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Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer is Creamer Media Publishing Editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

First Word

South Africa must embrace 9 GW of power private sector can offer

By: Martin Creamer     27th January 2023 South Africa’s private sector has a total pipeline of 9 GW of energy projects in solar, wind, gas and battery storage on offer, Minerals Council South Africa has assured. By expediting those projects and reducing reliance on Eskom, the State power utility will be able to turn its focus to the... 

South Africa must fast-track search for critical minerals

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2023 With critical minerals essential for the success of global plans to green the planet, South Africa must help itself and the rest of the world by fast-tracking the search for these minerals. Far too little, if anything, has been done so far by South Africa to meaningfully uncover lithium,... 

South Africa must seize industrial growth opportunity that climate action brings with it

By: Martin Creamer     16th December 2022 South Africa’s public sector and private sector are united in highlighting the industrial growth that mitigating climate change brings with it. The green hydrogen summit not only had South Africa’s public and private sectors singing from the same hymn sheet, but they did so with their... 

South Africa’s badly lagging cities must be incentivised to double down on decarbonisation

By: Martin Creamer     9th December 2022 Only the tiniest fraction of South African real estate is carbon neutral. On the current trajectory, it will take century or more to decarbonise them. It is estimated that 80% of buildings that must be carbon neutral by 2050 have already been built, which means that now is not only the time to... 

Smash crime to smithereens to open way for meaningful economic growth

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2022 Economic growth and crime are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist, which is why South Africa Inc must collaboratively and collectively smash crime to smithereens. The exploding rates of murder, extortion and kidnapping are a threat to our democracy and must be brought to a standstill with... 

Hats off to Motsepe Foundation for launch of $2m green energy prize

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2022 There is nothing more suited to our well-endowed African continent than energy that is green and clean. We have superior sun, prime wind and in many places strongly flowing water. Those are the ingredients needed for renewable power at its cleanest. What the Motsepe Foundation, working with the... 

Way to go is to generate renewables to cut carbon, green hydrogen to cut diesel, petrol

By: Martin Creamer     18th November 2022 Specification is now in place for the responsible retirement of stranded high-carbon assets and the winding down of those that will not live out their entire geological life. Available for this absolutely essential transition is more than $130-trillion – the value of the collective balance sheets... 

Climate change is undeniably the defining challenge of our time

By: Martin Creamer     11th November 2022 More and more people the world over are declaring unequivocally that climate change is undeniably the defining challenge of our time. What’s more, many companies have made praiseworthy strides towards a just transition – and are moving vocally away from old carbon-intensive and methane-heavy... 

Green electrons, green molecules come with colossal advantage of energy sovereignty

By: Martin Creamer     4th November 2022 South Africa is tailor made for the generation of electrons from renewable sun and wind endowments and the linked production of green molecules using renewable solar and wind power. Available to work in conjunction with the storage of green electrons is the opportunity to store green molecules... 

Africa must look to continent’s great sun to provide energy sovereignty

By: Martin Creamer     28th October 2022 Saddling the African continent with old fashioned energy is lunacy. Those in Africa wanting to hold on to fossil fuels should not expect the planet-saving world to make exceptions of a continent that has more renewable energy potential going for it than most. What is more, huge bundles of green... 

Private sector key must be allowed to unlock South Africa’s beckoning opportunities

By: Martin Creamer     21st October 2022 The private sector holds the key and the public sector must be enabled to use it – to unlock South Africa’s many economic opportunities and open the way for the fiscus to get quick additional taxes. If mining was enabled to unlock existing rail and port opportunities, for example R150-billion... 

Development conversation across all ideologies essential

By: Martin Creamer     14th October 2022 Development is the only conversation that South Africa should be having at the moment, former Anglo America CEO, director and consulting business executive Mark Cutifani said at the Joburg Indaba on Thursday – and he drew strong applause from an audience that was made up of business, labour and... 

