Coal

Volume 2, Journal 2 - June 2007

Volume2, Journal2

The Crop Estimates Committee, chaired by South African Department of Agriculture has issued its third production forecast and area estimates of summer field crops for the 2006/07 production season.
A statement from the office of Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on 20 April 2007 said that the EIA regulations are being amended, will be published for public comment, and hopefully come into force by July this year. 
As this issue of 25° in Africa went to print, a summit conference involving the key players in the rapidly developing coal-to-liquids (CTL) industry was being held in New York City.
30 July and 1 August see the Africa Oil & Gas Congress 2007 event being held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre under the banner Africa’s crucial forum on the exploration and production of the continent’s oil and gas assets.
The Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) venture in Qatar, in which Sasol has a 49% shareholding, has now been operational for more than three months.
Crude oil prices behave much as any other commodity, with wide price swings in times of shortage or oversupp1y.
A lot has been published and said about ‘Peak Oil’ in the past months, especially since the sharp increase in crude oil prices.
With Eskom forging ahead to install and commission several new nuclear power stations throughout the country by 2020 to hopefully play ‘catch-up’ with the ability to meet the demand for electricity, not everyone is applauding the strategy.
Are the advantages of nuclear energy such that it could be part of the solution to global warming? Or is nuclear radiation an even greater problem?  
Described as having fantastic economic potential worldwide, and seen by some people as being the world’s most versatile nuclear system, South Africa’s Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactor (PBMR) is a revolutionary nuclear power source which the South African Minister of Public Enterprises, Alec Erwin, views as being the perfect nuclear technology for Africa and the developing countries.
Using a revolutionary wave-piercing trimaran aimed at setting a world circumnavigation record while raising awareness of alternative fuels, Earthrace (www.earthrace.net) is the world’s first major powerboat record to be attempted using only alternative fuels.
So you think alternative fuel and hybrid motor cars are the latest in automotive design? Think again!
Tyson Foods, which is one of the biggest producers of pork, beef, and chicken in the USA, has entered into a venture with the oil company ConocoPhillips to make diesel fuel out of rendered animal fats.
A local independent power company, Palm Power System, which is a subsidiary of the Okhela Renewable Energy Corporation (OREC), will start manufacturing 30kV wind turbines early next year.
Kazakhstan could become the next country to pass legislation supporting the development of renewable energy after government ministries declared support for the development of draft legislation regulating this new industry.
Leading environmental control systems company MikroPul SA of Johannesburg recently completed a multi-million rand contract at Xstrata Alloys’ Lion Ferrochrome smelter at Steelpoort, Limpopo Province, where among the largest reverse air suction filter bag houses in southern Africa were installed to control and collect dust and fumes from the plant’s rotary kilns and dryer.
In what has been described as a landmark gas extraction project, work will be started this year on milking Lake Kivu (which crosses the border between The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda) of its vast reserves of methane, which is expected to provide electric power for most of Rwanda and make a serious contribution to the power needs of the Congo, as well as helping to revive the devastated forests of both countries, and also avert what could be a cataclysmic disaster.
Botswana energy project: feasibility studies almost finished
The Department of Minerals & Energy announced on 1 June that the preferred bidders to build two new peaking-power generation plants in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal will be announced in August.
As a leader in external thermal intervention technologies, Ceramicote™ has proven itself beyond any doubt. 
The Department of Minerals and Energy has welcomed private sector initiatives in support of government’s efforts to reduce energy demand by 15% within the next eight years.
Electro Sense provides Proactive Energy Management System.... 
The National Energy Efficiency Agency is poised to become the leading voice on energy efficiency issues in South Africa, with the launch of a winter-long awareness campaign.
Since South Africa signed the Kyoto Protocol along with many other countries we have committed to working together to reduce greenhouse gas and carbon emission, by developing renewable and sustainable energy solutions. 
Papers presented at the international conference Domestic Use of Energy which was conducted at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa, during April this year provided some interesting observations on the energy efficiency and future development of alternative fuels, including the possibility that gel fuels could replace LP gas and paraffin. 
Following a power trip that occurred at the Koeberg nuclear power plant in Cape Town during the last week in May, State-owned entity PetroSA is assisting Eskom after Koeberg Unit 2 stopped generating electricity following a fault on its generator side.
