SA Solar Industry A Global Example

South Africa is currently one of the world‟s leading examples in terms of sustainable government policy on solar,” says Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza, the leading global solar energy conference organiser.

The global Photovoltaic (PV) industry has been turned upside down in the last 24 months, with former industry leaders losing massive market share, China soaring to new heights, and South Africa revealing itself as an example of sustainable government policy.

Solarplaza has visited more than 25 countries and returns to South Africa for their third annual conference at the Hilton Sandton in Johannesburg from 11-12 February.

Koot expands, “Europe has suffered especially as some governments have unpredictably withdrawn or taxed their incentive schemes. While Spain, Germany, Belgium and Italy have all encountered turbulence and turnarounds in the last 12 months, SA has shown commitment in setting up its solar industry currently moving into round four, maintaining its incentives, and

successfully getting projects off the ground. In our recent trip to Dubai, South Africa came up as the case study to follow.”

Koot adds, “In this economy, we are learning that it‟s not about size – Suntech, the former world leader, and LDK are now battling – while previously smaller players like Jinko Solar are soaring. It has shown that timing is critical and right now South Africa‟s timing is excellent.”

In the competition between clean energy suppliers, solar has just taken precedence over wind.

Saliem Fakir of WWF‟s Living Planet Unit in South Africa which advocates for a shift away from fossil fuels explains, “Very recently, the South African department of energy released a revised Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Because of the report‟s preference for solar energy, I expect solar-driven energy solutions to become a stronger competing force in South African power markets, at the expense of wind energy. South Africa reaps high levels of direct solar radiation, which will boost progress towards efficient application of solar systems, and drive down costs.”

Large corporates and the mining industry are now considering solar as a hedge against future rising tariffs, categorised by Koot as “asset management with a good return, since your investment could be paid back within 5 years in some cases.”

Furthermore, solar production costs have declined as much as 60% since their 2008-highs, and may continue further. Fakir adds, “We believe the declining costs of renewable energy technologies and the inversely-proportionally rising costs of conventional energy-winning methods, will reach parity in South Africa. The question is when.”

However, solar financing remains problematic, and due to the growing trend for distributed solutions – rooftop, small scale projects and off-grid solutions –

creative financing solutions feature high on the list of topics to be covered. Jonathan Berman of Fieldstone will be analysing emerging non-bank debt providers, enhancing competition amongst lenders, and asking how South Africa can grow a wider pool of institutional equity providers with lower equity return requirements, to match the benchmarks set by winning investors in round three. He also challenges whether different financing models apply to the smaller scale non-Eskom generators hosted by industrials such as mines.

Vishal Shah, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank presents “The second solar „gold rush‟” sharing his outlook on cost reductions in the supply chain, reviewing current global demand, and the rush for installations during the coming 3 years.

Koot concludes, “Solarplaza has been witness to the immense positivity and growth in South Africa. There is high energy here and you can enter the market even if there aren‟t incentives. From what we‟ve seen, it really can be one of the world‟s huge markets, as long as the government stays the course after the next election.”

Green Business Guide

29 January 2014



Invitation To Register On The Supplier Database CEF (SOC) Ltd

CEF is involved in the search for appropriate energy solutions to meet the future energy needs of South Africa, SADC and the sub-Saharan African region, including oil, gas, electrical power, solar energy, low-smoke fuels, biomass, wind and renewable energy sources. CEF also manages the operation and development of the oil and gas assets and operations of the South African government.

Invitation For Prospective Bidders To Register On The Database
CEF (SOC) Ltd hereby invites all prospective and current service providers to register on the CEF supplier database. In order to comply with the PFMA and the PPPFA CEF will source quotations from the supplier’s database on a rotational basis. CEF promotes BBBEE initiative and will encourage all SMME to apply and register on the CEF database.

Prospective service providers and current service providers to submit their updated information including the original valid Tax Clearance Certificate and the original valid BBBEE Certificate, ck documentation, certified ID copies of the all shareholders.

Supplier database forms are obtainable from CEF Offices at:

CEF House, Block C
Upper Grayston Office Park
152 Ann Crescent, Strathavon

Or on the CEF website: http://www.cefgroup.co.za under the Tenders Link.

