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Microtunnelling used to build pipeline

The Farm 694 bulk civil engineering services project will, once completed, be the longest and largest diameter pipeline project constructed using microtunnelling in South Africa, says WSP in Africa civil and municipal infrastructure civil engineer Darren Osborne. Microtunnelling allowed for construction of the project – in Mitchell’s Plain, in the Western Cape ¬– with minimum disruption.

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First world-scale methanol facility in sight

Oil company the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) earlier this month signed an agreement with methanol producer Proman to develop the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) first world-scale methanol production facility at the TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Under the terms of the agreement, chemicals company Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company (TA’ZIZ) and Proman will construct a natural gas to methanol facility with an anticipated capacity of up to 1.8-million tons a year.

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Eskom CEO holds talks on potential projects with World Bank

The head of South Africa’s state power utility held discussions with the World Bank as it explores options for transitioning from coal-fired stations to cleaner sources of energy. Eskom Holdings CEO Andre de Ruyter travelled to the bank’s headquarters for the talks earlier this week. The utility supplies more than 90% of the country’s electricity, the bulk of it from coal.

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AfricaGoGreen Fund receives $31.5m to promote private sector efficiency investments

Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) have approved a combined-equity investment of $20-million in the AfricaGoGreen Fund (AGGF) debt fund, which was established to promote private investments in energy-efficient technologies and business models, decarbonise African economies and accelerate the energy transition. This is in addition to the $11.5-million equity contribution approved by development finance institution the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).

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City of Cape Town studying battery storage as part of strategy to end load-shedding

The City of Cape Town is at the preliminary stages of assessing the business case for the deployment of battery energy storage systems (BESS) as part of its evolving strategy to eliminate the threat of load-shedding for its residents. The city is already moving ahead with plans to procure 300 MW of renewables generation from independent power producers and generation development manager Shane Prins reports that BESS is also on the city’s radar.

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Group stays afloat amid challenges

Equipment distributor Capital Equipment Group (CEG) has maintained its success in the South African construction industry despite challenging economic conditions, global supply issues and escalating costs, which worsened because of Covid-19 and strike action. “In today’s challenging conditions, it is important that we assist our customers by offering flexible finance and service options. We have recognised a trend whereby construction companies tend to hold onto equipment for longer, rather than opt to invest regularly in new machines. For this reason, we have enhanced our repair and maintenance facilities around South Africa to ensure that a full range of spare parts is made readily available,” says CEG CEO Tony Sinclair.

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New contract pushes company towards one-stop-shop goal

Foundry and heavy engineering company Thos Begbie has been awarded a consecutive contract to do more component installations for the Sibanye-Stillwater platinum smelter plant, in the North West.

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Load-shedding, vandalism wreak havoc with train services in Cape Town

Train commuters in Cape Town had to keep their fingers crossed during load-shedding on Wednesday as Metrorail worked to keep systems up and running. On Tuesday, services had to be cancelled because of vandalism at the Tafelbaai high voltage substation, on top of load-shedding.

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Education, agricultural productivity, ECD and service delivery can reduce inequality in …

Global financial organisation the World Bank’s ‘Inequality in Southern Africa: An assessment of the Southern African Customs Union’ report states that promoting equality of opportunity, improving education and agricultural productivity, supporting early childhood development (ECD) and improving public service delivery can help to reduce inequality in the region. The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), comprising Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa, is the world’s most unequal region. Consumption inequality across the Sacu region is more than 40% higher than the averages for sub-Saharan Africa and other upper-middle-income countries.

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DPWI welcomes judgment on irregular Beitbridge border fence project

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has welcomed the judgment handed down by Special Tribunal Judge Lebogang Modiba on March 8 in relation to the controversial Beitbridge border fence project, in which contractors Caledon River Properties and Profteam were paid R40-million to erect a fence under Covid-19 emergency procurement protocols in 2020. The fence contracts were found to have been irregular following an investigation by the DPWI and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), resulting in Modiba ordering the profits accruing to the contractors from the project be repaid to the DPWI.

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