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GPS creators awarded Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

The 2019 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) was awarded to four engineers responsible for creating the first truly global, satellite-based positioning system – GPS. The prestigious engineering accolade is a £1-million prize that celebrates the global impact of engineering innovation on humanity. The 2019 winners are Dr Bradford Parkinson, Prof. James Spilker, Jr, Hugo […]

New pressures on Eskom’s plant performance and energy availability factor

. New pressures on Eskom’s generation plant performance and energy availability factor (EAF) are making themselves felt at Medupi, Kusile and a number of other coal-fired power stations, as a key Eskom contractor and service provider runs into severe financial difficulties. It has been established that Clyde Bergemann Africa (CBZ) has been unable to pay […]

Managing expectations and opposition to the restructuring of Eskom

. There has been much speculation in the media on the pending restructuring and unbundling of Eskom. It is expected that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be giving some direction in this regard in his forthcoming state-of-the-nation address on Thursday 7 February 2019. For more than a year, in order to secure ongoing funding, there has […]

FirstRand joins exodus of banks withdrawing funding of new coal-fired power plants in SA

. FirstRand Bank has joined the exodus of local banks that were funding new coal-fired power plants in South Africa, and in particular the Thabametsi and Khanyisa independent power producer (IPP) projects. These two projects are included in the draft integrated resource plan for electricity, Draft IRP 2018, for completion in 2023 and 2024. The […]

Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?

. That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is “too big to fail”. The real question is what form this restructuring should take.  For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from the transmission […]

Nedbank withdraws funding for new coal IPPs

. Nedbank lived up to its slogan as the “green” bank in a decision to  withdraw its funding of two proposed new coal-fired power stations in South Africa, Thabametsi and Khanyisa. This decision fits with the banking group’s commitment to “green” funding, responsible lending and supporting sustainability initiatives. The bank says its initial proposal for […]