SA’s first privately built coal-fired power plants must have the latest technology to reduce harmful emissions, energy minister Jeff Radebe says, as a wave of court challenges threaten to derail the projects. Environmental activists have taken legal action against the new Thabametsi and Khanyisa coal-fired projects, and are also lobbying banks and developers against investing in them. Coal-fired power plants already provide about 90% of SA’s electricity. The country, which has vast coal reserves, is Africa’s top emissions polluter although it aims to diversify its energy mix. The two projects have been in the works since 2016 and form part of an initiative to increase baseload generation capacity. "When we are using coal we are going to be ensuring that we utilise new technologies to mitigate against those gas emissions," Radebe told reporters after briefing parliament’s energy committee on Tuesday. Asked about Thabametsi, which is expected to produce about 9.9-million tons of carbo...

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