Tswane City Mayor wants to lease out two redundant coal power stations and buy the power

  • 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. 

At a press briefing yesterday at the Rooiwal plant, Tshwane Mayor, Cilliers Brink, announced that 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.

Brink explained that they want to reduce Tshwane’s dependence on Eskom and alleviate the burden of load shedding. 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.

Brink informed the media that both facilities belong to the City and they have not been in operation since 2012. He put this down to the cost of stockpiling coal to operate the stations as well as mismanagement and incompetence.

“We are spending the money, we are preserving the power stations, but what are we doing with them?” Brink asked.

Rooiwal Power Station near Pyramid, Pretoria, South Africa. Image credit: JMK

City of Tshwane chief economist Lardo Stander, said that Rooiwal costs the city around R130 million per annum in salaries, maintenance and licensing.

According to the Department of Mineral Resources And Energy’s 2022 Gas Master Plan, the City of Tshwane was planning to revive plans to lease and upgrade its power station with the aim of transforming the feedstock usage from anthracite to fossil gas.

In August 2022, controversy struck when an unsolicited bid worth R26 billion planned to bring the plant, along with the twin Rooiwal power station, back online for 30 years. The power station would be run on gas by a private company called the Kratos Consortium. Opponents of the proposal highlighted sustainability concerns and questioned the lack of formal bidding process. After being accused of influencing senior municipal officials to endorse the plan, the mayor of Tshwane withdrew the proposal.

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

Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Copyright Green Building Africa 2024.