Wärtsilä will enable leading Nigerian food company to modernise its power generation facilities to meet everyday production needs

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply fuel-flexible dual-fuel engines to extend, improve, and modernise power generation for a captive power plant at Nigeria’s oldest and largest food and agro allied company, Flour Mills Nigeria.

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New date for TIA360 eThekwini Tourism Investment Symposium

Investing in tourism to build our nation

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New legislation requires SA buildings to display energy performance certificate

Recently gazetted regulations published by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy now make it compulsory for non-residential buildings in South Africa to declare their energy consumption by displaying an energy performance certificate at the entrance of their buildings. Building owners have until December 2022 to comply with these new building energy regulations, which require a formal assessment of your building energy consumption.

According to David Petrie, Technical Manager (Utilities) at FM Solutions Technical, these directives form part of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy under the National Energy Act, 2008 (Act No.34 of 2008), aimed at improving the country’s energy consumption. This process will determine the amount of energy that a specific building is allowed to consume per square metre. Similar energy performance certificate systems are currently in operation in the EU and the UK, where it was launched in 2007.

“It is important to note that the new legislation does not apply to factories and manufacturing plants. It applies  to offices and public spaces, i.e. buildings that are used for entertainment and public assembly, theatrical and indoor sports activities as well as  places of instruction,” Petrie explains.

An example of an Energy Performance Certificate that needs to be displayed at the entrance of all public buildings.

These include schools, malls, theatres and places of work that are bigger than 2,000 square metres. Government buildings larger than 1,000 square metres must also comply with the new legislation. Buildings that have been in operation for less than 2 years, or have been subject to a major renovation within the past 2 years are exempted. Moreover, the new regulation stipulates that there are certain areas that can be excluded from the calculations, such as garages, car parks and storage areas.

“An Energy Performance Certificate, similar to those displayed on household appliances, must be issued by an accredited body in accordance with SANS 1544:2014 – Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings. This certificate must rank the energy rating (ER) of a building on a performance scale (A-G). This is to the maximum energy consumption (kWh/m²/a) per building type as per the SANS 10400 XA,” he says.

The certificate must be issued by a SANAS accredited body and be submitted to the South African National Energy Development Institute. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will appoint inspectors to audit buildings for certificate compliance and validity. The certificates will be valid for a period of five years

As specialists in energy efficiency and energy management, FM Solutions Technical are regularly called upon by their clients to conduct the energy assessments. Petrie explains that this is not a one-size-fits all approach, as there are various important factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the physical location and the climatic zone of the premises, history of energy usage, size of the building and nature of the business.

“It is important to regularly conduct a detailed energy audit to identify the biggest electricity users. This allows landlords and tenants to consider replacing them with alternatives that would be more efficient and unlock significant savings in the long run. For this reason, we encourage organisations to adopt the new legislation as an opportunity to implement good practices that would benefit their bottom line and improve overall efficiencies,” he concludes.

For more information on how FM Solutions Technical can assist with Regulations for the Mandatory Display and Submission of Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings, visit www.fm-solutions.co.za

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ArcVera Renewables’ new permanent office in Cape Town strengthens operations in Southern Africa

ArcVera Renewables, a leading provider of consulting and technical services for wind, solar and energy storage projects, has set up a permanent office and new subsidiary company in Cape Town, strengthening its 6-year local presence to offer and meet the growing renewable energy ambitions of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. This move underpins South Africa’s growing importance as a strategic market for ArcVera Renewables.

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EdTech Start-up launches and announces a US$1.5 million seed investment aiming to bridge the global tech skills gap

Skills Union today announced a US$1.5 million seed investment round, supporting its mission to bridge the global tech skills gap, through specialised vocational courses that meet the needs of the rapidly growing tech sector.

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Wärtsilä pioneering significant test programme for pure hydrogen engines to enable fully decarbonised energy systems

The technology group Wärtsilä has begun testing its thermal balancing engines using pure hydrogen and expects to have an engine and power plant concept capable of running on 100% hydrogen by 2025, enabling the transition to decarbonised energy systems around the world.

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Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit receives EPC: sets the bar for Gauteng

In a new milestone of government’s Energy Performance Certificate regulations, the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre has received its EPC with a highly commendable rating of B, where A is the highest achievable rating and G the worst possible rating for buildings in South Africa. 

In alignment with the new regulations gazetted in December 2020, buildings in South Africa need to have their energy performance assessed by an accredited party, who will then issue an EPC which rates the building from A – G for energy efficiency. “To be compliant, the EPC must be displayed at the building entrance, and at least a D-rating must be achieved, to comply with the national Building Regulations,” explains Bredenkamp. The regulations apply to non-residential buildings with a net floor area of at least 2,000 m2 in the private sector (schools, malls, theatres, etc.), and 1,000 m2 for government buildings. For the purposes of the EPC, a building’s energy performance is measured in terms of kilowatt hours per square metre per annum (kWh/m2/a) of net floor area in accordance with the National EPC Standard (SANS 1544:2014).