Since Tuesday, 22 May 2007, a number of South African power system demand records have been broken.  
As promised in the previous issue of 25º in Africa we have shown hereunder the essay by Seranne Howis of the Department of Botany at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, entitled Cow flatulence: a significant contributor to global warming or just a load of hot air?
World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is the United Nations flagship environmental event. The purpose of the event is to focus global attention on the importance of the environment and to stimulate political awareness and action.
On 5 May 2007, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) issued its Working Group III Report, following the Bangkok meeting of the IPCC which attracted thirty of the world’s leading climate experts and more than 217 government representatives from 105 countries, in another attempt to fine-tune the report on how to reduce greenhouse gases and how much it would cost.
South African Climate Action Network (SACAN) comment on the statement of the Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, following the release of the latest report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, is that it fairly reflects the findings and urgency of the challenge we face, but fails to say anything about what South Africa should do. The following is a verbatim copy of the press release issued by Earthlife Africa JHB on 7 May 2007 giving their current views.
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol met for two weeks of negotiations and talks in Bonn, Germany, during May in the latest round of meetings on future action under the UN-sponsored climate change process.
Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the world’s leading policy advisor on this subject, stated recently that the eight most industrialised countries, together with the five big developing countries must ‘send a clear signal’ at their meeting to be held later this year that they want agreement on a new international framework for tackling global warming.
Two keynote speakers at the Sasol Scifest 2007 science festival held in Grahamstown, South African, at the end of March predicted some dire results for Planet Earth if its inhabitants didn’t take some extensive and immediate action to rectify the global warming situation that is more than steadily deteriorating.
One of the main speakers at the Biofuel Market Africa conference held in Cape Town at the end of November last year was Christine Asser of the Ghanaian Energy Commission who gave a concise presentation on the development of biofuels in Ghana, reported on in this article.
The World Bank reports that Ghana’s growth and falling poverty rates could raise the income status of the country within the next ten years.
A closer look at Ghana's international status 
For the guidance of our readers, here is a glossary of terms, abbreviations and acronyms used in the climate change debate, carbon trading markets and the Kyoto Protocol.
President Thabo Mbeki has urged South Africans to save electricity not only because of limited – but adequate – supply, but to help curb carbon emissions that lead to climate change and global warming.  
Why this is type of trading is so desirable... 
The seventh annual World Bank carbon market intelligence study, released during the first week in May at Carbon Expo held in Cologne, Germany, shows that the global carbon market tripled in 2006 – to US$30 billion (ZAR210 billion) from US$10 billion (ZAR70 billion) in 2005.
CEF (Pty) Limited has launched an incentivised solar water heating project for domestic use in middle- to upper-income homes as part of a six-month pilot scheme, taking advantage of the high number of days with sunshine in South Africa.   
Spread across a 60ha site near the town of Serpa in Portugal, 52 000 photovoltaic modules have been installed in one of the world’s largest solar power plants.
Deulco spends a vast amount of time and resources to improve ways to propagate Jatropha seedlings, as well as finding new ways to improve seedling quality.
D1 Oils Africa (Pty) Ltd (D1) continues to enlarge its footprint on the continent with the obtaining of rights, and the plantation of Jatropha curcas in a space that totals 41 044 hectares of land in Swaziland, Zambia, Madagascar, Mali and Malawi.
Biofuels research has been strengthened at Stellenbosch University with the establishment of one new academic chair by SANERI, with a five-year appointment worth ZAR2-million per year.
“Green energy is the only practical solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and assuring energy security but there are major hurdles to overcome before biofuels can compete with fossil fuels on a global scale.” 
Over the past few years, production of ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels has expanded dramatically in response to increasing concerns about energy security and climate change.
Described as having fantastic economic potential worldwide, and seen by some people as being the world’s most versatile nuclear system, South Africa’s Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactor (PBMR) is a revolutionary nuclear power source which the South African Minister of Public Enterprises, Alec Erwin, views as being the perfect nuclear technology for Africa and the developing countries.