South Africa may double power buy from Congo hydro plant

The Trutherizer

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Well electricity stability and renewable aside it would be fantastic if that low price of $30 per megawatt/hour can make a dent in our electricity prices. That's for sure. Let's hope all goes well and that we see some all round benefit from this.
 

konfab

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I'm very much aware of that. The collapse in Optimum's production was in the vacuum left by Gupta abandonment. The specific event I'm referring to happened long after the Guptas left South Africa.

Sure we can try to clean up and manage the coal industry so efficiently that we never have to use any other type of power, but it's more realistic to realise that having all your energy eggs in one basket is a bad idea.
Depends. It worked out extremely well for France.

In 2015, each French national emitted an average of 5.1 metric tons of CO2, based solely on activities within the country, while British and German citizens emitted 6.2 and 9.6 metric tons each2. Belgians, the Dutch, Spaniards and Italians emitted more per individual than their French neighbors. The E.U. average was 6.8 metric tons.
https://www.planete-energies.com/en/medias/close/greenhouse-gas-emissions-france

France enjoys one of the lowest electricity prices in Europe; at 14.72 euro cents per kWh, the average cost of electricity in France is 26.5% cheaper than the EU average (20.02 euro cents per kWh). However, with electricity markets in France deregulated, customers have a choice of supplier and price plan, meaning the price you pay for electricity could be lower or higher than this figure.
https://en.selectra.info/energy-france/guides/electricity-cost

The reason why the French have less CO2 emissions and cheaper electricity than most of Europe is because they standardised the designs of their power stations. Which gives them an economy of scale which makes repairs and maintenance much cheaper.

This was also the case here in South Africa when Eskom embarked on its expansion between the 60s and 90s, which is why electricity was so cheap.
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.[4]:4 During the same period Eskom established a nationwide 400 kV power network. During this period the company build a number of large standardised coal-fired power plants. These plants were known colloquially as "six-packs" for the 6 large generator units they were designed to accommodate.[4]:7
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskom
 

3WA

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konfab

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And yet, in the age of modern technology, France has great plans to diversify their energy mix. Yesterday's winning strategy is not always the best strategy for the future.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-energy-renewables/france-plans-to-triple-wind-power-capacity-by-2030-idUSKCN1NW1Z8

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/business/article_f5132ad2-91dd-11e8-b221-cb71250417eb.html
They still have some coal and gas plants, so I suspect those are on the chopping block first.

The corollary to what you have said is that you shouldn't reinvent the wheel. Especially when you already have something that works very well.

France mostly has what most sane people want. A cheap source of clean power, tossing that out because of ideology (ala Germany) it simply retarded.
 

3WA

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They still have some coal and gas plants, so I suspect those are on the chopping block first.

The corollary to what you have said is that you shouldn't reinvent the wheel. Especially when you already have something that works very well.

France mostly has what most sane people want. A cheap source of clean power, tossing that out because of ideology (ala Germany) it simply retarded.
Yes, but back to the South African perspective - we use coal like France used nuclear. Unlike France, we don't necessarily build our own plants with local companies - money has to go overseas when we build a coal plant. So why should we be tied to coal the way France is tied to nuclear? I'm perfectly happy for Medupi and Kusile to carry part of the base load into the future. I'm perfectly happy for a legitimate nuclear build. But if our densest urban centre is 3000 km away from one of the greatest hydropower sites on earth, and the technology exists to exploit it, the option should be considered.

Cahora Bassa worked out well for South Africa - we got in early and benefited from cheap energy for a long time. Inga could be the same.
 

upup

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I will need to be DC lines. How far is the Congo, the line is a few million per km. And a few million to every tribe leader where the line crosses his land. This was an idea few years ago, but where will the money come from now.
 

3WA

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I will need to be DC lines. How far is the Congo, the line is a few million per km. And a few million to every tribe leader where the line crosses his land. This was an idea few years ago, but where will the money come from now.
About 3000 km to Joburg. A little bit more than the current (pun intended) longest HVDC line.

It's been an idea for long long long time. Every time the funding fell through because war.
 

konfab

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Yes, but back to the South African perspective - we use coal like France used nuclear. Unlike France, we don't necessarily build our own plants with local companies - money has to go overseas when we build a coal plant. So why should we be tied to coal the way France is tied to nuclear? I'm perfectly happy for Medupi and Kusile to carry part of the base load into the future. I'm perfectly happy for a legitimate nuclear build. But if our densest urban centre is 3000 km away from one of the greatest hydropower sites on earth, and the technology exists to exploit it, the option should be considered.

