Eskom is a South African electricity public utility, established in 1923 as the Electricity Supply Commission and known by its Afrikaans name Elektrisiteitsvoorsieningskommissie, by the government of the Union of South Africa in terms of the Electricity Act. Eskom represents South Africa in the Southern African Power Pool; the utility is the largest producer of electricity in Africa, is among the top seven utilities in the world in terms of generation capacity and among the top nine in terms of sales. It is the largest of South Africa's state owned enterprises. Eskom operates a number of notable power stations, including Kendal Power Station, Koeberg nuclear power station in the Western Cape Province, the only nuclear power plant in Africa; the company is divided into Generation and Distribution divisions and together Eskom generates 95% of electricity used in South Africa. In 2019, it was announced that Eskom was to be split up into three distinct nationally owned entities due to huge debts and poor reliability of supply.
Prior to the establishment of Eskom the provision of electricity was dominated by municipalities and private companies. The city of Kimberley was one of the first users of public electricity when it installed electric streetlights in 1882 to reduce crime at night; this was followed by Cape Town in 1895 with the construction of the Graaff Electric Lighting Works to power 775 street lights. Eskom was founded by a parliamentary act, namely the Electricity Act of 1922, which allowed the Electricity Control Board to appoint Hendrik Johannes van der Bijl as the Chairman of the Board; the company changed its name by combining the two acronyms in its previous name in 1987 to become known as Eskom. The Electricity Act stated that Eskom could only sell electricity at cost and but was exempted from tax with the firm raising capital through the issuing of debentures issuing state-guaranteed loans instead; the coal-fired Congella Power Station in Durban and Salt River Power Station in Cape Town were the first power stations built by Eskom, both complete in mid-1928.
One of Eskom's first power plants was a coal-fired 128 MW station in Witbank completed in 1935 to provide power to the mining industry. The plant was built and run in partnership with the owned Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company which owned a number of other power plants across the country. Thanks to state support Eskom was able to buy out the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company in 1948 for £14.5 million. Following World War 2 South Africa experienced power shortages that led to Eskom negotiating power saving agreements with the mining industry in June 1948. From 1960 to 1990 Eskom increased its installed power production capacity from 4,000 MW to 40,000 MW so as to keep up with rapid economic growth in the 1960s and 70s. During the same period Eskom established a nationwide 400 kV power network. During this period the company built a number of large standardised coal-fired power plants that could produce power at low cost due to the large economies of scale; these plants were known colloquially as "six-packs" for the 6 large generator units they were designed to accommodate.
In 1974 the company was instructed to start work on Koeberg nuclear power station to both provide power to Cape Town and help facilitate the South African government's nuclear program. In 1981 Eskom was involved in one of its first large financial scandal when its Assistant Chief Accountant was caught embezzling R8 million from the company. During the 1970s the company controversially sought to increase electrical tariffs to help pay for its large expansion plans. Due to its financial situation government appointed Dr. W. J. de Villiers to chair a commission that recommended a number of financial and organisational changes for the company to adopt. This led to the company abandoning its no-profit objective and to raise funds by taking out international loans; the number of Eskom employees was reduced from 66,000 to 60,000 in the late-1980s. Following democratic elections in 1994 and the start of the Mandela government the company changed focus to electrification of neglected residential homes and to provide low cost electricity for economic growth.
Following the passing of the 1998 Eskom Amendment Act government's powers to influence company policy and investment decisions were expanded. Due to the South African government's attempted privatisation of Eskom in the late 1990s during the administration of President Thabo Mbeki, Eskom requests for budget to build new stations were denied. After leaving the presidency Mbeki would state in December 2007 that this was an error resulting adverse affects for the South African economy. In January 2008 Eskom controversially introduced "load shedding", planned rolling blackouts based on a rotating schedule, in periods where short supply threatens the integrity of the grid. Demand-side management has focused on encouraging consumers to conserve power during peak periods in order to reduce the incidence of load shedding. Following the national power shortage in 2007 Eskom embarked on an aggressive electricity production expansion program during the administration of President Jacob Zuma; the Zuma administration decided to focus expansion efforts on building additional large scale six-pack coal-fired power plants.
