The potential for IPP coal fired power generation in South Africa

  The DoE has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) and proposals for new generation capacity under the coal base-load IPP procurement programme. The request does not mention plant size but stipulates both pulverised coal and fluidised bed systems. The proposed plant will be of a much smaller scale than the existing mega-projects under construction […]

The nuclear nexus: Is flexible operation the way of the future?

  The general view on nuclear power plant is that it is rigid and inflexible in output and is only suitable for baseload operation. This is not correct, and nuclear power plants can operate flexibly, within ranges and ramp rates comparable to other generation technologies. This makes nuclear a good candidate as a carbon free […]

Safer, cheaper nuclear: The simple molten salt reactor

  Nuclear energy has become cursed by high capital costs which generally make it uncompetitive with fossil fuel for electricity generation. To a substantial extent these high costs are a response to additional safety and containment systems which have been mandated since the Chernobyl and Fuskushima disasters. If nuclear energy is to have a transformative […]

Evaluating energy efficiency on a coal power plant’s performance

  Eskom has embarked on energy efficiency initiatives on its coal boiler plants in a bid to decrease the amount of coal burnt and in turn increase the electricity generated. This study focused on the analysis of the before and after outage data obtained from the unit cards in one of the Eskom’s “once through” […]

Expansion joint design and supply

  High pressure piping systems in petrochemical, mining and power generation applications need specially designed expansion joints to improve flexibility in their installation. This paper describes the design and manufacturing of these important piping components. Expansion joints, also commonly known as bellows or compensators, are components which provide increased flexibility in piping systems, where space […]

Extending standby generator lifetime through maintenance

  Standby and portable generator maintenance has become almost synonymous with achieving reliability, with the role of the maintenance professional being to maintain generation equipment at its peak operating reliability in the most cost effective manner possible. This paradigm shift has come about over the last ten years as dependence on standby generation has increased. […]

The economics of fracking: Resources, reserves, and recovery efficiency – Part three

  Part three of this article deals with the use of fracking resources in transport and other applications by countries which are already active in this field. Parts 1 and 2 may be found here:, One lesser known use for natural gas – including liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is for transport. While not ideal […]

Gas to electric power generation potential

  Gas power generation (GPG) has increased significantly in the past few years , with gas overtaking coal in some countries. GPG offers greater efficiency and lower CO2 emissions than coal, as well as other operational advantages. The shale gas potential in South Africa as well as natural gas discoveries in southern Africa have increased […]

The economics of fracking: Resources, reserves, and recovery efficiency – Part two

  This is part two of an article which discusses the implications for the United States and Europe of importing shale gas from cheaper sources; the possible re-emergence of the use of coal in these regions, and questions around the validity of the figures being projected. “The USA will be the world’s largest producer of […]