Parliament given 'very misleading' information on Medupi, Kusile cost - analyst

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts was given "outdated and incorrect" figures on the cost of completing coal power mega stations Medupi and Kusile, according to energy expert Chris Yelland. 

The committee briefed the media at Eskom's headquarters at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg on Thursday, following visits to Medupi and Kusile. 

"The figures show Medupi costing an estimated total of R146bn, and Kusile R161bn. The point I am making is that those figures appear in the Eskom statements of 2018-19 and they are very, very, very misleading figures," said Yelland.

Yelland said he spoke to two executives at Eskom about the fact that the estimated cost figures dated as far back as 2016 and said they had acknowledged that the figures were outdated.

"Those figures are exactly the same as the figures in the 2015/16 financial statements," he said. 

Yelland said the figures quoted by Scopa did not include the fact that Medupi needs to be retrofitted with pollution control measures for coal and sulphur content, which is beyond the legal limit. He said the estimated cost is R38bn for Medupi, which should be added to the cost for the project.

"These figures also do not take into account the unauthorised expenditure on these projects and the cost of rectifying the problems caused by this.

"The real figure [for both power stations] is closer to R450bn. You need to take into account the retrofitting for Medupi, because that has already been added to Kusile," he said.

Fin24 reached out to Eskom for comment on Thursday afternoon. Should the power utility respond, this story will be updated.

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