Tag Archive | Minister Dipou Peters

Future clearer as Gas Amendment Bill comes forward

Nersa will organise licensing…..

The Gas Amendment Bill was about to be tabled in Parliament as part of the overhaul of the Gas Act, energy minister, Dipuo Peters, confirmed  in her budget vote speech, the draft of the Bill having been approved by cabinet in April of this year and published for comment in June. According to a media statement by department of energy (DoE) on the draft Bill, certain omissions in the Gas Act of 2001 are addressed such as inadequate powers conferred on NERSA, the need for speedier licensing and clarity on pricing and tariffs. Stakeholders from industry have been involved.

Much of the new Bill according to DoE in the energy presentations to Parliament  will reduce the risk of South Africa having an “underdeveloped natural gas sector” with consequent implications to the security of energy supply.

Transportation addressed

gastruckAttention in the draft Bill is paid to unconventional gases not included in the original Act, along with technologies for transporting natural gas in liquid and compressed form. The new draft Bill also clarifies NERSA’s functions in the many processes and stages that involve gas between exploration to sale in containers, including storage.

During the ministers recent briefing, the attention of the media for assistance in promoting LP gas as a safe alternative to electricity.

The many re-definitions included in the draft reflect the changing nature of gas exploration in South African waters; the possibility of gas reticulation; the changing nature of gas storage and complexities of LP gas consumer issues.

Sasol big player

In piped gas, Phindile Nzimande, CEO of NERSA recently told parliamentarians that the maximum prices for such were dealt with in regard to Sasol, this being the last year of the “maximum price” arrangement. In petroleum pipelines, the Transnet annual increase was set at 8.53%, again with much controversy, and decisions were made on 60 storage and loading facilities.

There was still a major lack of credible gas anchor clients in piped gas, Nzimande said, nor was there an established and regular supply chain and serious competition, resulting in high prices for the poor. NERSA had much work to do in this area, she said, as far as compliance monitoring and enforcement was concerned.

 

The following articles are archived on this subject:
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/more-hints-that-gas-act-amendments-on-the-way/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/south-africa-at-energy-crossroadsdoe-speaks-out/

Posted in Energy, Enviro,Water, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Nuclear goes ahead: maybe “strategic partner”

Eskom in poll position…

nuclear logoClarification of South Africa’s intentions towards the inclusion of nuclear energy as an integral part of the national energy mix have now been made quite clear, South Africa’s nuclear team possibly working with a “strategic partner” but with Eskom in poll position.

Strong messages that this was the case have been emerging from parliamentary presentations by both the department of energy and public enterprises over the last few weeks but now the die is set.

Minister spells it out

It needed the confirmation of the minister of energy, Ms Dipuo Peters, to tie the knot as she did in a media briefing following her budget vote speech in Parliament. She confirmed that the nuclear build programme will add 9 600 megawatts to the national grid by 2023 and a form of consortium would be reached whereby Eskom would have the designation as owner and operator, the national nuclear energy executive (NNEECC) to ensure oversight and be responsible for key decisions.

The final investment decisions towards procurement of plant would now be made, she said, Neliswe Magubane responding to media questions that having Eskom on board might deter potential partners to the effect that this could not be the case. She could not see how suppliers were interested in operating factors, although NNEECC could well draw in a “strategic partner” to bring further expertise to the table.

Eskom looking a massive loans

With Eskom now facing capital expansion projects separately detailed by them in the recent NEMA-Air Quality emissions hearings and also as a result of a “New Build” nuclear development programme that involves it seems at least six nuclear plants, NERSA in a separate parliamentary meeting in recent days, admitted that it was difficult to see how eventually all of this could fail to translate down into yet further electricity price hikes.

Air quality a deciding factor

Both minister Gigaba of public enterprises and minister Peters of energy have both brought the added fact of reduced emissions of CO2 as a major factor in the decision making in what appears to be a co-ordinated approach. The main issue remaining is therefore the time delay in bringing the nuclear contribution online to the grid.

