100 MW CSP project, developed by black-owned IPP, enters commercial operation

A new 100 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, developed by black-owned independent power producer (IPP) Emvelo, officially entered into commercial operation this week, providing Eskom with a new dispatchable generation option at a time of severe supply-side constraints. Located in Upington, in the Northern Cape, the R11-billion Ilanga CSP1 plant employs parabolic-trough technology and incorporates five hours of storage, which enables the power station to dispatch electricity during the evening peak and long after the sun sets.

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Afreximbank ropes in Russian companies to invest in railway projects in Africa

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Friday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian Railways and the Russian Export Center (REC) to cooperate in implementing export and investment projects in the railway sector in Africa. Under the terms of the MoU, the parties will undertake mutual consultations on export and investment projects abroad and by jointly developing project financing schemes in the sector.

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City of Johannesburg works with private firm to develop affordable housing in Bramley

The city of Johannesburg said on Friday the first phase of a development in Bramley in which its planning department had an imput was now complete. It said mayor Herman Mashaba would on Monday join Africrest Properties in opening the Village and Spark School Development in the suburb.

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Virtual, augmented reality now part of construction processes

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and building information modelling (BIM) in construction and consulting engineering are important elements of a fully integrated approach to project delivery, says multinational engineering consultancy Aecom Buildings and Places digital project delivery lead Craig Howie. Aecom is a significant user of software suites, such as Bentley and Autodesk, and the addition of VR and AR is complementary to Aecom’s use of BIM, in which multiple design teams produce integrated three-dimensional (3D) models.

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Digital disruption to bring core engineering skills to fore

Far from posing a threat to engineering as a profession, local engineering experts believe that the digital transformation of industries and of society is amplifying the importance of the core competencies of engineering disciplines and bringing them to the fore. Defining and solving complex problems, critical thinking, creativity, judgement, people management and coordination of people and project elements are key skills that engineers will need by 2020 as structured, repeatable processes are automated, says multinational engineering consultancy Aurecon COO Dr Gustav Rohde.

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South African company shares innovation at Pollutec

Be Green Engineering manager Jean-Fabrice Vandomel represented South Africa at environmental trade show Pollutec, being held in Lyon, France, this week. Be Green Engineering is a multidisciplinary green building engineering consultancy, with a specific focus on sustainable development.

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Vukile declares 7.5% H1 dividend growth

JSE-listed Vukile Property Fund on Thursday reported a 7.5% growth in dividends to 78.1c a share for the six months ended September 30. This is in line with the company’s full-year guidance, CEO Laurence Rapp said.

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Saice inaugurates its 116th president

The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) on Thursday inaugurated Brian Downie as the new president of the institution. Downie is the 116th president of Saice since the inception of the institution in 1903.

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Arrowhead reduces vacancies despite constrained market conditions

Diversified real estate investment trust (Reit) Arrowhead Properties reduced its vacancies from 12.1% at the start of its 2018 financial year to 7.9% by the end of the year. This despite the fact that it had initially expected vacancies to increase to more than 13% in the financial year ended September 30.

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Cost of vandalism, theft of infrastructure surpasses R300m – Johannesburg mayor

The cost of vandalism in the city of Johannesburg and theft of City Power infrastructure has now surpassed R300-million and continues to rise, mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday. Mashaba said council members had, during a meeting of the Visible Service Delivery committee, cited this as the prime reason for the slowness in putting up street lights in some areas of Johannesburg.

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