Enquiries can be directed to:
Mr Sipho Masemola
Tel. 010201 8166
E-mail: siphom@cefgroup.co.za
Alternative Direct: 010 201-4829

Closing Date for submission; 16 January 2014

Solar Park Corridor Project (Siyathemba)

CEF issue’s Environmental Impact Assessment notice
In January 2011 the Department of Energy mandated CEF to lead the South African Government on the Solar Park programme feasibility study as well as the stakeholder engagement process on the project. This mandate was brought into effect by a Memorandum of Understanding; signed between the Department of Energy (as organ of state) and CEF (SOC) Ltd, whereby CEF would be responsible for managing and conducting a feasibility study of a 5GW Solar Corridor in the Northern Cape.

A Solar Park can be described as a designated area; used exclusively for the harvesting of solar energy to electricity, by way of Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power technologies. The Solar Park Corridor will be deemed a landmark project for South Africa; as it will make inroads toward harnessing alternative renewable energy sources to power our economy.

As part of the feasibility study process; CEF (SOC) Ltd has issued a Notice through the Local, National and Provincial print-media; informing all Interested and Affected parties, regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment process currently being conducted at municipal owned land in Prieska. This process being carried out by appointed Specialist Consulting Engineers (Lidwala); is in aid of progressing the 1GW Solar Park Feasibility study at the Prieska site. The Siyathemba site in particular, will contribute 1GW of electricity from solar energy, toward the envisaged Solar Park corridor.

What is the purpose of carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment?
The purpose of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is necessary, to identify and evaluate potential impacts to the environment, and recommend measures – in an effort to avoid or reduce any negative impacts.

The importance of obtaining the Background information document (BID)?
This Background Information Document (BID) aims to inform Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) about the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that is being conducted for the proposed project. This BID also provides I&APs with the opportunity to Register as stakeholders in the public participation process; and Comment on the proposed project. The purpose of the EIA is to identify and evaluate potential impacts, to recommend measures to avoid or reduce negative impacts and to enhance positive impacts The decision-making authority is the Department of Environmental Affairs DEA in accordance with section 24(5) of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), Act No 107 of 1998.

Within the Environmental Impact Assessment Process that is being conducted, a Public consultation process is as part of Stakeholder engagement. This Background Information Document (BID) aims to inform Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) about the Environmental Impact conducted for the proposed Assessment (EIA) that is being Siyathemba 1GW Solar Park at Siyathemba Municipality This BID document aims to inform Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) about the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that is being conducted for the proposed project. This BID also provides I&APs with the opportunity to: register as stakeholders in the public participation process; and comment on the proposed project.

Govt introduces tax incentive to encourage businesses to improve energy efficiency

Department of Energy (DoE) director-general Nelisiwe Magubane has announced government‟s promulgation of pioneering regulations that will provide tax incentives for businesses that can prove verified energy savings as a result of purposefully implemented energy-reduction measures.

The Regulations on the Allowance for Energy Savings in terms of Section 12L of the Income Tax Act would be linked to the tax process of the South African Revenue Service (Sars), and was aimed at encouraging businesses to continuously scale-up or intensify energy efficiency enhancements.

“It is important to note that, as government, we view the opportunity presented by the energy efficiency tax incentives as the proverbial „carrot‟, as it is one of the key mechanisms [to be introduced] that will soften the impact of the „stick‟ that is the proposed Carbon Tax Policy, due for implementation in 2015,” she said at a media briefing, in Midrand, on Tuesday.

National Treasury chief director for economic and tax analysis Cecil Morden clarified that the incentive would calculate the energy saved expressed as a kilowatt-hour equivalent, which would then be used as a deduction against a business‟ taxable income.

“For every kilowatt-hour saved, the business would receive a 45c tax deduction,” he pointed out, adding that energy savings would be verified by the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), with which businesses would be required to register.

Morden noted that Treasury had not calculated the “hard” cost of the incentive on the fiscus, saying that it would rely on Sanedi to collate data “upfront”.
“We‟ll have to monitor and see what requests come through and take it from there,” he stated.

