Molefe outlines Eskom’s maintenance plan in Parly
Eskom is likely to keep the lights on over the holidays.
CAPE TOWN - Eskom boss Brian Molefe says the power utility is planning the maintenance of its ageing fleet in way that makes load shedding either minimal or unnecessary.
He's told Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee the country's unlikely to have to endure more load shedding's at least until the beginning of May next year.
Molefe told Members Parliament this could extend through to November but he's cautioned the embattled power utility could experience problems in winter.
The utility's CEO says maintenance will be stepped up in December, when there's lower demand for electricity over the holidays. He says this will ensure more units are available to ease the strained grid.
Eskom's likely to be able to keep the lights on over the holidays.
He says Eskom doesn't expect to have to implement load shedding until 30 April next year and the blackout-free run could extend until November.
"Today is 87 days of only two and half hours of loading shedding and in fact it is day number 50 with absolutely no load-shedding."
Molefe says the focus has been on proper planning to carry out maintenance without requiring load shedding.
And while there may be problems in winter, he says plans are in place to deal with this.
SA URGENTLY NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER
Meanwhile, Eskom CEO's says South Africa urgently needs more nuclear power in its energy arsenal.
He came out in support of the government's planned nuclear build programme while briefing parliament's public enterprises committee earlier today.
LISTEN: EWN's Gaye Davis on Molefe's assertions that there'll be no load shedding until April.
When asked about the controversial nuclear build programme, with its estimated price tag of R1 trillion, Molefe didn't beat around the bush.
"It is feasible to fund and operate further nuclear plants in South Africa and, in fact, it is urgent we do so."
He insists the programme is doable and says a nuclear reactor has a life of more than 60 years, but can be paid off around 20 years.
Eskom says the average age of its base load power stations is 34 years, that means unplanned breakdowns, a lot of maintenance, and the risk of load-shedding.