From questioning it became evident that Eskom may have to reconsider bringing forward one its coal fired plants as far as completion dates are concerned.
The following articles are archived on this subject:

http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/energy-resources-doing-it-better-and-quickly/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/energy-plan-assumptions-on-nuclear-build-out-in-new-year/

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Enviro,Water, Facebook and Twitter, Fuel,oil,renewables, LinkedIn, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Electric cars part of SA climate change response

Green for go on electric cars…..

green carIn terms of SA’s climate change response policy  the department of environmental affairs (DEA) have launched their Emission Electric Vehicle Programme, known to many as the “Green Car” programme.  The centre chosen for the final development of the prototype vehicles will be at the Gerotek test facility in Pretoria.

Enviro objectives 

This initiative was originally announced at the COP17 conference in Durban recently hosted by South Africa and it seeks to ensure that South Africa practically contributes to the reduction of environmentally harmful gases by promoting the use of cleaner sources of fuel by the automotive industry.

The recent statement says that the fleet of zero emission electric vehicles are now fully powered by solar energy from a high-tech assembly of solar tracking panels housed at the department’s head office, rather than using power from the national grid.

Says the statement, “The high tech solar panels powering the vehicles generate enough electricity to power the fleet and feed back into the national grid, further incentivising the move for other government departments and ordinary citizens to consider traveling green.”

Part of climate change response

DEA adds that the programme also keeps South Africa in line with international developments in automotive “green” technology and is in line with the National Climate Change Response referred to by President Zuma in his state of the nation address.

Amongst the expected parties coordinating with each other on the “Green Cars” project, such as DTI, and the transport, science, technology and energy departments are both SARS and national treasury.

Full backing

dipou Peters2Said minister Dipou Peters earlier at the launch in Pretoria, “The project is aimed at demonstrating the capability and readiness for  South Africa to transition to a low carbon path in the transport sector with the use of a combination of renewable energy technology; state of the art electric vehicles and a carbon neutral offset mechanism.”

Four Nissan LEAF test cars are to be placed at the Department of Environmental Affairs disposal for usage and testing in the initial phase of the project, to be run over three years. The LEAF, is the world’s first mass produced electric vehicle, which will be launched later this year in South Africa by Nissan as the first car manufacturer to introduce a one hundred percent electric vehicle into the country.

Posted in Electricity, Energy, Enviro,Water, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Grand Inga hydroelectric under way at last

A cabinet statement confirmed that South Africa had approved the treaty with the DRC involving the Grand Inga Project, a hydroelectric power project with a potential of as much as 40 000 MW of capacity to be developed on the Congo river.

The treaty, the South African government said, created an enabling framework, linking the DRC and South Africa in a mega project which had the potential to involve most of Africa.

The treaty, the cabinet statement said, would allow for the two countries to jointly explore different economically feasible options for the development of what could emerge as the largest-ever cross-border energy project undertaken in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Cabinet said the two countries would also seek support for the initiative from other African countries, especially from its partners in the SADC region, earlier projects known as Inga I and Inga II which were started as early as the 1970s.

The new involvement, commonly known as Inga III, has involved Eskom from the start for some years ago but the DRC government has repeatedly pulled out of subsequent financial arrangements with its Namibian, Botswana and Angola partners. Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, now replaced, said that “different times” and “different dynamics” had led to disruptions in gaining traction with the project but which was now going ahead.

“The South Africa government is confident of delivering this time around”, he said.

However, not clear at all is the fact as to whether the Grand Inga Project will be written into the proposed final SA Integrated Resource Plan, the initial capacity of hydroelectric power in terms of this currently being expected to flow from countries such as Zambia and Mozambique.

However, both President Zuma and Minister Dipuo Peters have indicated that Grand Inga “is receiving priority attention”. It is understood from separate reports put before Parliament that Eskom has entered into agreements with French partners.

CEO Brian Dames was recently quoted as saying that initiatives were under way for the creation of a high-voltage “super grid” across Southern Africa by 2030, Eskom however mentioning in other presentations that major interconnections with Africa continental power grid projects could happen of which the Grand Inga could be a part.

The cabinet statement limited itself to purely to the aspects of South African/DRC relationships, both Zuma and Peters having been signatories to such an agreement.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Energy, Finance, economic, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments

Delays hinder start of SA’s renewable energy programme

News of yet another possible extension emerged regarding the R100bn Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) tender awards being staged by the department of energy (DoE) has emerged. The initial deadline to make the final tender award announcement was originally 19 June 2012.