In 2016 Eskom stated. According to projections from late 2016, the use of nuclear power would provide over 1000GW of power by 2050. In preparation, the company has launched a training program for 100 technicians and artisans that will certify them as nuclear ope
A steam turbine is a device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and uses it to do mechanical work on a rotating output shaft. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884; because the turbine generates rotary motion, it is suited to be used to drive an electrical generator—about 85% of all electricity generation in the United States in the year 2014 was by use of steam turbines. The steam turbine is a form of heat engine that derives much of its improvement in thermodynamic efficiency from the use of multiple stages in the expansion of the steam, which results in a closer approach to the ideal reversible expansion process; the first device that may be classified as a reaction steam turbine was little more than a toy, the classic Aeolipile, described in the 1st century by Hero of Alexandria in Roman Egypt. In 1551, Taqi al-Din in Ottoman Egypt described a steam turbine with the practical application of rotating a spit. Steam turbines were described by the Italian Giovanni Branca and John Wilkins in England.
The devices described by Taqi al-Din and Wilkins are today known as steam jacks. In 1672 an impulse steam turbine driven car was designed by Ferdinand Verbiest. A more modern version of this car was produced some time in the late 18th century by an unknown German mechanic. In 1775 at Soho James Watt designed a reaction turbine, put to work there. In 1827 the Frenchmen Real and Pichon constructed a compound impulse turbine; the modern steam turbine was invented in 1884 by Sir Charles Parsons, whose first model was connected to a dynamo that generated 7.5 kW of electricity. The invention of Parsons' steam turbine made cheap and plentiful electricity possible and revolutionized marine transport and naval warfare. Parsons' design was a reaction type, his patent was the turbine scaled-up shortly after by an American, George Westinghouse. The Parsons turbine turned out to be easy to scale up. Parsons had the satisfaction of seeing his invention adopted for all major world power stations, the size of generators had increased from his first 7.5 kW set up to units of 50,000 kW capacity.
Within Parson's lifetime, the generating capacity of a unit was scaled up by about 10,000 times, the total output from turbo-generators constructed by his firm C. A. Parsons and Company and by their licensees, for land purposes alone, had exceeded thirty million horse-power. A number of other variations of turbines have been developed that work with steam; the de Laval turbine accelerated the steam to full speed before running it against a turbine blade. De Laval's impulse turbine does not need to be pressure-proof, it can operate with any pressure of steam, but is less efficient. Auguste Rateau developed a pressure compounded impulse turbine using the de Laval principle as early as 1896, obtained a US patent in 1903, applied the turbine to a French torpedo boat in 1904, he taught at the École des mines de Saint-Étienne for a decade until 1897, founded a successful company, incorporated into the Alstom firm after his death. One of the founders of the modern theory of steam and gas turbines was Aurel Stodola, a Slovak physicist and engineer and professor at the Swiss Polytechnical Institute in Zurich.
His work Die Dampfturbinen und ihre Aussichten als Wärmekraftmaschinen was published in Berlin in 1903. A further book Dampf und Gas-Turbinen was published in 1922; the Brown-Curtis turbine, an impulse type, developed and patented by the U. S. company International Curtis Marine Turbine Company, was developed in the 1900s in conjunction with John Brown & Company. It was used in John Brown-engined merchant ships and warships, including liners and Royal Navy warships; the present-day manufacturing industry for steam turbines is dominated by Chinese power equipment makers. Harbin Electric, Shanghai Electric, Dongfang Electric, the top three power equipment makers in China, collectively hold a majority stake in the worldwide market share for steam turbines in 2009-10 according to Platts. Other manufacturers with minor market share include Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Alstom, General Electric, Doosan Škoda Power, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba; the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan projects that manufacturing of steam turbines will become more consolidated by 2020 as Chinese power manufacturers win increasing business outside of China.
