Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

No power blackouts in SA until April 2016 – Eskom CEO

Molefe also backs government plans for nuclear expansion.

CAPE TOWN – South African power utility Eskom does not expect to implement electricity blackouts until April 2016 and wants the government to proceed with a planned nuclear fleet expansion, its chief executive told parliament on Wednesday.

Africa’s most advanced economy is battling its worst electricity crisis, with Eskom scrambling to keep the lights on in millions of homes and businesses.

After embarking on a massive maintenance programme to keep its ageing coal-fired power plants running, Eskom was earlier this year forced to implement frequent power cuts countrywide, known locally as “load shedding”.

However, the utility has only cut power to certain areas for only 2 hours and 20 minutes in the past 87 days.

“We will continue to supply the country’s electricity and maintain our plant with minimal or no load shedding,” Eskom’s Chief Executive Brian Molefe said.

The Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, whose ministry oversees state-owned companies, said in August that Eskom will continue to impose power cuts for the next 18 months as it struggles with capacity shortages.

Molefe reiterated on Wednesday that Eskom supported the government’s plan to add 9 600 megawatts (MW) of new nuclear power to the grid by 2030, saying atomic energy was an important part of South Africa’s energy mix.

Eskom has said it expects to have 53 600 MW on the grid by 2025 compared with about 45 000 MW at present.

Eskom operates the continent’s only nuclear power plant at Koeberg station close to Cape Town.

Molefe said a nuclear programme, which has stirred controversy over its massive cost implications for an economy expected to grow beyond by 1.5% in 2015 from a previously forecast 2%, was feasible.

He said nuclear plants typically have a life beyond 60 years and the pay-back period was around 20 years.

“It is feasible to fund and operate further nuclear plants in South Africa and in fact it is urgent to do so,” he said of a nuclear fleet estimated to cost more than $100 billion.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.

COMMENTS   0

To comment, you must be registered and logged in.

LOGIN HERE

Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
Insider GOLD
ONLY R63pm

Moneyweb's premium subscription is a membership service which will give you access to a number of tools to take charge of your investments.
Or choose a yearly subscription at R630pa - SAVE R126

Get instant access to all our tools and content. Monthly subscription can be suspended at any time.

Podcasts

SHOP NEWSLETTERS TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: