Durban: 1st city in South Africa to have private energy contract
Ethekwini, the South African municipality that includes the port city of Durban, has become the first in the country to seek proposals for private power generation.
The municipality on Friday released a request for information for the supply of 400 megawatts of power in a bid to ease reliance on national utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which has subjected the country to intermittent power outages for more than a decade. It will also allow the city of 3.8 million people, which houses Africa’s largest port, to get more of its energy from renewable sources as Eskom relies almost entirely on coal.
Ethekwini is seeking a “diverse mix of sustainable, dispatchable and reliable power generation technologies,” the municipality said on its website, indicating that while it isn’t stipulating which technology should be proposed it does want the power to be available on demand.
The request follows the decision by the South African government last year to allow cities to buy power from providers other than Eskom.
Johannesburg and Cape Town have similar plans. The City of Johannesburg will issue a request for information for the construction of a 150-megawatt solar plant, 50 megawatts of rooftop solar panels and the refurbishment of an idle gas-fired plant that could generate 20 megawatts in September, the municipality said in a presentation early last month. It will also seek information for the installation of 100 megawatts of battery storage.
With the milder but more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5 spreading across the continent, the 53 countries in the WHO European region are currently registering just under 500,000 cases daily, according to the organisation's data. That is up from around 150,000 cases daily at the end of May. Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal were the countries with the highest incidence rates, with almost all countries in the region seeing a rise in cases.
China's embassy in New Zealand rebuked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for comments she made at the NATO summit about Chinese assertiveness, calling them "misguided" and "wrong". Ardern said on Wednesday in Madrid that China has "in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms." New Zealand, which is heavily reliant on China for trade, has often shied away from direct criticism of Beijing.
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Judges in Florida and Kentucky on Thursday moved to block those states from enforcing bans or restrictions on abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had established a nationwide right to it. In Kentucky, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from enforcing a ban passed in 2019 and triggered by the Supreme Court's decision.
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