South African power utility Eskom splits off transmission division

PUBLISHED: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 13:14:17 GMT
Emma Rumney
A general view of the headquarter of the embattled South African main electricity provider ESKOM is pictured on February 4, 2015 in Johannesburg. South Africa power supply was under “extreme” pressure on February 2, 2015 and likely to remain so until end of the week after a technical fault at the country’s sole nuclear plant, electricity utility Eskom said. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo by Gianluigi GUERCIA / AFP) (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 20 (Reuters) – South African power utility Eskom said on Monday it had executed the separation of its transmission division, subject to certain conditions, in line with an end-December deadline set in a restructuring plan.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in 2019 that the debt-laden utility would be split into three divisions – generation, transmission and distribution – to improve management of a company that has relied heavily on government bail outs and frequently implements nationwide power cuts.

Under the plan, its generation and transmission units had to be separated by the end of December 2021 and the distribution division by December 2022.

Read more: South Africa’s Eskom escalates power cuts to preserve diesel

Eskom said in a statement to debt investors it had now executed an order to transfer the transmission division to wholly-owned subsidiary the National Transmission Company South Africa SOC Limited.

It said this remained subject to conditions, including obtaining the applicable consents from creditors.

The statement did not elaborate on other conditions or the progress of the separation of its generation unit.

Eskom Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter has previously said the transmission company will also need a licence from the country’s power regulator before it can start operating, but the company was exploring options to see if it can start operating while waiting for the licence.

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