Eskom deals to power up pri­vate producers

The New Age (Gauteng) - - BUSINESS - NONHLANHLA MASEKO nonhlanhlam@the­

ESKOM will sign power-pur­chas­ing deals with pri­vate producers next month, ac­cord­ing to the spokesper­son for En­ergy Min­is­ter Mmakoloko Kubayi.

This was agreed be­tween Kubayi and Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown, En­ergy spokesper­son Nomvula Khalo said.

“Based on the bids sub­mit­ted the tech­ni­cal team came to a con­clu­sion of ne­go­ti­at­ing the price to 77c a KWh,” Khalo said. “Eskom was part of the agree­ments and we do not fore­see any chal­lenges in im­ple­ment­ing what was agreed by all.”

Eskom in­terim’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Johny Dladla last month re­ported ad­di­tional plant avail­abil­ity, shift­ing the util­ity into sur­plus ca­pac­ity.

Ex­pan­sion of new gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity from Medupi, In­gula and Kusile power sta­tions and a de­mand­ing fleet main­te­nance pro­gramme had al­lowed Eskom to im­prove plant avail­abil­ity from 69.9% in 2015 to 77.3% by the end of March.

With this in mind, Eskom na­tional spokesper­son Khulu Phasiwe said the num­ber of in­de­pen­dent power producers (IPPs) is ex­pected to in­crease.

“About 90 con­tracts will be funded, al­ready 64 IPPs have been funded by Eskom, and 26 more will be added.”

Since 2011, the Re­new­able En­ergy In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­ducer Pro­cure­ment Pro­gramme has awarded 6 590 MW of re­new­able en­ergy ca­pac­ity to 102 in­de­pen­dent power producers, of which at least 44 were al­ready op­er­a­tional.

The en­tire pro­gramme will at­tract pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment worth R194bn in pre­dom­i­nantly ru­ral ar­eas.

“Th­ese projects ac­count for about R58.5bn in in­vest­ments and the le­gal com­mit­ment to cre­ate over 13000 con­struc­tion jobs,” the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the SA Wind En­ergy As­so­ci­a­tion, Brenda Martin, said.

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