New Eskom Board Will Fail to Meet its Boosted Generation Targets

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  • Bloomberg reports that South Africa’s state owned, Eskom, will miss its own target set to  boost output from its struggling fleet of mostly ageing coal-fired plants by the end of March.
  • The utility highlights the poor state of equipment as the reason.
  • The coal fired power generation plants are currently being reviewed by German energy consultants vgbe.

Eskom told lawmakers in January it planned to increase production from six struggling facilities by 1862MW by the end of March. “Six power stations have been identified for particular focus over the coming months through a comprehensive Generation Recovery Plan, with oversight from the new Eskom board,” said Eskom. That would be enough to meet the needs of South Africa’s second-biggest city of Cape Town, where peak demand in winter is 1800MW.

That goal “will not be achieved,” the Johannesburg-based company said in an emailed response to questions by Bloomberg.

The confirmation has been echoed by now dismissed GCE of Eskom, Andre De Ruyter, in a sweeping interview on national television where he made the prediction plus accused senior ministers of being involved in the mafia style corruption and looting of Eskom.

Meanwhile the National Treasury has appointed an international consortium led by the vgbe energy association to conduct an independent assessment of the operational situation of the state-owned utility, Eskom. The South African Treasury recently announced a 254 billion bailout for Eskom. Read more

“The services provided by vgbe energy and its partners include a review of all coal-fired power plants with regard to performance, operation and maintenance, as well as a skill assessment and advice on operational improvements,” the group said in a response to queries.

The consortium includes RWE Technology International GmbH, STEAG GmbH, KWS Energy Knowledge eG, and Dornier Power and Heat GmbH. They are expected to complete the assessment by mid-year.

Under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, the country’s state owned power utility, Eskom, has been  plagued by major incidences of theft, questionable equipment failure and acts of sabotage which, along with a legacy of poor planning, maintenance and corruption, over the last decade, has spiralled the country into a major energy crisis where daily blackouts are costing the economy a massive R950 million a day.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: Bloomberg


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