‘OCGTs needed to avoid higher stages of rolling blackouts’

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The Head of the Presidency Project Management Office, Rudi Dicks, has outlined some interventions being taken by government to help avoid higher stages of rolling blackouts.

Eskom is currently implementing stages 3 and 4 power cuts.

Dicks says authorities have procured some energy from the Southern African Power Pool – a regional power network.

“We need to ensure that we get funding procured and that diesel is bought by Eskom for the short term, so that is the most important thing right now, that we need to burn the OCGTs (Open Cycle Gas Turbines) to avoid higher stages of load shedding. There are a number of other interventions. For example and more importantly, the emergency procurement that will allow Eskom to procure emergency sources for immediate dispatchable electricity.”

“There are also options around the importation of additional electricity from some of our southern African neighbours – Mozambique and Zambia in particular. We have already procured 300 megawatts from the Southern African Power Pool. Then there is the demand side and rooftop stuff,” adds Dicks.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has asked the Eskom board to consider suspending the electricity tariff hike.

Energy regulator National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved an 18.65% tariff hike for Eskom from 1 April.