The full regulations would be published shortly to allow for implementation, while, from January to March 2014, the department, in collaboration with Treasury, Sanedi and Sars, would roll out a series of national workshops to assist businesses in acquainting themselves with the registration process and overall implementation.

Private Sector Energy Efficency Programme
In support of the newly launched tax incentive and to further encourage energy efficiency in the private sector, the National Business Initiative (NBI) on Wednesday also announced the launch of the Private Sector Energy Efficiency (PSEE) project, which would provide support and advisory services to businesses nationwide.

NBI CEO Joanne Yawitch said the primary ambition of the PSEE project was to improve the levels of energy efficiency among commercial and industrial companies in South Africa.

The project aimed to engage with around 60 large companies and just over 1 000 medium-sized companies on awareness and uptake of best practices in energy management.

Larger firms with a yearly energy spend of over R45-million would be provided with up to 60 days of consulting support to provide a holistic range of services, including energy consumption assessment, development of energy management systems and strategies, capacity building and the identification of energy saving opportunities.

For these companies, the support would follow a 40/60 cost-sharing approach, with a 60% contribution from the PSEE project.

Medium-sized firms with an average yearly energy spend of between R750 000 and R45-million would receive four days of fully subsidised direct on-site consulting support.

The PSEE would also remotely assist small businesses to adopt and implement energy efficient best practises through a website, helpline and awareness workshops.

Governed by a multi stakeholder steering committee led by the DoE, the programme would receive support from the UK‟s Carbon Trust, which would leverage its experience of similar programmes in the UK to provide technical support.

It would be funded by a grant of £8.6-million from the UK government through its Department for International Development.

Magubane urged businesses to make use of the opportunities provided by the new regulations and the PSEE project, adding that government had reaffirmed its commitment to accelerating the deployment of energy efficiency by developing a National Energy Efficiency Strategy in 2005.

The strategy, which was recently reviewed and was now ready for submission to Cabinet, set out a national target of energy intensity reduction of 12% by 2015.

This would require a 10% reduction in energy consumption by the residential subsector, a 15% reduction by the mining and industrial sector, a 9% reduction by the power generation sector, a 15% reduction by the commercial and public buildings sector and a 10% reduction in energy consumption by the transport sector.

Natalie Greve
Engineering News
04 December 2013


PetroSA Orca Storage


Cape Town, 15 August 2013 – The Orca, PetroSA’s floating production and storage facility will from next week be temporarily docked at the Port of Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, for up to twelve months to undergo reclassification and refurbishment upgrades.

The state-of-the-art Orca Floating Production Storage and Offloading Facility (FPSO) has been in the employ of PetroSA and its predecessor, Soekor, since the 1980’s. The 44-year old Orca was originally a drilling rig that underwent conversion into a floating production platform in 1997.

Since December 2008 the Orca has been utilized by PetroSA to produce oil from the Oribi/Oryx Oilfields, which are located in Block 9, off South Africa’s southern coast. In that time the Orca has produced 46 800 181 barrels of crude oil.

The Orca will be towed from its Oribi/Oryx oilfields on Monday, 19th August 2013 and is expected to arrive at the Port of Ngqura later next week. It will then be towed into the harbour. To ensure adherence to safety measures, the towing into the harbour will only occur when wind speeds are below 15 knots. This is expected to last for 12 hours.

While at the Port of Ngqura, PetroSA will ensure that the Orca is refitted and refurbished to ensure it meets with all outstanding Special Period Survey (SPS) certification requirements. An SPS licence is a requirement of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The ABS is one of the world’s leading authorities on the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities. PetroSA is a member of ABS. An ABS-approved licence will ensure the Orca’s class certification is up to date, which will enable the vessel to continue with production activities.

Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, PetroSA’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said the Orca had served the national oil company well over the period it was in operation on Block 9.

“We were able to produce 46 million barrels of crude while the Orca was in operation at the Oribi/Oryx oilfields. The facility has served PetroSA well over the years,” Ms Nokwe Macamo said.

“While docked at the Port of Ngqura we will also ensure that we comply with all environmental legislation,” she added.

The Orca will be anchored at the harbour for an initial twelve (12) month period, which can be renewed for another year, if required. This will ensure that it is fully ready for its re-use. PetroSA has entered into a contractual agreement with the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), to berth the vessel at the Port of Ngqura.

