- The City of Tshwane in South Africa (formerly Pretoria), plans to lease out two shuttered coal-fired power plants as it struggles to meet demand for electricity amid a nationwide energy crisis.
- The 300MW Rooiwal and 180MW Pretoria West Power Station which have not been operational for more than a decade.
- Both stations have been designed to use anthracite but can be converted to gas power.
The City is proposing to lease the two facilities out to privateers for 40 years with the view of the city entering a public private partnership as the sole off taker.
At a press briefing yesterday, Tshwane Mayor, Cilliers Brink commented “Every time higher stages of load-shedding hit us, it destroys our infrastructure, leads to prolonged outages and frustration. This project to move in a different direction is so important to our future.”
The Tshwane Council has already approved a public participation report for the proposed lease of the power stations. They could possibly be converted to gas power generation.
Both facilities belong to the City and they have not been in operation since 2012. Both plants are in a state of disrepair. Brink puts this down to the cost of stockpiling coal to operate the stations as well as mismanagement and incompetence. City of Tshwane chief economist Lardo Stander, said that Rooiwal costs the city around R130 million per annum in salaries, maintenance and licensing.
In October and November 2022, South African utility Eskom was looking to facilitate a similar deal. The general manager of Eskom real estate sought to connect Tshwane with companies that could lease the two power stations’ land and operate as Independent Power Producers. The Pretoria West and Rooiwal sites reportedly had “strong potential” for both solar and gas projects.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal