Pretoria - The infrastructure at the City of Tshwane-owned Pretoria West power station is in poor condition, making it difficult for the municipality to consider it for power generation at this stage.
This was the sentiment shared by mayor Cilliers Brink in response to a Pretoria News question with regard to the city’s plans about the station.
Brink was mum on the future of the station during his State of the Capital Address last week.
He, however, announced that there were plans to make a request for proposals to the market for the use of Rooiwal power station.
The energy task team appointed by the mayoral committee has been tasked with requesting proposals, to be followed by a public participation process and an agreement with private partners in 2024.
The rationale behind using Rooiwal for power generation was to mitigate the effects of load shedding, according to Brink.
Former mayor Randall Williams came under fire for allegedly meddling into the municipal procurement processes involving the R26 billion unsolicited bid proposal for power generation made by a private company, the Kratos Consortium.
But what are the city’s plans for the Pretoria West power station?
Brink said: “We will follow the similar approach with regard to the Pretoria West power station. But if you look at the state of Pretoria West, the capacity to do anything with the existing infrastructure there is in a far worse state than Rooiwal.”
He said Rooiwal was in a better condition because it has been maintained.
“We stuck to the licence condition of power generation even though that plant has not worked. It’s got staff, it’s got security; it’s being maintained.
“Pretoria West power station is in a different condition. We might need to do something different with Pretoria West and follow a similar approach.”
Secondly, he said, the city’s intention was not only about generating power on its own electricity.
“Because we can’t generate that 4 000 megawatts on our own; it’s also about going out to independent power producers as look at examples of Ekurhuleni and the City of Cape Town.”
In November last year, Pretoria News reported about Eskom’s proposal to acquire land parcels adjacent to Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations for power generation by the independent power producers.
City’s chief of staff Jordan Griffiths at the time confirmed that Eskom indicated it had identified the land parcels around two stations as being sites with strong potential.
“In particular they indicated that due to the largely agricultural areas in these parts that solar power could be one such avenue which could then be plugged into the national grid. Further to that they acknowledged that gas-powered technologies could also be suitable due to the close vicinity in which major gas pipelines are located to these land parcels,” Griffiths said.
The city’s intention to use Rooiwal was part of its three-year plan.