Eskom slashes diesel bill to R25m

Eskom continues to cut the use of diesel for OCGTs, which is one of the most expensive ways to generate power.
Eskom continues to cut the use of diesel for OCGTs, which is one of the most expensive ways to generate power.

Cape Town - Eskom has trimmed its total cost of diesel for the open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), which is one of the most expensive ways to generate power, by R829m in the past seven months.  

Group executive Brian Molefe made the announcement during the power utility's quarterly system status briefing in Cape Town on Thursday.

The power utility, which stated in its interim results last year that it spent R1bn a month on diesel, sources the bulk of the fuel volumes from contractors PetroSA, Masana and Afric Oil.

"Energy sent out from OCGTs had decreased from 381 GWh in October 2015 to 6 GWh in April 2016," Molefe said. "This means that the diesel bill reduced from R854m in October 2015 to less than R25m in April 2016."

The usage and costs have both decreased as Eskom improved power generation availability.

Although Eskom anticipates no load shedding, Molefe said that it could be forced to use diesel again should sudden interruptions occur.

"In winter the usage of diesel may increase if we experience unexpected plant breakdowns."

However, Molefe was quick to add that an uptick in diesel use is not necessarily a bad thing.

"The cost of using diesel is less to the economy than load shedding," he said.

Eskom has not implemented load shedding for the past nine months.

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