“The facility is comprehensive, with the main building in the region of 14,500 m2. The energy requirements must be vast, so their rating is to be applauded,” comments Barry Bredenkamp, General Manager Energy Efficiency & Corporate Communications at the South African National Energy Development Institute, (SANEDI).

Once issued, an EPC must be renewed every five years, giving building owners the opportunity to improve their energy performance. Property owners and public facilities have until 7 December 2022 to ensure that they are compliant. As an agency for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, SANEDI has been tasked with supporting the implementation of the regulations.

“SANEDI wants to help ensure compliance with the new regulations, so that building owners are not unnecessarily penalised. We are glad to see a prominent landmark such as the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit making EPC compliance a priority, and we hope to see many other buildings follow suit,” says Bredenkamp. He says that this will be good for the wider value chain, where economic activity will be stimulated, as building owners look at implementing more energy efficient systems and technologies.

Bluedust Engineering Solutions facilitated the EPC process on behalf of the owners of Kyalami. Dr. Janco Vermeulen and Dr. Frank Duvenhage, both experts in the energy field, ensured that the required data is collected and packaged correctly for the EPC process to be executed with minimal complications. “After having facilitated the first-ever EPC in South Africa, and also being allocated an entire building portfolio of 60 buildings for Stellenbosch University, we are happy to have been part of the drive to make Kyalami the first in its class to receive an EPC in South Africa,” said Dr. Duvenhage. Dr. Vermeulen added, “Kyalami is an iconic race track and venue, both locally and globally, and it is motivating to see such leaders in their industry to be early adopters of mandatory energy efficiency regulations.”

The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre hosts many large international functions and events, both indoors and out.  Along with the main building, it has three adjacent bomas used for private functions and the management offices. The property also features a large (approximately 1,000 m2) workshop used for maintenance and tuning of Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini sports cars , which is off-limits to the public. To ensure uninterrupted service during load shedding, the centre has a large 800 kVA generator that services the main building.

JP Spangenberg, from Energy Management and Validation Services (EMVS), the SANAS accredited inspection body responsible for issuing the EPCs said, “EPCs have the potential to stimulate job creation with in excess of 100,000 buildings requiring assessments within the next 18 months. It was a pleasure working with the newly established EPC division of BlueDust Engineering Solutions, who facilitated the process for Kyalami.”

Toby Venter, CEO for the O T Venter Group of Companies, owners of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre, concluded by saying; “We strive to always exceed expectations; environmental requirements are no different. We are proud to be the first conference and exhibition venue in South Africa to be awarded this energy efficiency grading certification”.

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SA gas startup Bluedrop Energy plans dual IPO on NYSE and JSE

Bluedrop Energy, a South African Gas startup company, this week announced its plans to list its shares on the NYSE in New York, USA and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa. Bluedrop will first float its shares on the NYSE in 2022, while its JSE listing will follow at a date still to be announced.

In April this year, Bluedrop announced that it has secured a $20 million (R300 million) funding from J. Sassoon Group, a US, Washington DC-based private equity and investment firm for the construction of Bluedrop’s modern state of the art Smart Composite LPG Cylinder manufacturing plant. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the US has also issued a letter of interest providing $36m (R497m) finance guarantee in support of J Sassoon Group for this project.

Last month, J. Sassoon Group signed a Technical Services Agreement (TSA) with the South African office of a US-based multinational engineering firm, Fluor Corporation, for the development of Bluedrop’s smart composite LPG cylinder manufacturing plant.

Commenting on the listing, J. Sassoon Group Chairman, Mr. David Sassoon said: “We are pleased to continue to advise Bluedrop on its next step in its journey. The South African market is in desperate need of foreign capital infusion and this potential floating of Bluedrop’s shares in New York is going to help Bluedrop grow exponentially through asset acquisitions making it one of the leading LPG wholesalers and composite LPG cylinder manufacturers in Africa.

Unfortunately, there has been a drought of investments in South Africa’s capital market, forcing startups like Bluedrop to seek funding from foreign markets. These are opportunities that should be available for local entrepreneurs and investors, but these opportunities end up being transferred to markets like New York and London.

Government has to re-energise local markets, it needs to offer incentives to local investors to unleash local capital, which will encourage foreign investors to invest in South Africa and reduce risk exposure to foreign investors. Otherwise, local capital will continue to flow to foreign markets, which makes firms such as ours have incentives to co-invest with local partners. Co-investment goes beyond just capital, co-investing with local partners allows for the creation of an intellectual highway of ideas, and unlocks more opportunities, all of which fosters cooperation and helps local economies grow exponentially.”

Sassoon added, “We are in the process of negotiations to secure bulk offtakes for Bluedrop from LPG Suppliers in the US to complement and fulfill critical aspects of Bluedrop’s value chain and strategy. The US is a major producer of LPG therefore in J. Sassoon, Bluedrop has the right partners to help them source product from a market spoilt with abundance of this critical energy source.”

J. Sassoon expects to help raise up to $100 million (R1,4 billion) in private placement funding for Bluedrop’s second round of funding for its pre-IPO campaign before its shares float on the NYSE. J. Sassoon Group is advising Bluedrop on its planned initial public offering in collaboration and consultation with its U.S. based industry partners and a local broker-dealer firm in South Africa.