Steam turbines are made in a variety of sizes ranging from small <0.75 kW units used as mechanical drives for pumps and other shaft driven equipment, to 1.5 GW turbines used to generate electricity. There are several classifications for modern steam turbines. Turbine blades are of two basic types and nozzles. Blades move due to the impact of steam on them and their profiles do not converge; this results in a steam velocity drop and no pressure drop as steam moves through the blades. A turbine composed of blades alternating with fixed nozzles is called an impulse turbine, Curtis turbine, Rateau turbine, or Brown-Curtis turbine. Nozzles appear similar to blades; this results in a steam pressure velocity increase as steam moves through the nozzles. Nozzles move due to both the impact of steam on them and the reaction due to the high-velocity steam at the exit. A turbine composed of moving nozzles alternating with fixed nozzles is called a reaction turbine or Parsons turbine. Except for low-power applications, turbine blades are arranged in multiple stages in series, called c
The Vanderkloof Dam is situated 130 km downstream from Gariep Dam and is fed by the Orange River, South Africa's largest river. Vanderkloof Dam is the second-largest dam in South Africa, having the highest dam wall in the country at 108 metres; the dam was commissioned in 1977. Other rivers flowing into this dam are the Berg River, two unnamed streams coming in from the direction of Reebokrand, the Knapsak River, Seekoei River and the Hondeblaf River, in a clockwise direction. List of reservoirs and dams in South Africa Vanderkloof Dam Vanderkloof Power Station on the Eskom-Website
Kusile Power Station
Kusile Power Station in South Africa is a coal-fired power plant under construction by state electricity utility Eskom, about 15 kilometres north of the existing Kendal Power Station near Witbank, Mpumalanga. Both Kusile and its contemporary counterpart Medupi are notable for their size as well as controversial cost and suspected corruption in their construction, it is expected that Kusile would consist of six 800 megawatt coal-fired generating units for a total generating capacity of 4,800 megawatts. In the minutes of a stakeholder briefing, Eskom stated that it "will obtain most of the coal required for Kusile Power Station from Anglo Coal's New Largo operations, south east of the Kusile Power Station."Eskom’s consultants estimate that 35 new coal mines will be required to support the Medupi and Kusile plants. Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism issued a positive Record of Decision on 5 June 2007. February 2008: Hitachi Power Africa has been awarded the boiler contract worth R18.5 billion and Alstom S&E has been awarded the turbine island works contract valued at R13 billion."
14 April 2011: Black & Veatch Corp. won preliminary approval for $805.6 million in financing from the U. S. Export-Import Bank for the Kusile plant. 31 May 2011: Eskom announced that the Export-Import Bank of the United States had given its initial approval for an $805 million loan to help Eskom build the plant. 10 August 2018: A fire breaks out at the station amidst tensions with unions over pay increases causing significant damage. Expected to take 6 years to complete, the project was not expected to complete Unit 1 until 2017 and the entire project not until 2021. According to a press release by Eskom, a Project Execution Team, led by Frans Sithole, was able to bring Unit 1 online, under full load, on 10 March 2017. In December 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that government was initiating a forensic probe into the repeated delays and cost overruns on the completion of Kusile and Medupi Power Stations. I Hitachi Power Africa, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. was found by the U.
