The Witness - - NEWS - ED­WARD WEST

ESKOM main­tains its coal stock pile is a chal­lenge and new coal agree­ments are be­ing fast-tracked, deputy spokesper­son for the util­ity Dikatso Mothae said yes­ter­day.

She was re­spond­ing to ques­tions from The Wit­ness after the Mid­del­burg Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try said that Eskom’s claims of a coal short­age were ques­tion­able, con­sid­er­ing coal orig­i­nally con­tracted for by Eskom had been, dur­ing Novem­ber, pil­ing up at the mines, un­col­lected by the util­ity.

“We are work­ing with Na­tional Trea­sury and our share­holder min­istry Depart­ment of Pub­lic En­ter­prises to fast-track coal pro­cure­ment in or­der to con­clude new coal con­tracts,” she said.

“At the same time, we have been di­vert­ing coal from well stocked power sta­tions to the power sta­tions with less stock.”

In a pre­sen­ta­tion last month, Eskom said it had con­cluded 27 new coal con­tracts be­tween Jan­uary 2018 and Oc­to­ber 2018 for sup­ply of 15,8 mil­lion tons in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

The to­tal con­tracted vol­ume was 73 mil­lion tons. Eskom needs about 116 mil­lion tons per year, and ad­di­tional con­tracts in the pipe­line are at ad­vanced ten­der stage.

The util­ity was also “ex­e­cut­ing ur­gent pur­chas­ing of four mil­lion tons for im­me­di­ate sup­ply to re­cover all power sta­tions to above min­i­mum level by March 31, 2019 ... Only 1,1 mil­lion tons of the re­quired four mil­lion tons through ur­gent pro­cure­ment is cur­rently firm.”

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