Eskom waiting for government on 3 000MW gas-fired plant

The facility could alleviate the electricity shortage.
Image: Moneyweb

Eskom is making preparations for a 3 000-megawatt gas-fired plant, but the debt-stricken utility is still awaiting formal guidelines from the government before it can proceed with the project.

The facility could alleviate a serious shortage of electricity led to a series of rolling blackouts, as the state-owned company has been forced to implement nationwide outages while it repairs a poorly maintained fleet of coal-fired facilities and fixes defects at newly built units.

The combined cycle plant is proposed for Richards Bay, on South Africa’s east coast, according to an August 2019 environmental impact assessment report. Natural gas will be the main fuel source, with diesel as a substitute.

“The timelines will be determined by the relevant government authorities” because the department of energy hasn’t clarified the allocation of new generation capacity as indicated by the country’s Integrated Resource Plan, Eskom said in a reply to questions.

The cost of the project is also unclear. “Once the above process has been concluded, Eskom will be in a better position to determine costs estimates, funding requirements and strategy, gas sourcing activities, technical feasibility,” the company said.

The project would result in “climate change impacts of high significance,” though it would present the best technology option if used in concert with intermittent power from renewable energy, according to the EIA report.

Environmental group groundWork opposes the development due to concerns about emissions and costs. Eskom is saddled with debt of R454 billion and relies on government bailouts to make the interest payments.

The Department of Energy also has yet to determine who will build the proposed plant, according to the utility. “Eskom is currently undertaking feasibility studies to determine viability” of such a plant, along with the environmental assessment, infrastructure requirements, and technical studies, it said.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Gas-fired plant?

I’m getting worried.

Accidents tend to happen when you have “low-tech people working with high-tech equipment”

Well gas fired plants are actually less complicated than coal fired plants.

Of course its still not as simple as a solar panel that only needs to be wiped clean every few months 😛

Eskom can’t wipe their own butts. The tax payer is wiping for them.

You may have a point PJJ 😉

But wondering….perhaps you don’t even want “low tech people” near one’s glass panelled PV-solar arrays!
(Yes it’s hail resistant, but those delicate wiring will get dislodged by careless cloth swiping….and one moment you still have a solar charge-controller, then next you don’t…)

Nope, best left to wipe clean those gas flames…

Who is going to built this plant? The last stuff Eskom had built for them did not work out so well.

I suspect this is just a mini Medupi with ANC middlemen waiting to get their cut; like Shaduka Energy by any chance?

Where will the natural gas come from and how much supply is there?

Give them more money to plunder

This is an interesting article and no idea of the source of information.
DMRE is determined to bring gas in at Coega.
The Gas RFI was 3 or 4 years ago now. Nothing further happened.
A whole rash of developers started preparing EIA for Richardsbay.
The plants should cost $3 billion.
The IRP has gas in it but is ambivalent about where the gas will come from.
It will take 3 years to get to financial close and a further 2 years to construct.
This smacks of #fake news.
Let’s ask Africa Fact check to have a look.

End of comments.

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