S. Securities and Exchange Commission to have made US$6 million in corrupt payments to a front company for the African National Congress, the ruling political party in South Africa. Hitachi agreed to pay the SEC US$19 million to settle the charges. Hitachi Power Africa is conducting its works at Kusile now under the name Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa after a reorganization in February 2014 combining Hitachi, Ltd.'s and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry's interests in the region. Kusile Power Station is estimated to cost R118 billion to complete; the following institutions are involved in supporting the Kusile Power Station:Multilateral development banks African Development Bank - $500 million corporate loan, November 2008Banks Bank of America - advisory service, October 2010 Bank of Tokyo Misubishi UFJ - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 Barclays - advisory service, October 2010 BNP Paribas - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Credit Agricole - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Credit Mutuel-CIC - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Credit Suisse Group - helping with the sale of a stake Deutsche Bank - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 FirstRand Bank Ltd - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 HSBC Group - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 JPMorgan Chase - advisory services KfW IPEX-Bank - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 Natixis - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Nedbank Group - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 Rand Merchand Bank - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 Societe Generale - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Standard Bank - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009Export Credit Agencies COFACE - corporate loan as part of 1,185 million euro syndicated loan Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs-AG - 705 million euro syndicated loan, December 2009 Export-Import Bank of the United States - $805 million, April 2011Investment Funds Public Investment Corporation - R 9 billion, May 2010 The plant is expected to emit an estimated 36.8 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year once it is completed.
A 2011 report "The True Cost of Coal: The monstrous price of South Africa's coal addiction" by Greenpeace Africa and the University of Pretoria’s Business Enterprises unit calculated the full costs of the Kusile plant, from climate change to water use, the impact on health and the environment. It was estimated that the damage caused by Kusile will cost South Africa between R31.2 billion and R60.6 billion a year, that just 30% of Kusile’s externality cost would be able to generate five times the coal station’s proposed power with renewable energy. 70% of the total cost was water-related. In November 2011, Greenpeace activists chained themselves to a gate and some climbed a crane to protest the Kusile power station and South Africa's dependence on coal, a few weeks before the country will host a global conference on climate change. Authorities arrested nine people, who were ordered to return to court Nov. 21 on charges of trespassing and malicious damage to property. List of coal power stations List of largest power stations in the world List of power stations in South Africa
Energy in South Africa
South Africa was the world's sixth hard coal producer in 2009. Hard coal production was 1,620 TWh in 2009 and total energy production 1,995 TWh in 2008. Around 77% of South Africa's energy needs are directly derived from coal and 92% of coal consumed on the African continent is mined in South Africa. South Africa was the sixth top hard coal producer in 2009: 247 Mt hard coal, below Australia 335 Mt and Indonesia 263 Mt and above Russia 229 Mt. South Africa was the fifth top hard coal net exporter in 2009: 67 Mt hard coal of the world total hard coal export 836 Mt. In 2009 247 Mt hard coal production is 247 Mt*0.564 toe/Mt*11.630 TWh/toe = 1620 TWh and export 67 Mt*0.564 toe/Mt*11.630 TWh/toe = 439 TWh. Coal production and use creates in South Africa Coal combustion wastes, coal mine wastes and toxic coal land fires. Coal combustion wastes, contain toxic substances like arsenic, cadmium and lead. Hundreds of South African old coal mines are filled with sulphate salts, heavy metals and carcinogenic substances like benzene and toluene.
This AMD damages spreads illness and disease. According to Greenpeace most shockingly is eMalahleni'place of coal', Mpumalanga province, surrounded by 22 collieries and steel and manganese plants. One of the biggest old mines is the Transvaal and Delagoa Bay mine, closed in 1953. 60 km downstream from Emalahleni AMD leaked into the water supply in 2006 and 2007 killing thousands of fish and freshwater turtles and poisoning the water used by communities. Coal fires continue in the disused mines. Coal mine owners include Anglo Coal a subsidiary of Anglo American plc, Glencore and South 32. In 2008 electricity was produced 241 TWh with coal. In 2008 electricity production + imports – exports – losses was 232 TWh; the government owned. With 27 operational power plants generating over 95% of the country's electricity and over 40% of all electricity on the African continent making it one of the ten largest power utilities in the world; however government's inability to keep Eskom's generating capacity up with economic and population growth due to a lack of investment by government has created a large energy shortage and led to an energy crisis in late 2007.
