Volume 6, Number 4 - Aug/Sept 2011

The single largest bulk water-supply pipeline contract undertaken by eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), Phase II of the Western Aqueduct (WA) project, finally got the green light. The tender has been awarded to EsorFranki/Cycad Pipelines joint venture.
South Africa’s water resources face a range of challenges, such as aging infrastructure, technical skills capacity, polluted rivers and a large amount of waste amongst consumers. On 23 June, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, discussed various challenges and initiatives in our country.
On 7 July 2011, Coca-Cola South Africa announced the opening of their new Valpré plant and introduced PlantBottleTM packaging to Africa. This brand new facility will bottle Valpré Spring Water, in Heidelberg southeast of Johannesburg.
“Educate a child to educate a nation.” The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs takes this saying seriously as they constantly invest in education programmes to convey the importance of preserving water to the youth.
There are over a billion people in the world without clean drinking water. Meanwhile, billions of gallons of fresh water disappear into the ocean each year, the result of icebergs that break off from the ice caps of Greenland and melt into the sea. Now the North Pole’s giant icebergs have become a hope for water-poor countries.
By Claire Lipsett, Pr.Sci.Nat, process specialist; Talbot & TalbotIt is widely accepted that whilst anaerobic digestion is a proven, effective and highly efficient treatment system, upsets in performance remain common. A correctly run digester will efficiently convert up to 95% of organic material into a low-odour stabilised slurry, and produce a renewable resource in the form of biogas that can be flared or utilised on site.
The loss of skilled professionals in the water sector is a major threat to effective water management in South Africa. “This is why sharing knowledge from experienced to young water professionals is of high importance,” said Dr Jo Burgess, chairman of the second South African Young Water Professionals Conference organising committee.
SSI has rendered almost 90 years of continuous service to the southern African water industry, and is fully committed to providing tailor-made solutions specifically associated with basic water and sanitation. SSI recently celebrated two years of successful operation since the installation and commissioning of its award-winning Nereda biological wastewater treatment plant in Gansbaai in the Western Cape – thus proving the Nereda concept.
The Sappi Tugela River pump station upgrade project on the North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal took energy-efficiency to a new level as the project resulted in continually reducing the peak-time load on Eskom’s grid.
The huge public outcry about open toilets and inadequate sanitation in various areas of South Africa was highlighted before the municipal elections in May. “While sanitation was in the press for all the wrong reasons, the public row highlights the complexity and severity of the problem,” said Tinus Kruger, who was speaking at the launch of the Water Research Commission (WRC) and CSIR’s (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and new Sanitation Technology Demonstration Centre.
To assist with the energy crisis and to curb the rapidly escalating costs of electricity, many organisations have focused their energy management and efficiency initiatives on this area – and for good reason.
The Meitwin combination meter from Sensus offers significant advances in design, performance and efficiency over conventional combination meters for the management of water resources.
The entire Durban as well as many other KwaZulu-Natal residents will be paying more for their water from the 1st of July. Over 84% of their water tariff will be used to fund the Spring Grove Dam, which the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority started building this year.
A bright future winks for Simon Alger from Cape Town and Lisa Mniki from Durban, who each walked away with a ZAR15 000 bursary from the South African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) in November last year.
A Kenyan national, Amina Mohamed, has been announced as the assistant secretary-general and deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) has appointed Carel Ballack as their permanent ombudsman to deal with the arbitration and mediation issues of the Society and its members, given the rapid growth of southern Africa’s sustainable and energy-efficient sectors.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has announced that it will loan Zambia US$285-million for an electricity line linking southern and eastern Africa. “The construction of the power line will start in November 2011 and will be done by China’s TBEA”, said Ernest Mupwaya, managing director of Zambia’s power company, Zesco.
By Gunnar Hovstadius, PhDIn the previous issue, Dr Hovstadius addressed the need for cooperation between government and industry in energy conservation, citing the US as a precedent for success. He illustrated the impact of applying a total systems approach as one of the fundamental ways to reduce energy intensity in industrial processes, as opposed to focusing on individual components. In part 2 of this article, he shares another example and concludes with a proposed way forward.
South Africans with energy-saving ideas can now turn their ingenuity into R30 000 in hard cash by entering the eta Awards Facebook Popular Vote online. The eta Awards is an annual event sponsored by Eskom, which has been running for the past 22 years, awarding excellence in energy efficiency.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Champagne Sports Resort has invested in energy-efficient electrical and plumbing fittings, which are significantly reducing the resort’s electrical consumption.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s (ZESA) expressed interest to attract suitable financiers and contractors for the expansion of two of the country’s existing power stations is a step in the right direction. Vincent Maposa, an Energy and Power Industry Analyst at Frost and Sullivan, an international growth and partnering company, believes the planned upgrade of $1.3-billion will help the country to meet its electricity-generating capacity.
On 3 June, senior executives from the engine, power generation and related technologies company, Cummins Inc, visited their new African corporate headquarters as part of a pan-African tour to evaluate the progress of the company’s strategy to significantly grow its business across the continent.
After the annual results for the state-owned entity was released, it came to light that its executives had received an average of 109% increase on their salaries for the financial year that ended on 31 March 2011.
Dar es Salaam – Times look tough for Tanzania as the country’s economy and people are still left in the dark until the country’s power shortages are resolved. The power crisis reached new heights in June, when the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) announced a 12-hour power rationing schedule following a drastic drop in the water level of the Mtera Hydroelectric Dam in the Iringa region.
Nigeria’s National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the shortlisting of 525 bids of firms seeking to take over the generation and distribution companies that will emerge from the privatisation of the country’s power monopoly, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The launch of the International Standard ISO50001 on 15 June 2011 is likely to add further drive to the energy-management momentum that is building in South Africa. Energy is one of the most critical challenges facing the international community today. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) estimates that this standard could have a positive impact on some 60% of the world’s energy use.
