Eskom de­fends coal sup­ply amid ques­tions

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - THELMA NGOMA

ESKOM is adamant that its coal sup­plies are un­der con­trol de­spite re­ports that there are alarm­ing coal sup­ply prob­lems at nu­mer­ous Eskom coal­fired power sta­tions in Mpumalanga.

Re­ports by en­ergy ex­pert Chris Yel­land claim that the sit­u­a­tion has be­come so se­ri­ous that Eskom’s pri­mary en­ergy di­vi­sion has rec­om­mended that a coal sup­ply emer­gency be de­clared.

Eskom yes­ter­day told the New Age that stock­piles at seven power sta­tions were low and ad­di­tional coal con­tracts for all these sta­tions were be­ing con­cluded to add to the sup­ply.

Yel­land main­tains that de­spite this re­sponse, no an­swer has been given about how many days of us­able coal is presently avail­able in the power sta­tions’ stock­yards.

“The re­ports in­di­cate that the coal presently in the Matla stock­yard is in fact un­us­able,” Yel­land said.

Eskom spokesper­son Khulu Phasiwe told the New Age that Yel­land was try­ing to cre­ate the im­pres­sion that Eskom was in­ca­pable of sourc­ing enough coal, which is un­true.

Ronald Chauke, Outa en­ergy port­fo­lio man­ager, said that the or­gan­i­sa­tion was con­cerned about re­ports of coal sup­ply prob­lems at Eskom, while the util­ity is busy ap­ply­ing for R66.6bn in its RCA claw-back from the pub­lic due to pre­vi­ous mis­man­age­ment of the en­tity, in­clud­ing coal con­tracts.

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