This has forced the company to implement loadshedding in specific areas of the country at certain times to reduce pressure on the national grid and initiate an ambitious program to increase energy production. This has led to speculation by the national newspaper, the Mail and Guardian, that the country might face a complete grid failure. Prior to the establishment of Eskom the provision of electricity was dominated by municipalities and private companies; the city of Kimberley was the first user of public electricity in South Africa when it installed electric streetlights run off a coal fired power plant in 1882 to reduce crime at night. The first central power station and distribution system in South Africa consisting of a 150 kW generator with two boilers and located at Cape Town Harbour was completed in 1891 to supply power to government buildings in the nearby city. In 1893 the town of Wynberg in Cape Town opened a power station to provide power to a local tram system and public streetlights.
This was followed by the first municipal power station built by the City of Cape Town in 1895 with the construction of the Graaff Electric Lighting Works to power 775 streetlights. Eskom was founded by the Electricity Act of 1922 which allowed for the establishment of a government owned non-profit company to provide electricity. In 1948 Eskom bought out the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company with government support for £14.5 million to become South Africa's primary electricity provider. Eskom dropped its non-profit mandate in the late 1970s and government control over the company was expanded in 1998 with the passing of the Eskom Amendment Act; the portion of renewable energy as a percentage of final energy consumption in 2012 was 16.9%. Most of, from the burning of traditional biofuels for heating. In terms of share of GDP in 2012, South Africa was the fourth largest investor in renewable power in the world after Uruguay and Costa Rica; that rate of investment is expected to continue.
Renewable energy will play a larger role in future. South Africa's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in Africa. South Africa's commitment to renewable energy lags behind that of China, India and Russia. South Africa receives more than twice as much sunshine than Germany, where over 15 percent of the national electricity supply comes from renewable sources. "South Africa's National Energy Regulator announced 31 March 2009 the introduction of a system of feed-in tariffs designed to produce 10 TWh of electricity per year by 2013. The feed-in tariffs announced were higher than those in NERSA's original proposal; the tariffs, differentiated by technology, will be paid for a period of 20 years. NERSA said in its release that the tariffs were based, as in most European countries, on the cost of generation plus a reasonable profit; the tariffs for wind energy and concentrating solar power are among the most attractive worldwide. The tariff for wind energy, 1.25 ZAR/kWh is greater than that offered in Germany and more than that proposed in Ontario, Canada.
The tariff for concentrating solar, 2.10 ZAR/kWh, is less than that in Spain, but offers great promise in the bright sunlight of South Africa. NERSA's revised program followed extensive public consultation. Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association said in a release that "South Africa is the first African country to introduce a feed-in tariff for wind
Nuclear energy in South Africa
South Africa is the only country in Africa with a commercial nuclear power plant. Two reactors located at the Koeberg nuclear power station accounts for around 5% of South Africa's electricity production. Spent fuel is disposed of at Vaalputs Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility in the Northern Cape; the SAFARI-1 tank in pool research reactor is located at the Pelindaba nuclear research centre in Gauteng. The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan envisages building 9,600 MWe of new nuclear power capacity by building between six and eight new nuclear reactors by 2030, which would cost about R1 trillion. Five countries, South Korea, Russia, US, China have bid to supply the reactors; as of 2015, Russia's Rosatom and Chinese companies are the front runners to supply new nuclear plants due to their commitments to finance the builds. In 2008 Max Lee, CEO of Eskom, announced Eskom plans to build 20 GW of nuclear power by 2025, the first station of which could be completed by 2017. However, the investment decision to go ahead with this was not made.
