3 new programs to increase Eskom’s power capacity in South Africa – but there’s a catch

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Eskom has launched three power purchase programs to boost South Africa’s energy supply, but they are not immediate.

In a media statement on Monday (Sept. 19), the national power company announced that its new procurement programs would focus on generators capable of supplying more than one megawatt to the grid.

Eskom added that over time, smaller producers could also participate in providing energy capacity to the state-owned company.

“The combined impact of the programs expected to exceed 1,000 MW will make a significant contribution to reducing the burden of offloading consumers.”

The first power supply agreement will be signed this week to allow power to flow through the grid as quickly as possible.

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The programs include:

  • Standard offer program: to purchase electricity from companies with existing generation capacity for three years.
  • Emergency Generation Program: to purchase more expensive power in periods when the grid is significantly limited. The program allows independent generators to provide daily energy to compete with the Eskom generators in the internal market.
  • Bilateral Power Import Program: to secure the import of power to the country from neighboring countries. Several countries have expressed interest in selling additional surplus power to South Africa – this program will enable such opportunities.
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Despite these scheduled programs, Andre de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, said on Sunday (September 17) that not all power would be available as soon as possible.

“Not all of that is immediately available. Some of this depends on suppliers who have to replenish their coal bunkers or provide extra gas.”

“But in the case of IPPs (independent power generators), we have a very high level of confidence that we can urgently buy more megawatts,” he added.

South Africa has recently pushed deeper into load shedding, with Phase 5 being implemented on Monday (September 19) after several power stations were back in operation overnight – following a phase 6 stint.

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said Eskom’s operational challenges remain a problem and concern for the country.

According to Eskom, the planned outage is currently 5,411 MW, while the outage is currently 16,326 MW.

His department noted that load shedding should be recognized as disastrous for households, businesses and the economy.

Gordhan said all efforts are aimed at returning megawatts lost due to unplanned outages and outages.

“Together with Eskom, we have mobilized all of our teams’ resources to address this immediate challenge of load separation.”


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