We are well prepared: Eskom - CNBC Africa

We are well prepared: Eskom

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Eskom's says the power utility is well prepared for this year's winter.

However, the power utility might not entirely be able to withstand the long winter season that might see it strained.

(READ MORE: Eskom to implement sustainability strategy)

Increasing cold temperatures exacerbate the power utility’s challenge of keeping the country’s lights on.

Andrew Etzinger, senior general manager at Eskom told CNBC Africa that increasing cold temperatures would put strain on the power utility’s grid.

“It’s getting dark earlier which means more time on lighting,” Etzinger noted.

“We have over the past nine months put a notice to industries asking them to reduce power by 10 per cent,” he said.

Etzinger noted that the natural demand was lower during weekends because most business operating between Monday to Friday would be closed.

“Industries as far as possible takes advantage of the tariffs structure which pushes demand out of our peak time zone.”

The country has also been exploring renewable energy as an option to the environmentally detrimental coal offering.

“Renewable energy is starting to kick in with 600 megawatts already being produced. This amount of energy lights about 150,000 homes.”

“There is a gap in the South African electricity space especially for an environmentally benign technology. For us and for South Africa, gas power generation will be a game changer.”

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To help end power deficits, Eskom is working on its Medupi project to ensure its functionality by next year.

Medupi is a greenfield coal-fired power plant project located west of Lephalale, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

(READ MORE: S.Africa's Medupi power project delayed, not rejected: Eskom)

Medupi is the fourth dry-cooled, base load station built in 20 years by Eskom after Kendal, Majuba and Matimba power stations. 

The Medupi station’s expected total capacity is 4,800 megawatts making it one of three large-scale power plants Eskom is building.

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