Sappi tells Eskom: Pay for power

2008-02-06 00:00

Pay us to produce more power.

That’s the message Sappi is voicing along with an increasing number of business leaders.

Ralph Boëttger, CEO of Sappi Limited, said that independent electricity generation is already taking place at companies such as Sappi who are then able to feed the grid.

"Incentives to make additional generation economically viable could be given to them in order to stabilise the energy supply.

"We are generating almost 50% of the electricity we use as a company and in some cases we have mills that are able to produce over 100% of their own electricity requirements," says Boëttger.

"The pulp and paper process produces significant amounts of energy and for some years now at Sappi, we have been selling power back to Eskom, albeit on a limited basis."

He said that subsidies by government to companies to increase their power production capabilities would reduce the load on Eskom.

"Economically the power outages are going to affect production, which in turn will lead to a reduction in profits and a reduction in taxes being paid to the government."

The R20 billion kitties currently held by the treasury will quickly be depleted when massive reductions in tax revenues take effect, said Boëttger.

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