Leaders in the fields of power, energy and water will descend on the Cape Town International Convention Centre this month (May) for the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference and exhibition.
More than 10 000 experts are expected during the three-day conference and exhibition, now in its 19th year and taking place at the CTICC from the 14th to the 16th of May 2019.
High on the agenda are ways to mitigate the electricity challenges currently facing South Africa and impacting businesses here. The CTICC itself has not been immune, receiving concerned queries from clients around electricity outages and how these are affecting the business of hosting national and international events.
“The CTICC is fully prepared for any power outages including ‘load-shedding’,” says Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC.
“We have a number of generators that start up automatically. In the event of any interruption to the energy supply, power is restored in less than 60 seconds. That said, the use of generators is not a viable solution to the energy challenges being faced by businesses in South Africa. It is thus important for us to host events such as African Utility Week where leaders in this field can come together and engage around sustainable solutions to the provision of power.”
Senior Communications Manager of African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, Annemarie Roodbol, says the event is the perfect platform to discuss issues of global importance, including electricity provision.
“We provide a platform for the industry to discuss challenges, successes and to share knowledge and network. For example, one of our speakers believes that mini-grids are the answer to South Africa’s load shedding problems. The programme for 2019 follows the industry trend of connecting the full value chain, and reflects the many disciplines required for a modern, smart power industry,” says Roodbol.
For the CTICC it is important to host events that bring experts together.
“The CTICC remains committed to hosting events that drive the knowledge economy, specifically in the nine key catalytic sectors identified by the City and the Province as priorities for trade and investment growth in our region.” says Ellingson. “African Utility Week speaks directly to four of these priority sectors, that is, oil and gas, renewables, electricity and water.”
The CTICC has hosted the event since 2007 and has seen it grown significantly, especially with the introduction of POWERGEN Africa, which will focus on topics from renewable energy to new technologies.
“POWERGEN Africa will add an expanded focus on generation, including renewables, off-grid, fossil fuels and nuclear, while still concentrating on transmission, distribution, metering, new technologies, including storage, mini-grids, micro-grids, IOT and ICT systems, as well as water,” Roodbol confirms.
“We have added three new halls to this ever-expanding show, which now spans Halls 1 to 7 at the CTICC,” says Roodbol. “As organisers, we are based here (in Cape Town) but our clients come from all over the world, from Africa especially. They love coming to Cape Town and the CTICC is a world-class venue.”