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SA mines plan R40bn investment in power generation

To construct 2 000 megawatts of power generation capacity, said Roger Baxter.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Mining companies in South Africa are considering spending as much as R40 billion to construct 2 000 megawatts of power generation capacity, said Roger Baxter, chief executive officer of Minerals Council South Africa.

Mining companies have been pushing to develop their own power plants because of persistent power cuts imposed by state power utility Eskom. Those plans have been given impetus by this year’s decision by the government to allow the construction of plants of up to 100 megawatts in capacity without generation licenses.

Baxter was speaking at a webinar convened by the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission on Thursday.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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R 40 B for 2 Gw of generation capacity, most likely also including considerable energy storage.
Medupi and Kusile were originally budgeted for at R 165 B together. Official Eskom figures show that already R 260 B is spent on them, excluding the R 40 B that is still needed for FGD at Medupi, and the R 3 B needed to replace the exploded generator no 4 at the same power station. Energy expert Chris Yelland already calculated a few years back that Medupi and Kusile had at least cost R 460 B for what never will be more than 9 GW.
Already in 2019 it was revealed that REIPPs, Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers, had spent more than R 200 B on about 5-5.5 GW of clean generation. Mind you the prices of renewables were much, much higher 5-10 years back.
All electricity generation must come from competing, private energy companies ASAP.
Eskom can still remain as the transmission company, maybe in a 51/49% public/private partnership. Distribution can also be partially privatised, and taken away from dysfunctional munis and metros.

End of comments.

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