Cadastre system essential if exploration opportunity is to de grasped

By: Martin Creamer     7th October 2022 The key enabler of transparency in applying for prospecting rights and mining rights is a cadastre system. Everyone in the know is insistent that a prospective country like South Africa simply cannot attract exploration investment without a commercially available official geographic information... 

Replace red tape with red carpet and mines will gleefully provide the electricity we need

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2022 There is nothing more off-putting than needless red tape and there is nothing more encouraging than a government role out the red carpet to would-be investors. Red tape kills the growth and jobs that red carpet treatment boosts. South Africa is immediately short of 6 000 MW of electricity and... 

Producing green hydrogen at sea should be looked at by South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     23rd September 2022 The aspiration to provide green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuel energy has extended so far that the first site for an offshore pilot platform to produce green hydrogen at sea was inaugurated off the coast of France this week. The offshore wind potential is substantial and the sea water... 

South Africa must get beyond the green hydrogen start line fast

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2022 It was good to hear from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation last week that South Africa’s green hydrogen positioning statement is being drafted for presentation at the upcoming 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27), which is scheduled to take place in Egypt from... 

Welcome new approach to community support by corporates

By: Martin Creamer     9th September 2022 Large companies need to be credited for adopting a positive new approach to communities. Mining companies in particular are collaborating with all stakeholders far more meaningfully. Social and labour plans, often done in isolation in the past, are now combined with those of other companies who... 

Well done to Namibia for taking the lead in developing the hydrogen atlas

By: Martin Creamer     2nd September 2022 Southern Africa owes a debt of gratitude to Namibia for taking the lead in the drawing up of the hydrogen atlas for the region. The generosity of the German government to fund the project also needs to be highlighted. Early indications are that the region is tailor made for renewable energy and... 

Thungela’s tree planting is setting excellent example for others to follow

By: Martin Creamer     26th August 2022 The positive steps taken by coal mining and marketing company Thungela to plant trees in the coal province of Mpumalanga is exemplary. The company has a stretch target to plant a million trees in the province, with 20 000 of them are already on their way up. Other companies would do well to... 

The sun and the wind can provide competitive energy security

By: Martin Creamer     19th August 2022 For South Africans, energy security and energy sovereignty are there for the taking because of its superior sun, prime wind, available land, metal endowment, ready-made experience, skills already developed and unfolding of projects. Our own capabilities are already there to convene power, improve... 

Allowing renewable energy to provide a maintenance opportunity makes so much sense

By: Martin Creamer     12th August 2022 With renewable sun, wind and water energy, power generation capacity can be increased in smaller portions, it can be done by the private sector, it is investable so banks back it, 18 months after investment, it can be up and running, economically it is the cheapest, and gaps in generation can be... 

South Africa has the potential to outstrip world in going green

By: Martin Creamer     5th August 2022 The unveiling by President Cyril Ramaphosa of several far-reaching energy interventions has the potential to set the country on a once-in-a-generation economic growth path. South Africa not only has the sun, wind, land and now the blessing for the generation of green electrons in bulk, but it... 

National Planning Commission’s call for 5 000 MW of storage can set up new local industries

By: Martin Creamer     29th July 2022 The call by the National Planning Commission for 5 000 MW of energy storage in South Africa could create new local industries and a wonderful addendum to the just energy transition. Long-duration energy storage is key and both vanadium and platinum group metals can help see to that. The local... 

It’s good for platinum that hydrogen’s been declared the ‘slam dunk’ of heavy haul

By: Martin Creamer     22nd July 2022 South Africans need to keep an ear out for the letter PEM – proton exchange membrane – when it comes to hydrogen. We want PEM electrolysers and we want PEM fuel cells because PEM technology translates into additional demand for platinum group metals, which we host in greatest abundance. Well done... 

One must be excited about green hydrogen as an energy option

By: Martin Creamer     15th July 2022 If one looks at the energy storage options available today, one must be excited about green hydrogen. The storage options are batteries, hydrogen and pumped water storage. As pumping and storing water is as green as it gets, the contest turns to hydrogen versus batteries. For this contest to be... 

