WITH the release of the PwC report on Tegeta coal contracts, and the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as chief executive, it is very difficult to keep up with Eskom happenings. Some of the following may appear dated, but is still very relevant.
On April 26, Business Report headlined sharp Treasury officials querying Eskom’s increase in the contract price of coal from Tegeta Resources, from R13.50/ GJ to around R20/GJ, a simple increase of 50 percent. Not surprising as Tegeta is a Zupta investment vehicle; the surprising aspect was the units (GJ or gigajoule; 1 GJ = 0.0341 tons), used to define the coal price, units understood by few outside the scientific community, least of all by Eskom management.
More surprising was Tegeta confirming their supply of one coal sample for an Eskom combustion test, to establish energy content. As any miner would confirm, the skill in mining is separation of mine output into consistent streams, for thermal coal the principal quality being energy content, expressed in megajoules per kg, or MJ/kg: the mass reference is necessary as that is how coal is delivered and accepted. Then, to check the critical energy content, combustion tests are conducted to arrive at the MJ/kg property, actually identical to gigajoules per ton, or GJ/t.
That engineering trivia explained, we see how Eskom attempts to obfuscate its sole shareholder in favour of the Zupta