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Eskom establishes large-scale battery test and demonstration facility
Published: 23 Jun 17
State-owned power utility Eskom’s research, testing and development (RTD) department has unveiled a battery testing and demonstration facility – the only one of its kind in South Africa.   The objective of the facility, based at Eskom’s Research and Innovation Centre in Rosherville, Johannesburg, is to compare different technologies and supplier products under identical South African conditions and to identify which of these products is suitable for Eskom’s future energy storage needs. Eskom considers storage solutions to be ‘grid strengthening’ and highlights them as key for the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid, as storage helps with the integration of renewable energy supplied by independent power producers being fed into the grid.   “We have identified the need for up to 2 000 MW of additional, daily balanced energy storage within the existing grid,” RTD GM Barry MacColl said in a statement on Thursday.
Bell, Kobelco forge Southern African excavator alliance
Published: 23 Jun 17
Earthmoving equipment dealer Bell Equipment has signed an agreement with Japanese excavator specialist Kobelco Construction Machinery for the exclusive distribution and support of the Kobelco range of excavators in the Southern African region. Bell will complement its extensive product range by developing the full range of Kobelco excavators, from the small 1 t mini excavators through to the largest 85 t units.
New TIA board inaugurated
Published: 23 Jun 17
The new board of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has been inaugurated by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. The board members are Edward Keswetter (chairperson), Professor Roy Marcus, Thabiso Ramasike, Fuzlin Levy-Hassen, Dr Jan van de Loosdrecht, Dr Judy Coates, Dr Steve Lennon, Mzwandile Madikizela, Sebenzile Matsebula and Patience Mlengana.
Amid sharp fall in profits, PPC points to projects progress
Published: 23 Jun 17
South African cement producer PPC on Wednesday reported a 13% decrease in its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), to R2.1-billion, paired with a 93% plummet in its headline earnings a share, to 7c apiece for the year ended March 31. The JSE-listed company attributed the decreases, against a 5% increase in group revenue to R9.6-billion, to last year’s “unexpected” downgrade of its credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, which resulted in a liquidity crisis for PPC and abnormal finance costs being incurred in relation to a liquidity and guarantee facility put in place to ensure that PPC could meet its financial bond repayment obligations.
Forensic technology solution tackling fraud, KPMG asserts
Published: 23 Jun 17
Forensic technology is increasingly becoming the solution to combatting fraud; however, there is a need to ensure the proper measures are in place and to engage with reputable service providers that can render credible and sustainable technology solutions, KPMG argues. Further, companies equipped with effective monitoring and swift response tools are better placed to mitigate potentially damaging situations or fraudulent incidents and limit the subsequent potential repercussions and adverse financial, reputational or operational impact.
Senwes launches first silo PV system
Published: 23 Jun 17
Agricultural company Senwes has launched the first silo solar photovoltaic (PV) system in South Africa, at its Hennenman silo, in the Free State. “Around 1 120 solar panels were installed, with a total capacity of 358 kW. The total projected solar utilisation is 472 460 kWh/y, which constitutes 62% of the total electricity consumption of the Hennenman silo and will result in a significant cost saving,” Senwes CEO Francois Strydom said.
FNB launches latest solution in app series
Published: 23 Jun 17
Banking giant FNB on Wednesday unveiled the latest addition to its mobile banking application, the nav» Car, developed in conjunction with WesBank, in the next chapter of the group’s ambition of building a seamless digital banking ecosystem aimed at making things easier for the customer. Following the successful launch of nav» Home last year, which is now used by some 500 000 customers, nav» Car is the natural next step in the deployment of the nav» platform series for FNB, particularly as consumers typically spend the bulk of their income on these two aspects of their lives.
Datatec sells Westcon to US based Synnex in $830m deal
Published: 23 Jun 17
Dual-listed Datatec has sold 100% of its technology distribution division Westcon-Comstor North America and Latin America operations and 10% of Westcon International to NYSE-listed Synnex for $800-million and $30-million respectively. The aggregate $830-million consideration comprises payment of $630-million on closing – $500-million in Synnex shares and $130-million in cash – with an additional $200-million cash earn-out payment subject to Westcon Americas’s performance in the 2018 financial year.
Experts ponder the effect electric cars could have on oil market
Published: 23 Jun 17
Climate change policies, green investment and changes in consumer behaviour are beginning to bite and are expected to have a major impact on oil consumption throughout the world, a special seminar on the future of oil and gas has heard. “The collapse in the price of oil and the failure of the market to recover has caused shock. This has led to questions being asked and beliefs and business models being challenged,” said Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Energy Centre chairperson Stefaan Simons.
Significant blue economy progress being made in SA
Published: 23 Jun 17
The prospect for a vibrant sustainable blue economy was on South Africa’s doorstep, and the country’s Operations Phakisa oceans economy plans have progressed considerably, Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa said on Wednesday. To date, Operation Phakisa has stimulated some R17.7-billion in investment in the five initially identified areas, namely offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, marine manufacturing and transport, oceans governance and tourism.
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