While docked at the Port of Ngqura the Orca will not have crude oil on board. It will only have diesel fuel that allows it to run generators. Normal sea growth on the exterior of the Orca will also be removed in a controlled manner, if required, and will not be dumped into the ocean, ensuring no environmental damage occurs.

PetroSA adheres to stringent health, safety and environmental standards that should ensure that the Orca’s voyage from Mossel Bay and its stay at the Port of Ngqura is in line with all legislation governing such matters.

PetroSA is the National Oil Company of South Africa. Formed in 2002 following the merger of Soekor E&P (Pty) Ltd and Mossgas (Pty) Ltd, PetroSA operates a Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay and holds a portfolio of assets that spans the petroleum value chain. It upholds world-class safety and environmental standards, and trades oil and petrochemical products. Its GTL refinery produces ultra-clean, low-sulphur, low-aromatic synthetic fuels and high-value products converted from natural methane-rich gas and condensate using a unique Fischer Tropsch technology.

For more information, please contact:

Thabo Mabaso
Group Communications Manager
Cell: +27-83-414-8144
Tel: +27-21-929-3365
Email: thabo.mabaso@petrosa.co.za


CEF chief confirms PetroSA is moving on ‘downstream entry’

CEF CEO Sizwe Mncwango – who is also acting as interim chairperson of CEF‟s wholly owned subsidiary, PetroSA – has confirmed that the national oil company is prioritising a „downstream entry‟ and that its timeframe for meeting that objective is 2014 or 2015.

However, some observers have indicated that a deal could be imminent, with recent reports suggesting that PetroSA is in advanced negotiations with Malaysian oil group Petronas regarding the acquisition of its 80% interest in Engen. Speaking at a briefing hosted this week by the Department of Energy, Mncwango offered no specifics, but confirmed that it had, for some time, been investigating “various options for PetroSA‟s downstream entry”. He stressed that this was in line with a shareholder mandate to grow to the point of being a “strong energy participant and providing energy security”. Mncwango also said that all the projects currently being pursued by PetroSA remained “viable on a standalone basis” and that there were “a lot of suitors out there who would like to associate themselves with these kinds of programmes”.

Besides a possible downstream acquisition, he listed securing additional feedstock for PetroSA‟s gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay as being a top priority. The immediate objective was to begin integrating gas from the FO offshore field into the GTL system. However, PetroSA was also working on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import solution, which will bolster security of supply over the longer term.

PetroSA planned to make a final investment decision on a $375-million to $510-million LNG import facility in the fourth quarter of 2014, from which first gas could flow in early 2018. A more medium-term priority related to the development of the so-called Project Mthombo oil refinery, which is being studied for the Coega industrial development zone, in the Easter Cape.

The 300 000 bl/d crude refinery could involve an investment of between $9-billion and $11-billion and a full feasibility study into the project is about to begin and will be conducted jointly with PetroSA, Chinese petroleum and petrochemicals group, Sinopec, and the Industrial Development Corporation. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Mncwango indicated that the refinery could be developed in 2021/22, but that an investment decision would have to be made in 2017.

“The balance sheet of PetroSA has total assets of more than R30-billion so there are opportunities to do asset-based funding, leveraging that balance sheet and attracting external debt and equity,” he said.

27 September 2013

Feasibility work under way for Prieska, Upington solar parks

Feasibility work is moving ahead on the development of two 1 000 MW solar parks in Prieska and Upington, in the Northern Cape, as part of a larger plan to create a 5 000 MW solar-park corridor in the sun-drenched province.

The solar-park corridor concept first emerged following an investigation by the Clinton Climate Initiative, which resulted in the creation of an indicative master plan.

A prefeasibility study for the concept was then approved by Cabinet in 2010, after which the Central Energy Fund (CEF) was given responsibility to undertake feasibility studies.

These studies have since been broken into phases, with the first phases focusing on a 1 000 MW solar park in Prieska, on land owned by Siyathemba municipality. However, the CEF has now also invited bids for a feasibility study for a 1 000 MW park in Upington, on land owned by the //Khara Hais municipality.

