While the risk of load shedding is always a possibility, it is not likely to occur this winter as power utility Eskom has 10 000 MW available for planned and unplanned load shedding.
This is according to the parastatal’s acting chief executive Phakamani Hadebe.
At a briefing at Megawatt Park on Thursday, Hadebe explained that the strain on the coal supply is linked to problems at Tegeta, which is in business rescue.
Tegeta supplies three stations; Hendrina, Komati and Majuba.
Last week, Eskom issued a statement indicating that seven of its power stations have less than 20 days of stockpile. Overall, the coal stockpile levels are at 35 days, excluding Medupe and Kusile power stations.
The utility has said it is sourcing additional coal from suppliers to ensure that there are outages this winter. It is currently discussing with Tegeta’s business rescue practitioners to ensure there is coal supply at Hendrina station.
Eskom board member Neli Magubane told the Standing Committee on Appropriations last week that the national grid is stable. She also said that Eskom has plans in place to manage primary energy resources and ensure healthy stockpiles.
Independent energy expert Ted Blom told Fin24 on Wednesday that Eskom’s board should have foreseen a risk of coal supply shortages six months ago. He said, despite Eskom’s claims, there is a 50% chance that there will be load shedding this winter. — Fin 24