Image hosted by

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Government Deluded

This was published by enviropaedia today.

A Government Deluded: Alcan’s Continued Threat to South Africa’s Energy Security
- 28 February 2008
By Tristen Taylor
Energy Policy Officer, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg

The recent energy shortage highlighted the utter economic insanity of the proposed Alcan aluminum smelter at Coega. The proposed smelter will consume 1350MW of electricity, or 4% of the nation’s total usage. One smelter employing a thousand people will need as much electricity as the entire city of Port Elizabeth requires.

Simply put, there is not enough electricity in the current system to supply present needs, as witnessed by the recent rolling blackouts that plunged this nation into a crisis and surely whittled down the prospects of economic growth for 2008. Adding another large scale user into the system will add further pressure to an already shaky electricity supply situation, resulting in more blackouts and possible job losses. In fact, there would have been no blackouts in December 2007 and January 2008 if existing aluminum smelters had been turned off.

Local and national opposition to the proposed smelter has been ongoing since 2006, and the question of Alcan’s electricity grab is now part of the national agenda. The technical experts, civil society, unions and the general public are all in agreement, power for existing users before multinationals like Alcan. Even the business press—natural supporters of industrial development and foreign direct investment—has rounded upon the Government and Alcan....

Read the rest here.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home