South Africans will learn if load shedding will be a reality this winter as Eskom Acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe is expected to brief the public on the state of the system from Megawatt Park on Thursday.
The state power utility has been dealing with a coal supply shortage. Last week Eskom issued a statement indicating that seven of its power stations have less than 20 days of stock piles. Overall the coal stockpile levels are at 35 days, excluding Medupe and Kusile power stations.
Eskom has also claimed that its coal supply problems are linked to the fact that Tegeta, which owns Optimum Coal Mine, is in business rescue. Tegeta supplies three stations; Hendrina, Komati and Majuba, Willy Majola, acting group executive of transmission told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises in April.
Eskom board member Neli Magubane told the Standing Committee on Appropriations last week that the national grid is stable. She also said that Eskom has plans in place to manage primary energy resources and ensure healthy stock piles. The details of this plan are to be revealed at today’s briefing.
Meanwhile independent energy expert Ted Blom told Fin24 on Wednesday that Eskom’s board should have foreseen a risk of coal supply shortages six months ago. He said there is a 50% chance there will be load shedding this winter.
The briefing is set to start at 10:30.
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