Until 2010, South Africa had an expansion policy based upon the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor but government financing was withdrawn because of missed deadlines and lack of customers. Several groups, including Earthlife Africa and Koeberg Alert, had opposed these plans. In 2016, an updated draft IRP was published which set a much lower and slower nuclear target, due to lower demand projections and increased capital cost; this updated IRP envisaged that the first new nuclear power plant would only need to be online by 2041. Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said that nuclear is non-negotiable for SA because the country lacks adequate water to support coal-fired power generation. However, some energy experts believe that South Africa does not need the extra energy that a new nuclear power plant would generate but can and should make use of on renewables such as solar and wind, of which South Africa is well positioned to take advantage. In January 2018 Eskom's acting Chief Financial Officer stated that the company cannot afford a new build, following a 34% drop in interim profits due to declining sales and increasing financing costs.
The government stated. The draft 2018 IRP does not call for new nuclear power due to declining electricity demand, forecast 30% lower than in the previous IRP. There has been much concern about the cost of the endeavour, as well as the possibility for corruption, due to the lack of transparency in the procurement processes and the disregard of civic society. President Jacob Zuma pushed ahead with plans to secure nuclear power. Following the Public Protector's "State of Capture" report, which implicated him and Jacob Zuma in the peddling of state patronage, Brian Molefe resigned from his position as executive chief of Eskom on 1 January, 2017. However, analysts noted that corruption at Eskom was deep-rooted and that Molefe's resignation would not resolve the nuclear question. In April, 2017, Eskom requested that the Treasury department waive procurement regulations for the new nuclear plants, claiming that Eskom "had done a lot of the work prior" and that these efforts were adequate; the Democratic Alliance objected on the grounds that this would embark the state on its "single biggest public procurement without assessing associated risks and consequences for SA’s economy".
On 26 April, 2017, following a legal application by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute, the Western Cape High Court declared that the South African government's new nuclear procurement processes had been unlawful because they had not followed due processes. The court noted that the National Energy Regulator and the Energy Minister must all be involved in the process. All of the subsequent existing contracts with Russia, the US, South Korea were therefore found to be void; the R1 trillion cost of the new nuclear project has played a part in ratings downgrades by international credit ratings agencies. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who opposed new nuclear on the grounds of its steep cost, was replaced by Malusi Gigaba in March, 2017. Gigaba is responsible for filling the vacancy of chief procurement officer at Treasury, which would make decisions about procurement processes regarding the new nuclear project. South African nuclear program South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Nuclear power stations in South Africa List of nuclear reactors in South Africa
The Steenbras Dam, now referred to as Steenbras Lower Dam, is a gravity concrete arch type dam located in the Hottentots-Holland mountains, above Gordons Bay, near Cape Town in South Africa. In 1916 a Board of Engineers was appointed to report on a water augmentation scheme for the city, their proposal was the Steenbras scheme which would consist of a concrete gravity and arch dam on the Steenbras River. This dam would be connected to the Molteno reservoir through a tunnel in the Hottentots Holland mountains and a 64 kilometre long cast iron pipeline. Work was completed three years later; the Steenbras scheme could supply Cape Town with up to 42 million litres of water per day although the average consumption was in the region of 29 million litres per day. The consumption however grew and it was not long before Cape Town once again had a water supply problem. To solve the demand for additional water supplies the Steenbras dam wall was raised and an additional pipeline was laid into the city; this work was completed in 1928.
For much of the first half of the twentieth century it was the main reservoir for Cape Town but is now only one of many dams that supply the city. The hazard potential of Steenbras has been ranked high. There is a hydroelectric plant at the dam; the Steenbras pumped-storage scheme was opened in 1979 to supplement Cape Town’s electricity supply during periods of peak demand. The dam is on the Steenbras River, which, in common with most rivers in the Western Cape, has a low sediment load and delivers water of high quality; the river and dam are named after a fish endemic to South Africa. Steenbras Upper Dam is used for the Steenbras Power Station; the City of Cape Town is investigating strengthening and raising the wall to increase Steenbras Dam's capacity. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity Eskom - South African electricity utility