Eskom says there will be no load-shedding this year. The power utility gave this assurance at a media briefing on the state of its power supply in Johannesburg on Thursday. Eskom supplies more than 90% of the country’s electricity, predominantly by burning coal.
To avoid a black-out, Eskom has to maintain a coal stockpile of 20 days to avoid crisis. Eskom says the overall stockpile levels across its operations are at 35 days excluding the plants under construction Medupi and Kusile.
This is despite glaring coal supply issues at some of its power stations. The power utility says it has implemented plans to manage a shift in plant performance and coal stock levels making load shedding unlikely this winter.
The power utility says there are plans to improve stockpile levels at the power stations that are currently below minimum stock levels. Its coal recovery plan includes securing additional coal supplies and a redirection of coal stock from other power stations’ coal yards to address the imbalance at the six power stations.
Energy expert Chris Yelland says the measures that Eskom is taking to manage the lack of coal supply are convincing.
Eskom is also concluding an interim coal supply agreement with Tegeta‘s Business Rescue Practitioners to enable coal supply to the Hendrina Power Station whilst the business rescue process is in progress.
In addition, it is negotiating tenders for 100-million tons of coal that is required for the next five years.