SA received global offers to boost power grid: Electricity Minister

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Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says South Africa has received multiple offers from across the globe to finance the expansion and strengthening of the power grid.

This forms part of efforts to ensure future energy security and to get the country out of the load shedding crisis.

South Africa has embarked on a just transition from its aging coal-fired power plants, which produce massive amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Dr Ramokgopa gave his weekly power grid update in Pretoria, announcing that lower stages of load shedding are forecast for the week ahead as the country prepares for a transmission financing seminar.

He says the seminar is intended to streamline dealing with offers from around the world.

“There are a number of offers that are coming from a number of funding and financing sources from across the globe. Also, when I was in Kenya for the climate conference, we had conversations with multiple players who raised their hands to finance the grid expansion, even from other internationally renowned banks. We are hosting a transmission financing seminar sometime this month in September to aggregate everyone in one room.”

Ramokgopa says the Kusile Power Station is critical to ending load shedding.

Nine people were arrested at the power station last week for alleged theft of coal and allegations of fraud.

Dr Ramokgopa will be at the power station tomorrow to receive a progress report.

“We are going to Kusile, an important part of what I call a path out of load shedding. There are five units, and nothing is being generated as I speak to you right now. Even the one unit that was generating is on a 20-day planned maintenance set to come back next Monday, the 18th or 19th. We are firing unit five, which should come on stream as a new unit by October, the other units in November and the last of the three by the 24th of December. Kusile alone, therein lies a significant amount of megawatts.”

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