A big new industrial pillar is there for the taking, provided South Africans respond vigorously

By: Martin Creamer     8th July 2022 South Africa has everything going for it to turn the green electron and green molecule revolution into a major new industrial pillar that effectively creates within itself the just energy transition potential that is also so necessary. If South Africans grasps this green revolution opportunity... 

Investment-linked applications should be automatically approved if set deadlines are not met

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2022 Systems must be put in place to ensure that bureaucracy does not halt much-needed economic investment. One system that could be considered is for, say, exploration and mining licence applications to have a fixed deadline of, for example, 120 days. Should approval not be granted in that time, the... 

Southern Africa’s pursuit of green hydrogen is the right thing to do

By: Martin Creamer     24th June 2022 Coega and Prieska, in South Africa, and Lüderitz, in Namibia, are locations were green hydrogen and green ammonia projects are planned in Southern Africa – and correctly so. The region has got what it takes to produce these products competitively and the potential reward seems to outweigh the... 

Exploration should be enthusiastically embraced as a major economic opportunity

By: Martin Creamer     17th June 2022 South Africa’s long-standing mining history has failed to bring with it the types of minerals exploration cultures that are prevalent in other main mining jurisdictions. The bulk of the exploration done here – and then overwhelmingly by major mining companies – is what is referred to as... 

There should be zero tolerance for poor export logistics

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2022 An export business is as good as its logistics, which is invariably a combination of public and private sector involvement. Government should not tolerate decimation of foreign exchange flow and the more local businesses export, the more they pay in tax, which is why collaboration by all South... 

Lagging net-zero peers is bad for business

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2022 The World Meteorological Organisation shows that planet earth is increasingly likely to experience global warming of 1.5°C within the next five years because of record greenhouse gas levels. Despite this concerning news, 80% of the South African organisations surveyed by PwC South Africa have not... 

Promising new approach to mining investment by governments and private sector

By: Martin Creamer     27th May 2022 It is not just governments that have realised the need for private sector investment in their countries, but it is also an era in which the private sector is adding a far more responsible touch to the investments they make. Current private sector investment in mining in particular is accompanied... 

Mining Indaba pulling African Presidents closer for benefit of the continent

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2022 The Investing in African Mining Indaba has emerged from the pandemic with a new tangible sense of African cohesion. The four presidents of South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were often seen forming a cohesive unit. The conviviality evident among them bodes... 

The support of the World Coal Association for a just energy transition to net zero must be applauded

By: Martin Creamer     13th May 2022 The stand of the World Coal Association and its members on a just energy transition is a display of important pragmatism at this point in the world’s fight against climate change. Chairperson July Ndlovu must be applauded for his call on the energy sector to work together to ensure that the... 

The dogged diligence that energy providers are showing deserves backing, not sacking

By: Martin Creamer     6th May 2022 Energy planning, execution and delivery are long-term pursuits, and those in position now must be given space to finish the job. The current batch of energy executives are having to deal with inadequacies that were set in motion by those who came before then. Those in charge now are not only very... 

German hydrogen lead is a must-follow for South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2022 Driving around Germany in a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) presents no problem these days. Hydrogen refuelling pumps are there for even small privately owned fuel cell electric vehicles. From a South African viewpoint, the two words ‘fuel’ and ‘cell’ are key, as are ‘proton exchange membrane... 

Best practice in appointing public-service managers a must

By: Martin Creamer     22nd April 2022 One senses that much more effort is made by South Africa’s soccer teams to appoint their coaches than the government puts in to appoint key directors-general. Former President Kgalema Motlanthe is correct to call for urgent reform. Building a capable state requires appointing capable public... 

Treasury must be instructed to incentivise mining exploration as a matter of urgency

By: Martin Creamer     15th April 2022 Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel once promised to introduce a flow-through scheme to incentivise minerals exploration but instead gazetted a scheme that finance boutiques seemed to like. Not a single mining company took it up. Many efforts were made to communicate that other countries had... 

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