Eskom dealing with coal shortages at seven power stations

Posted by Sarah Bateman on

State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday said it had put measures in place to deal with the coal shortages at seven of its power stations, in Mpumalanga, and has assured the public that this would not result in load-shedding.

The utility has conceded that coal stock levels at its Arnot, Tutuka, Majuba, Hendrina, Camden, Kriel and Komati stations are below the required target of 20 days as stipulated in the grid code.

This follows after Tegeta Resources, which supplies coal to several of these power stations, entered into business rescue last month.

Eskom has also attributed the coal shortages to historical underinvestment at cost-plus mines.

The utility described the shortages as “not ideal”, especially as Eskom prepares for the traditionally higher electricity use period in winter.

Eskom is highly cognisant of the significant impact insufficient coal supply would have on its operations and the entire country,” it stated.

It pointed out, however, that the level of coal stock days at more than half of its 15 coal-fired power stations was above the grid code target of 20.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to have all stations at the required stock day levels and Eskom has implemented a recovery plan to secure additional coal suppliers for the affected power stations, as well as to redirect coal stock from some of its other power stations with higher stocks to the affected power stations in Mpumalanga.

“The recent media reports on impending load-shedding [owing] to a shortage of coal are unfounded. Eskom has contracted 84% of the coal that it requires over the next five years. Eskom is working to expedite the coal procurement process at Eskom’s supplier mines,” Eskom interim group CE Phakamani Hadebe said.

Source: Creamer Media's Engineering News

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