No power stations running low on coal, says Eskom CEO De Ruyter

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that it was regrettable that load shedding was still being implemented today.

FILE: Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter at a briefing on 31 January 2020. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that most Eskom power stations had coal supplies of an average of 51.7 days and none were below the required 20 days.

De Ruyter was presenting the status of the power utility on Monday.

He said that it was regrettable that load shedding was still being implemented today.

De Ruyter said that key challenges included theft and vandalism that cost the power utility R2 billion a year and that Eskom was working closely with law enforcement on prevention methods.

He said that municipal debt still remained high at R35.2 billion.

"As of the 31st f January of this year, municipalities owed Eskom an amount of R35.2 billion, which is an unsustainable situation, clearly."

CODE RED

Energy expert, Chris Yelland, painted a very bleak picture of the situation at Eskom describing it as being on "code red" for the next six weeks.

The power utility’s ability to generate electricity has deteriorated since it implemented power cuts last Wednesday.

The stage 2 blackouts, which were meant to last until Friday evening, were on Sunday extended until Wednesday morning.

Yelland said the "code red" meant that power cuts could take place at any time.

"What it means is that Eskom likes to have, or need in fact, 2,000 megawatts of reserve capacity and this is to account for any sudden changes in the availability of power on the power system and when they have less than 2,000MW, they are running into serious problems and that is coloured red on their forecast."

Yelland also said that South Africa would see load shedding for the next two to three years.

He said that the new generation capacity was running late.

"From the state procurements, the so-called risk mitigation IPP programme and the renewable IPP programme, these are state procurements, there's also the new coal programme and the new gas programme, all of these are running late, seriously late."

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