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    Ramokgopa says three units at Kusile could be back by December

    May 22, 2023 - Brenda Masilela


      Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa returned to Kusile Power station on Monday and said repairs on three damaged units were still in process, and the first unit would be running by November.

      PRETORIA – Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa returned to Kusile Power Station on Monday and said repairs on three damaged units were still in process, and the first unit would be running by November.

      The three units have not been working since December, which has placed a lot of strain on the grid, leading to higher stages of blackouts.

      Ramokgopa said the three units could be back running by December. If this was achieved, this could result in lower load shedding stages, boosting the fight against the crippling blackouts.

      “Last time when I was here, management indicated that they will be bringing those three units back. The last unit will be brought back by the 24th of December, and the other one brought back, I think, on 28 November, and the other one will be back by 11 December 2023.

      “We are on track to deliver on that promise. If we are able to get these three units back, I think we would have made significant advances in the resolution of load shedding,’’ he said.

      Meanwhile, last week, in a bid to alleviate the country’s worsening energy crisis, the National Department of Transport announced that it had approved Karpowership South Africa’s application to access the three ports of Ngqura (Gqeberha), Durban and Saldanha Bay for 20 years.

      Karpowership has increasingly been hailed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ramokgopa and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe as a viable option to assist the country by providing emergency power from its gas-to-power ships.

      Karpowership SA faced extensive criticism and setbacks to all three of its projects to supply 1,220MW of emergency electricity to the country since it was named a preferred bidder in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme – a particular challenge was that the company had their environmental authorisation denied.

      Supplying 1,220MW of emergency electricity would be able to bring down one stage of load shedding for the country, although many criticised that this is not worth the huge expense that securing these gas-to-power ships would mean for the 20-year-duration of its contracts.

      Ramokgopa previously said one of the interventions being considered for the energy crisis is the emergency procurement of power and that power ships were part of the solutions in the mix. However, he said that emergency power contracts should not be longer than five years.


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