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De Ruyter: Eskom's performance is disappointing, we're trying 'extraordinary measures' to improve

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16 May 11:48

Briefing comes to an end

16 May 11:29

De Ruyter - the performance has been disappointing, but we are really going to go through extraordinary measures to improve. 

We are grateful for support from National Treasury. 


16 May 11:27

eThekwini has almost fully recovered, still no load shedding in the municipality 

16 May 11:22

Oberholzer - 

It costs a million rand an hour to run a single open gas turbine.

If all 14 turbines are running then its R14 million an hour

16 May 11:16

De Ruyter: 

I agree, SA is tired of load shedding. We have been advocating for the urgent additional capacity. 

There is also significant international precedents in adding capacity by removing regulatory obstacles. 

We don't think a "joint media briefing" is the way to go. We are engaging with experts and making proposals to resolve the crisis sooner rather than later. 

It is not our place to coordinate joint media briefings with govt departments. 

16 May 11:13

De Ruyter - in terms of load shedding - it is a balancing act that requires compromises on all fronts. 

If we took out everything we needed for maintenance, there would be much more load shedding, there is no manpower and no liquidity. 

We do have contingencies in the event of a blackout. 

We can give the assurance that a national blackout is a low probability, and that we will be able to recover and we regularly test our black start readiness. 

16 May 11:05

De Ruyter - there is a balance in keeping the lights on. Our finances are better. Not sure where Numsa gets the idea that there is cash available. 

We must compensate workforce fairly with regards to the financial health of Eskom. 

We cannot accede to a demand of a 15% wage increase

16 May 11:04

De Ruyter on Numsa: 

Continuation of negotiating in the media. 

We have given an employees a 26% increase over the past three years. 

Management have not received any bonuses and increases. 

We offered a 1.5% offer. It is now with the CCMA. It was implemented unilaterally as is our right, and they are challenging as is their right. 

In order to ensure there is no false narrative - we communicate what Eskom is offering, directly to workers. 

16 May 11:00

Oberholzer - We are tracking maintenance of Open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) - so that proper maintenance is done. There are unexpected breakdowns - but we are tracking. 

16 May 10:52

System operator's GM Isabel Fick: 

High morning and afternoon peak. Bigger industries don't close at night - there is a still high load. 

This is time to use all your appliances (evening peak) - preparing supper etc. This is why we shed in the evening. 

In the middle of the night, the load goes down

16 May 10:49

Riedewaan Bakardien - chief nuclear officer: 

Still busy with the maintenance scope of work.

Biggest outage in terms of the scope of work needed to be done. Replacement of reactor head is progressing. 

We have done some pretty big modification and work for life extension for Koeberg - incl turbine components and non-nuclear. 

In about two weeks - fuel will return to Koeberg unit. 

16 May 10:43

Bheki Khumalo - group exec for capital: 

General Electric is a manufacturer of the Kusile Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD)

Total build budget for Kusile - R161billion - and Eskom is currently sitting at R146bn

FGD cost around R40bn

16 May 10:37

Oberholzer - shortfall for tonight is just under 4000MW

16 May 10:35

On the PFMA exceptions: 

Jainthree Sankar Eskom general manager for procurement - approval helps Eskom dealing with urgent procurement. 

It allows to continue with procurement while legislation is dealt with - helps to ensure procurement is not the bottleneck that leads to load shedding

16 May 10:31

Mathebula: 

We are still running with 6000MW at risk. And we need to minimise the amount on risk. 


16 May 10:15

Oberholzer talks about fixing boiler tube leaks

16 May 10:11

Oberholzer talking now: 

On Friday evening Kusile 1 tripped, and the turbine failed. 

This unit is only expected to return on Tuesday

16 May 10:09

Reserves are in a reasonable shape

- Vessel to dock in Saldanha bay soon to replenish fuel reserves. 

16 May 10:09

De Ruyter mentions Fin24's amaBhungane story on Kriel power station (see below)

That station has two units out. 


16 May 10:07

De Ruyter on stations:

Two units out at Arnot

Unit 2 out at Duvha (for more than 6 months now)

We have Koeberg Unit 2 out on refuelling outage 

Previous explosion at Medupi unit 4 

Tutuka has three units online - doing better than historically the case

Two units out at Matla

Matimba - we continue to have challenges with cooling fans since the 70s. 

Majuba is performing poorly. Two units out - 511MW partial load losses in addition

Letabo is having a difficult time - two units out unplanned. One unit out planned - 1500MW out of usually reliable energy

Kusile only have 540MW coming out - 3 units in commercial operation, one not in commercial use - but Unit 1 and 3 are out on unplanned. 

16 May 10:03

De Ruyter: We can cope with demand in the day. And this type of load shedding can have less of an impact on business. 

16 May 10:02

De Ruyter talking. Runs through what the system is doing now: 

Planned maintenance: 2094MW

Full losses - 11 852 MW 

Partial losses - 4455 MW

Total unplanned losses - 16 307 MW

Evening peak demand under 31 000 MW - so there is a shortfall

That is why there is Stage 3 load shedding from 17:00 until 22:00 tonight and tomorrow. 

The reason for those times is because that is the winter peak demand pattern

16 May 09:59

Briefing about to start

16 May 09:52

Recurring cast of characters for these Eskom briefings: 

Spokesperson - Sikonathi Mantshantsha 

CEO - Andre de Ruyter

COO - Jan Oberholzer 

CFO - Calib Cassim

Interim group executive for generation - Rhulani Mathebula 

Group executive for distribution - Monde Bala

Group executive for transmission - Segomoco Scheppers 

16 May 09:29

amaBhungane | How fuel thieves siphon off millions from Eskom power station

A sophisticated crime syndicate – in cahoots with Eskom officials, police and trucking companies – is stealing millions of rands worth of fuel by exploiting a design flaw at the Kriel Power Station in Mpumalanga. And it all has to do with a weigh bridge on the wrong side of a gate.

In March amaBhungane revealed how armed gangs were stealing fuel from buried pipelines owned by Transnet.

After the story was published, we received tipoffs that led us to another form of fuel theft, at Kriel Power Station, which have evaded detection for many years.

In coal-fired power stations fuel-oil is used at start-up or during unstable furnace conditions to ignite or stabilise the coal flame. At Kriel the fuel-oil is stored in four storage tanks with a combined capacity of 1 350 tons.

Read more

16 May 08:58

Fin24's latest:

Load shedding to resume at 17:00 and escalate to Stage 3 on Monday night

South Africans are in for more intense power cuts this week. Eskom will implement Stage 3 load shedding on Monday and Tuesday evening.

The power utility said it will resume with Stage 2 load shedding 17:00 until 22:00 tonight but it is forced to escalate this to Stage 3 on Monday and Tuesday evening due to a further loss of generating capacity. Thereafter, load shedding will be reduced to Stage 2 for the rest of the week.

Read more
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