ESKOM to avoid load shedding at all costs this winter

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom CEO Brian Molefe says the utility will use diesel in winter if necessary to avoid load shedding, even if the costs are high.

Molefe briefed Parliament’s public enterprises committee today, saying Eskom does not expect to implement load shedding as the country moves towards the end of summer and into winter.

However, the utility has been relying less on diesel operated open cycle gas turbines after it was only able to claw back a fraction of the billions spent.

Last week, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced that Eskom can only recover R1.2 billion of the R8 billion it was asking for, which was used to operate open cycle gas turbines.

Today, the utility’s CEO says they will avoid load shedding “at all costs”.

“In winter, if we do need them, we will switch them on. The issue, however, with Nersa’s decision, is that it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to claim back that expenditure. But we have decided as a company that if we really need to we will use diesel and we will see where we find the money.”

Molefe says they are already relying less on diesel; it was spending about R800 million a month on the fuel and it’s now down to R40 million.

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