Annual power conference and exhibition changes hands

The PowerGen Africa and Distributech Africa 2018 conference and exhibition, which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre recently, was the final one with Pennwell as the event organiser. Next year’s event is scheduled to take place on 14 – 16 May at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and will be organised by Clarion Events. It will run in conjunction with Africa Utility Week.

According to the organisers, this year’s event was attended by over 2100 industry professionals from all over the world, including 35 sub-Saharan VIPs. The event’s opening keynote plenary session was attended by more than 350 people who were addressed by Jabu Mabuza, the chair of South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom; and James Rege, the chair of the Kenyan electricity transmission company, Ketraco.

Jabu Mabuza

James Rege

Silas Zimu

Bertha Dlamini, Gen-X receives a cheque from Feraye Gurel, Clarion.

The conference sessions, which ran in four simultaneous tracks over three consecutive days, covered strategy, thermal power generation, renewable energy and power delivery. In all, 85 presentations were given to an estimated 650 delegates.

The event also hosted panel discussions in the plenary hall and presentations in the exhibition area. Of particular note, Gen-X, a platform for young, aspirant engineers and professionals to share their insights and experiences alongside the main conference speakers, operated at an open booth on the exhibition floor.

Speaking at the booth, Silas Zimu, the president’s special advisor on energy,  said that young graduates should take every opportunity to advance their careers. He commended the Gen-X organisers for their dedication to the advancement of young professionals.

In the spirit of Nelson Mandela Day, which was celebrated during the three-day event, Clarion Events’ Feraye Gurel presented Bertha Dlamini, Ambassador: South Africa at Women In Africa Initiative, with a cheque to the value of R30 000 as a donation towards the work of Gen-X which she initiated with the conference organisers.

In the exhibition area, 40 international exhibitors showed their products and services to the over 2100 visitors. The exhibition floor also had a dedicated area for business-to-business “matchmaking”, a service arranged by the event organisers. More than 230 delegates took the opportunity to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest in this designated area.





Willie de Beer presented awards for the four best papers of the conference. The winners were:

Eskom’s Tumisang Penelope Maphumulo won an award for her paper “Application and advantages of utilising HSIL methods to improve the system performance (impedance matching)”; Ndamulelo Mararakanye, from the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, won an award for his paper “A methodology for assessing the impact of intermittent renewable energy systems on the grid”; Hans-Jürgen Behnke, from Eskom, won an award for his paper “Fleet-wide O&M optimisation and adaption to new electricity market conditions”; Eaton’s Bunty Kiremire won an award for his paper “Microgrids for commercial and industrial companies: Delivering increased power reliability, lower energy costs and lower emissions”.

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