The scope involves three technical studies, including an environmental-impact assessment (EIA), geotechnical engineering work and a feasibility study.

The studies are being jointly funded by the Department of Energy and the CEF and are scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014. The EIA for the sites will be completed by the end of the third quarter next year.

The Upington site lies adjacent to the property earmarked for Eskom’s proposed 100 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) demonstration project.

Both sites are said to be in close proximity to existing transmission infrastructure, although CEF says new 400 kVA substations and grid lines will have to be built to facilitate the evacuation of electricity.

The studies will investigate the best mix of technologies, including CSP, photovoltaic (PV), and concentrated PV, and inform the implementation timeline.

The CEF indicates that any capacity procured for deployment in the two solar parks will be secured through competitive bidding processes, whereby independent power producers bid for allocations.

It is not certain how these processes will relate to the DoE’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), through which 47 renewable-energy projects have been selected following two bid windows.

Twenty-one of the renewables projects will be developed in the Northern Cape, with the DoE having selected the 27 PV projects and three CSP projects in the first two rounds.

Through the REIPPPP, the DoE aims to procure an initial 3 625 MW of large-scale renewables capacity and has, to date, allocated 2 460 MW across wind, solar and mini hydro projects. The third bid-window will close on August 19, 2013, and the next set of preferred projects should be unveiled on October 29.

Department of Energy Learners Focus Week

This year’s Department of Energy’s Learners Focus Week will be held at the Western Cape Sports Centre in Cape Town during the period of 24 – 28 June 2013.

The Learner Focus Week is a is a programme run by the Department of Energy aimed at encouraging young women and men to enter into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The programme alternates between coastal and in-land provinces, particularly focusing on disadvantaged and rural communities.

For the event, the department partners with energy sector State Owned Entities (SoE’s), and oil companies. Among these are the National Electricity Regulator, National Nuclear Regulator, and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) , Eskom, SANEDI, PASA as well as oil companies like Sasol, PetroSA and Engen.

Government is concerned that skills shortages pose a significant limitation on the country’s long term economic growth potential. Global experience shows that the lack of required skills is one the most significant hindrances in developing viable economic opportunities as productivity is stalled.

This annual programme is dedicated at re-dressing the imbalances of the past, and to play a significant role in removing the barriers for the learners to enter into the various professions. The programme will also provide the learners with increased knowledge of energy efficiency and its benefits for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The Deputy Minister of Energy, Ms Barbara Thomson will address both Learners and Teachers at a dinner to be held at the Cape Sun (Southern Sun) on 28 June 2013 at 19h00.

Figure 1: Mr Everton September

PetroSA suspends top exec after R1bn scandal

Figure 1: Mr Everton September

Figure 1: Mr Everton September

Everton September, a vice-president in charge of the company’s new oil and gas ventures, was suspended on Tuesday, the Mail & Guardian has confirmed.

September faces questions over his role in PetroSA’s 2012 acquisition of a company with oil acreage offshore of Ghana, where he and former acting chief executive Yekani Tenza allegedly negotiated the price “in reverse” costing South Africans R162-million extra.

Last month, the M&G exposed questions around this and PetroSA’s on-going effort to buy out oil company Engen. Allegedly the company overpaid or needlessly risked about R1-billion on the deals.

PetroSA’s chairperson Benny Mokaba resigned on the back of the exposé, after apparently being told to go. And the company then cancelled its R187-million contract with a consultant firm that had been implicated.

The M&G also revealed evidence that kickbacks might have been paid in the Ghana deal.

The Hawks police unit is investigating PetroSA, and a probe by the Central Energy Fund (CEF), its holding company, is said to be complete.

Represented value for money
The parastatal and Tenza have defended the extra R162-million he and September agreed to pay for the Ghana acquisition, saying it still represented value for money.

The oil company has admitted to “some deviations from our normal procurement processes”.

On Thursday, PetroSA confirmed September’s suspension: “At its meeting on Tuesday, the PetroSA board resolved to suspend September as a precautionary measure. This is to allow an investigation to take place into various allegations. The suspension is intended to enable the investigation to take place without any possible perception of undue interference.”

September could not be reached for comment.

Mail & Guardian
24 May 2013