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    Power utility backs plan to fix crisis


    July 28, 2022 - Chulumanco Mahamba

     

      Johannesburg - Eskom said it looked forward to implementing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to address the long-running electricity crisis and partner with the government, regulators, labour and the private sector to bring an end to load shedding.

      This comes as the power utility welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday announcement of further reforms and is in full support of measures to address the long-running electricity crisis.

      “These reforms will go a long way towards easing the power generation constraints the country has been grappling with for some 14 years. The reforms will accelerate the end of load shedding and will expand and grow the electricity generation industry in South Africa through structural changes,” Eskom said.

      The power utility said the particularly pleasing news was that the government made these moves to empower Eskom to quickly obtain additional generation capacity from existing independent power producers (IPP) with excess capacity, to obtain spares and equipment from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the resources to increase the funding of the maintenance budget.

      “To this end, Eskom is engaged in efforts with all interested stakeholders to introduce the necessary skills where we have gaps at the moment. Eskom has already reached out to the National Society of Black Engineers to ascertain if members of the NSBE are interested in assisting Eskom to bolster its skills,” Eskom said.

      Eskom added that it is placing significant emphasis on recovering its Energy Availability Factor (EAF), especially at its coal plants, where performance has been disappointing.

      “The measures announced by the president will enable Eskom to intensify its maintenance efforts to drive improvements in EAF. Eskom’s efforts to acquire battery energy storage systems (BESS) are already at an advanced stage, with further tranches of BESS roll-out to follow imminently. Furthermore, as the president announced, Eskom has already released land with grid connections for long-term leases by independent power producers, with more to follow in the near future,” the power utility said.

      According to Eskom, the reforms announced that removed limits to private sector investments in electricity generation capacity would help unlock investments and help create jobs during the construction of the projects while helping to lower the cost of electricity in the long term.

      “Eskom looks forward to playing its part in the rapid and effective implementation of the president’s plan and will partner with Government, regulators, labour and the private sector to ensure that we can bring an end to load shedding as soon as we can,” the power utility said.

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