Certain matters had been clarified with Eskom regarding its requirement for baseload power, and the government’s commitment to renewable energy and the IPPPP.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson announces first coal independent power firms

BDLive, 10 October, 2016.

HE preferred bidders of the first bid window for the coal baseload programme are Thabemetsi and Khanyisa, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced on Monday.

She said at a media briefing that both bidders were selected on the basis of stringent requirements, with all bids reviewed and evaluated by the independent power producers office.

Both projects will require R40bn of debt and equity funding, and will create thousands of jobs in Limpopo, where Thabametsi’s project will be based, and in Mpumalanga, where Khanyisa will operate.

The two companies collectively will add 863.3MW to the country’s grid in the next five years, with Khanyisa set to begin commercial operation in December 2020, followed by Thabametsi in March 2021…

She said both companies had submitted prices well below the stipulated qualification price of 82c/kWh, which would escalate with the consumer price index.

Khanyisa came in at 80c and Thabametsi at 79c but the head of the Department of Energy’s independent power producer office, Maduna Ngobeni, said these prices excluded the costs of connecting the plants to the grid. Including this cost took the price to about R1.01c.

Click here for the full article

Paris Climate Agreement: The Need for Speed

Rocky Mountain Institute, 4 October, 2016

This week, a number of European countries will submit paperwork to the United Nations formally binding them to the Paris Agreement, raising the tally of committed countries above 55 percent of global emissions and triggering the agreement’s entry into force 30 days later. For those who thought the champagne corks popped last December in Paris, here’s a brief guide about why this week’s events constitute a historic milestone and what comes next.

Wait, isn’t Paris already done? What’s the big deal?

The Paris Agreement is indeed a big deal, for the reasons outlined below. But the negotiation last December wasn’t the end of the story. When thousands of negotiators leapt to their feet and adopted the agreement by acclamation, they locked down the text that would go back to national capitals to get approved….

Remind me again why Paris is important?

Paris is the first universal, long-term operational agreement for tackling climate change that includes a specific, clear global goal—achieving a climate-neutral global economy by the second half of the century—and the machinery countries will use to get there in five-year increments of commitments….

OK great. What’s next—or is this the end of history for global climate policy?

Er… I’m afraid not. With the Paris Agreement locked in, climate policy will be focused on three kinds of work.

First, at a domestic level, there will be intense focus on the implementation of national commitments—or nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in UN-speak…

Second, countries will begin planning for their next set of targets as part of the five-year ratchet built into the Paris Agreement…

Third, the international climate regime itself must continue to evolve into “a more perfect union.” What’s the next stage? Under Paris, the targets themselves are not legally binding, which caused consternation in many quarters. Yet legal force does not necessarily translate into compliance under international law because of a lack of enforcement mechanisms with teeth. Canada withdrew without consequence from Kyoto, which had legally binding targets. The premise of Paris is that countries want to make the transition to a low-carbon economy because of its myriad benefits, but are concerned about competition along the way from free riders…

Here is the full article