Only days after energy minister Dipuo Peters had indicated that the deadline had been extended by DoE to the end of July, a further announcement has come from her office that the 28 renewable-energy project developers, identified in December as preferred bidders, have again been notified that “the timing of financial closure may be delayed beyond the end of July”

Originally, immediately following president Zuma’s state of the nation address, the economic cluster’s chairperson minister Sibusiso Ndebele said the tender programme on calls for renewable projects “has lived up to expectations” and that even more tenders were expected.

The initial 28 projects selected in December as preferred bidders under the REIPPP as part of the renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme would facilitate R50-billion-worth of international investment, with more to come from subsequent bidding rounds, it was said at the time.

The initial projects are collectively supposed to represent1 416 MW of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power capacity.

Posted in Electricity, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Government dissatisfied with oil industry BEE progress

A veiled threat was made to the oil industry by the department of energy (DOE) by deputy director general, Tseliso Maqubela, who recently said in Parliament it was important for companies to comply with BEE laws and that one of the implications of the failure to do so “will be to curtail the capacity of those who violate the law (by limiting) their capacity to import products.”

He told reporters at a press conference held to announce the findings of the audit into the oil industry’s performance in terms of the Liquid Fuels Charter that the “results are extremely disappointing given the timelines” and he said that his department was going to create a unit that will specifically deal with compliance in terms of the Liquid Fuels Charter.

“We will ensure that there is compliance on a daily basis, not only with the charter, but with all the other requirements of the law”, he said.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on the same platform that government was not to be held to ransom by companies in the fuel sector that do not comply.   “This is emotional, political, as well as economical blackmail,” she told the media.   The law was being ignored, she complained, and she added that DOE “needed to make sure that all comply with and respect the laws of this country.”

The minister reminded the media that the charter was drawn up in 2000 and called for 25 percent black ownership across the value chain within 10 years but according to the audit “the average effective narrow-based black shareholding is 18.91 percent”.

She continued, “Out of this 18.91 percent, representation for black women stands at a meager 6.72 percent, while only one oil company, Total South Africa, has fully complied with the obligation for ownership by black shareholders.”

Two years ago, minister Peters said, DOE had called for amendments to the Liquid Fuels Charter and the Petroleum Products Act to give black players in the retail fuel industry access to the fuel infrastructure.     What was evident then was that the representation of women in all strategic areas listed in the charter was of great concern, when compared to the expectations of equity norms.

The audit had confirmed this fact and what was needed was for industry players to work together to correct that which was wrong, she said.

The energy department would study the findings and contact different role players to plan the way forward and address problems. The audit findings had been presented to Cabinet, she told reporters, and that matters would be referred to the economic cluster for further review.

SAPA reports that the SA Petroleum Industry Association has said it would speak to the department after an opportunity to review the findings.

Posted in BEE, Cabinet,Presidential, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport, Uncategorized0 Comments

Cutback in nuclear is not in critical skills, says minister

The Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, in responding to questions in Parliament on South Africa’s reserve of critical skills in the nuclear energy field said that any retrenchments in this area were in the light of the fact that the Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) had made a commitment to the unions that the retention of critical skills would be a priority, should such retrenchment processes be inevitable.

She said that the department of energy (DoE), in partnership with the department of science and technology (DST), were both investigating possible plans for the retention of skills critical to South Africa’s nuclear build programme.

It became apparent recently that in order to meet the reduced appropriations in the current budget vote there was a pending retrenchment of 250 on the Necsa staff role but the Minister stated in response to the question that the department was working with the DST on a skills strategy for the nuclear programme in order to “balance risks of excess skills and skills shortages”.

In the response to the budget vote, Necsa indicated that it employed 2 179 workers, including 115 scientists, 69 engineers, 430 skilled workers, 328 semi-skilled workers, 139 management staff, 38 unskilled workers and had 23 directors. Earlier this year, as reported by ParlyReport, Necsa chairperson Sisa Njikelana told the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that insufficient funding for the nuclear body in terms of the 2012/2013 budget vote placed South Africa at risk when it came to nuclear oversight in terms of its mandate. Necsa is set to receive R554m, less than its previous budget.

Parliament, in making its recommendations on the budget vote to the minister as a result of DoE presentations, reminded the minister that in their view both Necsa and the energy regulator, NERSA, were underfunded.

 

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments


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