Kenneth Maduna, CEO, Bluedrop Energy

Bluedrop’s CEO, Mr. Kenneth Maduna remarked, “The listing on the stock market will elevate our profile within the energy sector and investment community. It will surely expand our investor base. It is a value accretive step in the growth of Bluedrop as a relatively new entrant in the energy markets and it fits in perfectly with our acquisitive growth strategy. We have a very good launch project and it gives us leverage to build an impressive asset base within this high growth market of LPG in South Africa and the SADC region. We are also humbled by the outpouring of support from the South African government and various sector entities. It gives us great confidence in our business to know that our government and our partners share our vision of LPG being at the critical nerve-center of the country’s energy future.”

Mr. Bruce Fein, J. Sassoon Group CEO, commented, “Bluedrop is a Cinderella story that is still in the making for South Africa’s markets. We remain committed to our agreement with Bluedrop and its success. This is the time for South Africa to shine and grow.”

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Old Mutual Investment Group: Africa’s top ESG Responsible Investor

Leading African asset manager Old Mutual Investment Group has been named Best ESG Responsible Investor – Africa 2021 by Capital Finance International , a UK-based journal reporting on business, economics, and finance.

Commenting on the announcement, Managing Director of Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG), Tebogo Naledi says, “The award reflects important and much-appreciated recognition of our commitment to responsible investment, which we have championed with much vigour over the past decades.”

OMIG integrates ESG factors throughout its investment decision-making processes, as well as offering proactive stewardship of investments by exercising proxy voting rights to push for better ESG performance from its investee companies. In addition, its ESG position as a business supports green economic growth aligned with socially inclusive, low-carbon and resource-efficient outcomes.

“We are very proud that the award recognises OMIG’s leadership in the research, analysis, and evaluation of ESG issues,” says Naledi.

Other assessment criteria included excellence, innovation, and overall contribution to long-term health, progress, and stability of the global markets and the experience of investment teams.

“Aside from progress on integration processes our core innovation has been bringing products to the market that capture the opportunity set of the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive growth path.”

Jon Duncan, Head of Responsible Investing at OMIG

Highlights of CFI’s judging panel’s findings include:   

•         Acknowledgement of OMIG’s belief that responsible investing is a moral imperative as well as an opportunity to gain a competitive business edge.

•         Acknowledgement of OMIG’s development of investment solutions that use hard exclusions based on ESG leadership indices and Shari’ah investment principles.

“OMIG is committed to investing for a future that matters. We will continue to drive this agenda and focus our efforts on ensuring that retail and institutional investors are empowered to make sustainable, ethical and financially sound decisions”, concludes Duncan.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa receives recommendations from the Presidential Climate Commission

Statement on the handing over of the Presidential Climate Commission’s first recommendations regarding South Africa’s draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently received the first set of recommendations from the Presidential Climate Commission. The President established the Commission on 15 December 2020 to advise government on pathways to transition to a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society. The Commission is comprised of representatives from business, labour, NGOs, the science community and government, and its recommendation are the product of engagement between the social partners.

The Commission’s first set of recommendations deals with South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is a statement by the country of its commitment to address climate change, made in terms of the Paris agreement and submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Paris Agreement was born out the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action developed at COP17 under South Africa’s leadership.

South Africa continues to advocate for a just transition sensitive to the needs of developing countries, especially those on the  African continent. At COP26, South Africa will submit a credible NDC that reflects increased ambition.

The Commission highlighted the risks South Africa faces from a rapidly decarbonising global economy. Many of South Africa’s trading partners have adopted net-zero targets and will be looking to lower their emissions and impose trade barriers on emissions-intensive products.

The Commission also suggested that additional measures to lower emissions should be undertaken, such as decommissioning coal-fired power stations at the end of their commercial life, increasing renewable energy investment and rolling out green transport initiatives. Setting more ambitious emissions targets will lower the transition risk, improve energy security and attract additional international finance.

Commission Deputy Chair Valli Moosa said: “Higher ambition is possible without negatively impacting the economy, and will set the stage for longer-term competitiveness. Also, higher ambition will lead to a net jobs increase.”

However, the Commission pointed out that international support will be needed to accelerate the transition, including for managing the decommissioning process and social adjustment costs in the coal sector.

President Ramaphosa welcomed the report and commended the Commission on producing its first set of recommendations within such a short timeframe.

“The country’s emissions targets are fundamental not only to our transition to a low-carbon economy; they are also critical in influencing the pace and the nature of our country’s transformation. A more ambitious approach to reducing our emissions must be accompanied by greater attention to the work we must do to protect communities, jobs and the broader economy from the effects of climate change,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President will consider the recommendations made by the Commission. These recommendations, together with other submissions received during the public consultation process, will form part of Cabinet’s deliberations as it finalises the updated and revised NDC.

President Ramaphosa encouraged the Commission to continue with its work, which is crucial for successfully steering the country through the climate transition.

The Commission’s report can be downloaded from www.climatecommission.org.za.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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