Berhard Oettli, an international consultant at INFRAS, is of the opinion that the government should guard against wasting time in finetuning the National Energy Efficiency Strategy. During the National Energy Efficiency strategy workshop, he gave an overview of the European Union’s strategies on energy-efficiency.
Dennis Dykes Nedbank’s chief economistNedbank’s chief economist, Dennis Dykes, is often invited to speak at conferences on the interaction between climate change, water management and environmental issues. 25º in Africa spoke to Dykes to find out more about his perspective on water management issues, acid-mine drainage, the planned carbon tax and the upcoming United Nations Conference of the Parties on climate change to find out how the financial sector is being affected by environmental issues in the country.
Timber is one of the few truly renewable resources; yet the demand for timber is affecting the health of our planet. Currently, 10 times more forests are lost than are being replanted. How can this be rectified? Is there a solution? Do we just want to satisfy the demand for timber? With the newly developed afforestation methods like Agro-forestry, can future timber demands be met that do not deplete greenery or the general health of the soil/planet and the populations its supports?
In June, Honeywell announced that its green jet fuel has successfully powered the first transatlantic biofuel flight, which landed at Paris Le Bourget Airport.
There is an ongoing debate about the safety of nuclear power, particularly in the light of the recent Japanese experience. 25º in Africa recently interviewed a South African nuclear physicist and chemical engineer, Dr Philip Lloyd, who had some interesting and controversial statements about unfounded negative perceptions of nuclear energy.
The world’s greatest disaster, which was caused by the tsunami in Japan in March, has brought the economy to a standstill, with power plants, oil refineries and many industrial concerns generally either seriously damaged or ruined forever.
Masdar PV and Raabvill Kft. are cooperating to build the first solar parks with full-size modules in Slovakia. A total of six projects with capacities of 1 MW each are already being constructed to supply renewable solar energy in Slovakia. Installation of the first three solar parks was completed in June. The remaining modules will be installed later in the Slovakian summer.
The Sunwater for Life, initiative from the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA), shed some light onto the lack of sufficient supply of warm water at the Qunu Clinic in the Eastern Cape. The project provided two solar-water heating systems to the clinic to help free up funds the clinic needs to better serve 800 to a 1 000 people who require treatment every month.
A recent report from CSP Today, entitled “CSP Parabolic Trough Report: Costs and Performance”, challenges the conventional wisdom on scale and cost in order to identify the tipping point for concentrated solar power.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted a US$365-million loan to South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom, to boost its share in renewable energy. The loan will assist Eskom in implementing a US$1.3-billion project comprising sub-Saharan Africa’s first concentrated solar power plant and South Africa’s first large-scale wind-power plant.
Over the past decade, the photovoltaic (PV) market has experienced unprecedented growth. In the last year alone, the PV market reached a cumulative installed capacity of about 40 GW worldwide, with an annual added capacity of 15.5 GW.
DNV has just released a new guideline for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. The CO2WELLS guideline is the result of a major joint industry project which brought upstream operators and power utility companies together. This guideline which is aimed at project developers and authorities, describes a generic framework process for managing the risks associated with existing wells at carbon dioxide (CO2) storage locations, both on- and offshore.
At the Intersolar trade fair held in Munich, Germany, recently, Schott Solar and BASF presented a new roof-integrated photovoltaic concept based on the Schott Advance Series.
The crude-oil refinery of Engen and its depot in Wentworth, Durban, have received accreditation for its environmental management systems with certification under the ISO 14001 standard.
A Russian oil and gas company, Lukoil, is looking for growth outside its borders and has set its sights on West Africa. On 20 July the company announced that it had acquired a 45% stake in deepwater Block SL-5-11 offshore Sierra Leone from the private Nigerian explorer Oranto Petroleum, adding to its acreage in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
This is the first article in a three-part series on shale gas in 25º in Africa, based on a report by PFC Energy. The articles in Journal 5 and Journal 6 will be covering the need for a new baseline for global shale gas resources and challenges, as well as the increasing level of shale gas activity in different countries.
“The world is not on the right track in fighting climate change and governments need to boost green energies to build new momentum,” said Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN panel of climate scientists, at the Reuters Energy and Climate Summit in June.
The controversial Kyoto Protocol was again under the looking glass after various countries attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, that came to an end in June.
Marie Parramon and Andrew Gilder, IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd.Expectations for COP17 Watchers of the climate change negotiations may be forgiven for their increasing scepticism over the likely outcomes of the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled to be held in Durban in late November and early December 2011.
In 1652 Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern-day South Africa. These traders established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, and so the city of Cape Town was founded.
The transport industry’s future will be electric. An alternative to petroleum vehicles is no longer just a drawing on a sketchboard or a far-fetched concept. Today various car manufacturers venture into the development of electric cars and some models like the Nissan Leaf can already be seen filling European streets.
Given the crime statistics in this country, anyone going on holiday and leaving their most precious assets and valuables behind in an unoccupied home is often left wondering about how safe these belongings actually are.
With the accent on energy saving being of paramount importance in almost every country in the world, and in South Africa in particular, it is fitting that Schneider Electric South Africa, a global specialist in energy management, has announced its MCCB Compact NSX 100-630 A, an optimum measurement and communication solution that meets energy-efficiency challenges through optimised energy consumption, increased energy availability and improved installation management.
An energy-saving scheme, designed to notably reduce the usage of electricity, gas, paraffin and wood fires for cooking in households across all South African communities, was announced by Wonderbag in partnership with Frog and Microsoft South Africa in June 2011.

GIL Africa 2017