6 years ago

Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

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Mpumalanga Business 2017 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself as the premier business and investment guide to Mpumalanga Province. Supported and utilised by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Mpumalanga Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on Mpumalanga.

OVERVIEW Energy Biomass

OVERVIEW Energy Biomass puts Mpumalanga on the renewable energy map. SECTOR INSIGHT A 25MW power plant at Sappi’s Ngodwana mill is part of the drive to provide South Africa with renewable energy. • Power is expected from the new power station Kusile in 2017. One of the world’s most efficient public-private partnerships is under way in South Africa. In the drive to provide new sources of power for the national grid, the focus has mostly been on solar power and wind power, but the acceptance of the bid by Sappi and its partners as providers of 25MW of biomass power in 2015 shows that the process is open to many types of power generation. The national programme to procure power from private producers is called the Renewable Energy Independant Power Producers’ Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). By May 2016 the REIPPPP had delivered on its promise of 6 377 megawatts (MW) with an investment value of R250-billion and many of the projects are already delivering electricity to South Africa’s grid. The REIPPPP has so far seen four phases of bidding (known as bidding windows), and competition among investors is fierce. The most recent, fourth, window attracted 77 bids; initially just 13 were selected but a further 13 bids were accepted later. The Sappi-led consortium’s bid was part of Window 4. Collectively the 26 projects will add 2 205MW of power and inject R23-billion into the economy. Sappi’s international partner is KC Africa (part of KC Green Holdings of South Korea) and two local trusts will hold 10% of the project between them. Fusion Energy is the other stakeholder while the banks behind the project are Absa and Nedbank. The principal contractor to build the plant, which will be powered by Sappi’s wood, is Johannesburg-based ELB Engineering Services. As the renewable energy programme thrives, another national trend that is showing itself in Mpumalanga is the move to gas as a source of power. City Press reports that mining for natural gas has begun in the southern part of the province near Volksrust and Amersfoort. The rich coal deposits of the province make it an obvious target for exploration of coalbed methane. A joint venture between South African company Badimo Gas and Kinetiko-Energy from Australia has two licences covering 1 601km². Coal and alternatives Most of the nation’s coal-fired power stations are in Mpumalanga and a massive new one is under construction at Kusile. Three previously mothballed power stations have been reopened. Camden, near Ermelo, was the first to come back on stream, with 1 520MW being added to the grid. Komati and Grootvlei are on MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 50

OVERVIEW stream again and will eventually be contributing 800 megawatts. Arnot and Kriel have been upgraded while the refurbishment of Matla power station is under way. The massive Duvha power station has a capacity of 3 450 megawatts. The new coal-fired power station being constructed at Kusile near Delmas in the eMalahleni Municipality will add 4 800MW to the grid when complete. Several delays have pushed back the date when power can first be expected: the latest information is that power from Unit 1 can be expected in the first half of 2017. The provincial government of Mpumalanga has conducted a pre-feasibility study into building a hydroelectric plant at Nkomazi, a sign that South Africa’s biggest producer of coal-fired power is looking at alternative ways of generating energy. Independent power producers have expressed interest in the project and with a number of strongrunning rivers and steep ravines in the province, hydro power certainly has potential. A new transformer at the Acornhoek substation in Bushbuckridge has been installed by national utility Eskom. This will improve power supply to towns such as Bushbuckridge‚ Acornhoek‚ Hoedspruit‚ Hazyview and Phalaborwa, and make investment in those areas a more attractive proposition. York Timbers, in the course of the R1-billion upgrade of its Sabie processing facility, will build a cogeneration plant that will produce about 15MW of electricity every year. Anglo American has plans to build a 450MW power station near eMalahleni to supply its platinum mines with electricity. Assmang is among several resources companies looking into establishing cogeneration plants. The ferroalloy producer intends building a 20MW plant to serve its smelter at Machadodorp. Eskom is investing in a solar-power pilot project at its Kendal power station. Power company ABB has been contracted to build a solar photovoltaic power plant with a 620-kilowatt capacity that will be used to run some of the power station’s functions. The Combined Cycle Gas Turbines at Sasol’s Secunda complex in Mpumalanga have been generating power since July 2010 and can generate up to 280MW from natural gas. A scientific research project known as Hydrogen SA (HySA) is investigating the use of this powerful but volatile element as an energy source. Fuel cells usually use hydrogen and platinum, which is widely found in Mpumalanga. ONLINE RESOURCES Eskom: National Department of Energy: National Development Agency: National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technologies Research, Development and Innovation Strategy (HySA): Sustainable Energy Africa: Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa: 51 MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017

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