Cahora Bassa worked out well for South Africa - we got in early and benefited from cheap energy for a long time. Inga could be the same.
The congo river system would basically be able to power the whole of Southern Africa if harnessed, so I definitely don't have a technological problem iwith it.
However there are severe environmental issues with hydropower that I have major problems with. Diplacing massive amounts of people and animals doesn't sit well with me. Nor being dependant on a country that is not politically stable.
 
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ISP cash cow

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The congo river system would basically be able to power the whole of Southern Africa if harnessed, so I definitely don't have a technological problem iwith it.
However there are severe environmental issues with hydropower that I have major problems with. Diplacing massive amounts of people and animals doesn't sit well with me. Nor being dependant on a country that is not politically stable.
well i suppose they don't need to move them, they can just give them snorkels and masks
 

Shaun108

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Heading is poor in grammar. It should be "South Africa may double it's electricity purchase from Congo hydro plant"
 

Fuzzbox

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This idea is ludicrous.
In ESCOM'S fin statements they talk about oversupply already.
If Medupi and Kusile were online already we wouldn't have to do this at all.
Why do we need to buy more.
This just smells of corruption at the highest level.
Just another ways for CADRES to steal more money and get it out the country .
 

Happy Days

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This additional electricity will only be available towards the end of the 20's. In addition, they are SA's willingness to buy as a guarantee to build the project - with every certainty that it will be massively delayed and over budget. Then there's the additional risk and cost of the transmission lines.

Everybody seems that have forgotten that virtually every independent renewal power plants have come online on time and budget. Why would you want to consider buying additional capacity sometime in the distant future from some pie-in-the-sky project or go nuclear (with the attending massive costs and timeline) when there are alternatives available now? Especially when you look at Eskom's track record of completing projects on time and on budget.

The only solution is to have independent power suppliers here in SA - not from outside where there's no control or security of supply.
 

furpile

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It does seem crazy to want to buy almost another Medupi's worth of power when we are oversupplied already. Without having access to Eskom's roadmap (I really hope they have one) for the future, it wont make sense, but it could be that there are more of the old coal plants that need to be retired in the next 5 to 10 years. Buying cheap hydropower to replace one or two of them makes sense seeing that Eskom can hardly afford more debt to build a new station currently. Rather let someone else put up the capital and just buy the end product.

Look at the list of power stations Eskom has. Arnot, Hendrina, Camden, Grootvlei and Komati power stations are some of the bigger ones that are planned to be decomissioned in the next 5 to 10 years. It might be possible to extend their life with some Capex but maybe not. Those 5 stations produce roughly 7500 MW (max capacity), so the hydropower will not even replace all of them.
 

Gordon_R

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It does seem crazy to want to buy almost another Medupi's worth of power when we are oversupplied already. Without having access to Eskom's roadmap (I really hope they have one) for the future, it wont make sense, but it could be that there are more of the old coal plants that need to be retired in the next 5 to 10 years. Buying cheap hydropower to replace one or two of them makes sense seeing that Eskom can hardly afford more debt to build a new station currently. Rather let someone else put up the capital and just buy the end product.

Look at the list of power stations Eskom has. Arnot, Hendrina, Camden, Grootvlei and Komati power stations are some of the bigger ones that are planned to be decomissioned in the next 5 to 10 years. It might be possible to extend their life with some Capex but maybe not. Those 5 stations produce roughly 7500 MW (max capacity), so the hydropower will not even replace all of them.
Almost all of Eskom's power stations fail dismally on emissions regulations. The only reason that many are allowed to continue producing electricity, is that the alternative would be a a grid shutdown...

There are few hard figures, but plenty of allegations: https://mg.co.za/article/2014-06-19-power-stations-are-deadly-internal-report-reveals

The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act allows emitters to delay compliance with the Act by submitting their reasons to the department of environmental affairs.

Eskom has asked for “rolling” postponements for all its coal power stations, mainly because it would cost R200-billion to ensure compliance and the power grid is too constrained.
In its application to postpone compliance at Medupi, and to bring flue gas desulphurisation (technology to cut out 90% of sulphur emissions) on line only in 2027, the parastatal said there was not enough water available to introduce the technology. “It is not practically feasible or beneficial to South Africa to fully comply with the minimal emissions standards.”
 

neoprema

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How the tables have turned. 4 decades ago ZA was trying to sell power it had so much.. (from what i've heard from the people who worked back then..)
 
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