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Eskom: No load shedding despite coal shortage

Eskom says its diverting excess coal to the power stations that are running low, they're looking for other coal suppliers and using open cycle gas turbines if necessary.

Eskom offices at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom insists load shedding is no longer part of its vocabulary and says measures are being put in place to avoid rolling blackouts and to address the current coal supply shortage.

National Treasury has also approved a request to obtain additional coal from elsewhere as three of the six affected power stations were receiving stock from Gupta-owned Tegeta that has now has filed for business rescue.

However, some concerns have been raised about how much time Eskom has to address this before the situation becomes dire.

Winter is coming and that means electricity demand will increase and certain power stations will have to undergo maintenance. With the current coal shortage, this poses a major risk for load shedding.

Energy advisor Ted Blom says drastic measures are needed.

“I reckon, according to my calculations, if there’s not a drastic intervention we could face a blackout within 10 days.”

However, Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says this isn't the case.

“Within Eskom, there are no discussions at all in relation to load shedding and it doesn’t help if you have people who are supposed to know how the system works to say that there’s going to be load shedding in 10 day or things like that.”

Eskom says its diverting excess coal to the power stations that are running low, they're looking for other coal suppliers and using open cycle gas turbines if necessary.

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