The number of hours of loadshedding in South Africa has been cut by 67% over the past three-and-a-half months, Energy Council of South Africa CEO James MacKay highlighted on Monday evening. He was participating in an event in Cape Town, hosted by UK innovation agency Innovate UK, and UK International Development, ahead of the Africa Energy Indaba. Loadshedding was the South African term for rotating scheduled power cuts, due to lack of generating capacity, imposed by national electricity utility Eskom. One of the reasons for the significant reduction in loadshedding hours has been the secondment, by the business sector, of experienced engineers to Eskom power stations. Further, renewable energy capacity in the country has increased rapidly.
Bid Window 8 of government’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme will be the last bid window under IRP 2019, says Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. “We’ll then have issued all the bid windows provided for under IRP 2019.”
Global technology group Hitachi Energy and BluVein – an innovator in dynamic charging technology – have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to accelerate the electrification of heavy haul mining fleets. Hitachi Energy’s advanced power electronics and digital charging technologies allow BluVein’s electric rail (e-rail) charging technology to deliver electricity safely and reliably to haul trucks of up to 400 t while transporting materials. 
Eskom insists it is on track to complete the repairs to the ducts in the west stack at the Kusile power station by December 2024, ahead of the March 31, 2025, deadline set by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) when it last year authorised the use of temporary stacks that bypass the key pollution control system. The west stack was rendered inoperable when Kusile’s Unit 1 flue duct collapsed because of an uncontrolled build-up of slurry on October 23, 2022. The failure eliminated 2 100 MW of Kusile’s capacity from an already stretched system, as units 2 and 3’s flues, which share a stack or chimney with that of Unit 1, were also damaged by the collapse.