- Eskom is looking to spend R26 billion on 46 projects currently in the pipeline to ensure South Africa’s energy security and essentially end loadshedding.
- This is according to Eskom’s managing director of Transmission, Segomoco Scheppers, who says that between 2025 and 2033 these projects could add 37 000MW to the grid.
- Scheppers has also given an update on Eskom’s plan to split its businesses into three different entities.
As the year with the most power outages in the history of South Africa winds to a close, it is still evident that loadshedding will continue to be a plague into 2024 and beyond. Eskom, however, has made some improvements to the stability of its electricity grid, including the returning to service of units at Kusile power station.
On Wednesday, Eskom detailed its plans to increase electricity available in the country at the Transmission Development Plan (TDP) Implementation Forum, with Eskom Managing Director of Transmission, Segomoco Scheppers, explaining that the utility has 46 projects in execution of which 26 will deliver “1 632km of transmission lines, 11 290MVA and enable over 15 000MW of generation capacity.”
“This includes specifically Medupi and Kusile [power stations] as well as the Garob 267MW project connecting at Kronos substation in the Northern Cape. The other 50 percent… are in different phases of procurement and will deliver 435km and 8 000MVA, enabling 4 975MW of new generation capacity, mainly in the Northern and Western Cape,” explained Scheppers.
By 2032, the utility could see its transmission lines augmented by around 14 200km to “ensure energy security,” said the managing director.
In total, Eskom is looking to spend R26 billion on projects to essentially end loadshedding by reinforcing the grid and adding more capacity to generate electricity. In total, the 46 projects have the potential to add a further 37 000MW to South Africa’s power rotation between 2025 and 2033.
Scheppers added that Eskom is “very focused on ensuring that we expand the grid as fast as possible, while safely managing the power system.”
Another method in which Eskom believes it will manage the electricity mix better and preserve energy generation is the splitting of the company itself into three entities, namely Generation, Distribution and Transmission.
Scheppers details how the Transmission entity, when separated from Eskom, will be called the “National Transmission Company South Africa SOC Ltd” or the NTCSA.
“We are in the process of getting final approval from the Minister of Public Enterprises for the independent board of directors for this new company. A binding merger agreement has already been signed with suspensive conditions to be fulfilled… in order to transfer the current transmission business into the new subsidiary,” explained Scheppers.
“Following the fulfilment of the suspensive conditions, NTCSA will then be operationalised and employees transferred to the new company on the same conditions of service and without disrupting their years of service. We are busy with the lender engagements that are required for us to obtain consent, and these are already at an advanced stage,” he said.
Despite its lofty future goals, the utility is still struggling to match demand, owing to the current loadshedding rotation experienced in South Africa. On Monday evening, Eskom was just under 3 000MW in deficit compared to the demand and was employing 13 of its diesel-hungry open-cycle gas turbines.
Loadshedding is currently rotating between Stage 2 in the day and Stage 3 in the evening until further notice.
[Source – SA News]