Eskom: Transmission Expected to be Unbundled Next Month

  • South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Hon Pravin Gordhan has said that Eskom’s transmission business will be “self-standing”‘ within the next month or so.
  • Minister Gordhan was speaking at a sideline event at the African Mining Indaba hosted by law firm ENSAfrica and the Australian High Commission in South Africa.

The South African Government originally announced that it was planning to unbundle the country’s debt riddled energy utility into generation, transmission and distribution divisions, back in February 2019. Read more 

This is good news for independent power producers (IPP’s) who have been sitting on projects for the past four years, waiting for the country’s renewable energy programme REIPPP Round 5 to open. The responsibility of procuring electricity from IPP’s will fall to the new Transmission Company. They will also be responsible for selling power.

At the same event, South Africa’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, Hon Gwede Mantashe announced that that the South African government is in the process of gazetting a revised Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act; which will enable self-generation; and facilitate municipal generation options under “Distributed Generation”. This will help close the energy gap caused by deteriorating Eskom plant performance. Depending on the circumstances, the generation plant may only require registration and not licensing.

“We must allow our mining companies to generate energy for self-use — you don’t need a licence for that — you just register and you run ahead,” Minister Mantashe elaborated.

“Secondly, we have taken a decision we will talk to investors to start a generating company outside of Eskom. That is a security measure, as Eskom is grappling with all the crises and problems, we must have a fail-safe option of delivering energy, ” he added. The minister did not elaborate on how this new energy generation SEO would be structured.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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