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Eskom talks up emergency power progress to ease load shedding

Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) have concurred on the procurement of 11,813MW of electricity generation infrastructure, which is set to help the country’s growing power problems.

The power utility said there has been progress with the procurement of the 2,000MW emergency power, which it hopes will start being connected to the national grid by December 2021.

Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter said this additional power was a significant step towards ending load-shedding in South Africa.

“Given the current supply constraints, this additional generation capacity is urgently required and will be an important contribution towards ending load shedding and ensuring energy security for the country,” he said.

However, he warned that further capacity was still needed to help ease the country’s current supply constraints.

“While the 2,000MW emergency procurement is a step in the right direction, Eskom would like to stress the immediate need to urgently accelerate the procurement of at least 3,000MW of further generation capacity to help ease the supply constraints the country is currently going through.

“As Eskom has often stated, enabling the emergency procurement of 5,000MW additional generation capacity is critical to keep the lights on and help power the rebuilding of an economy decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Bringing in additional generation capacity will also help take the pressure off Eskom and create space for the maintenance of its ageing power stations, while powering a growing economy,” the power utility said.

In his 2020 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country aims to procure emergency power from projects that can deliver electricity into the grid within three to twelve months of approval.

Read: ‘New’ power plants will help with South Africa’s load shedding: deputy president