Eskom to boost capacity as Medupi, Koeberg increase generation

Electricity pylons in front of chimneys
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Eskom says it will increase generation capacity in the coming months as it expects various power stations, including Medupi and Koeberg, to ramp up generation by the end of December.

The power utility says it’s also looking to build on the progress made in addressing load shedding.

The country has seen a suspension of load shedding for nearly two months now.

Eskom, along with other role-players in the energy sector, are meeting at the Enlit Africa Conference in Cape Town.

Top management at Eskom says the power utility is working hard to rebuild confidence. The company says it’s making steady progress in addressing load shedding with additional energy generation capacity expected to be brought online, by the end of the year.

Eskom says the Generation Operational Recovery Plan, which commenced in March 2023, is the reason for the improvement in the reliability of the generation fleet.

Eskom Group CEO Dan Marokane says, “Our primary focus is to end load shedding whilst not taking our eyes off the ball in terms of transfiguring this big organisation so whilst we’re looking at initiatives to end load shedding and we see some results starting to come through, we also have to start thinking about what does the process of unbundling in line with the energy reforms that are taking place mean for us, what should we be doing with regards to our transmission business that is getting operationalised on the first of June as a standalone entity, how should that distribution look like going forward and what opportunities are emerging as tactical for us to embrace.”

Video: Enlit Africa Conference – The conference is underway in Cape Town

Winter forecast

Eskom says its current generation performance has surpassed the winter forecast for this year, which anticipated a likely scenario of unplanned outages ranging from 14 000 MW to 15 500 MW, with load shedding limited to Stage 2.

“On behalf of the DMRE to take this opportunity to commend the Eskom team and leadership for the great work they are doing in this area. I’m not going to ask what you are doing, but I’m going to say keep on doing what you’re doing, because it seems to be working and solving the problem. Progress is also being made in other areas of the energy action plan, such as fast-tracking the procurement of new generation capacity, in line with IRP 2019,” says DMRE Director General Jacob Mbele.

Price of electricity

Discussions around the pricing of electricity will also form part of the programme at the gathering.

Executive Director of Energy at the City of Cape Town, Kadri Nassiep says, “We know that energy reliability is one factor we have to consider, but also affordability, so for the City of Cape Town, in developing our energy strategy, what we’re trying to do is to look at it from the perspective, yes, reliability being key and ensuring a constant supply of electricity to our customers, but also ensuring that the cost of electricity is affordable, particularly for the lowest common denominator in terms of our more impoverished members of society.”

“This is a thought leadership event. We have a number of PF stakeholders presenting those solutions to the market and really bring in that and engaging with other stakeholders that are looking to bring solutions to the African Energy Sector,” says Errol Bryce, Enlit Africa organiser and group commercial director of the Vuka Group.

The conference continues on Wednesday.

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