Eskom welcome Nersa cooperation in procuring extra energy infrastructure

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has agreed to assist with procuring additional electricity generation infrastructure to help ease pressure on Eskom's vulnerable national grid, after having concurred with the the ministerial determination for the procurement of 11 813 MW. 

The procurement is in line with the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 that seeks to get Eskom's power generation infrastructure up to scratch by 2030. 

Eskom welcome Nersa cooperation

In a statement released on Monday 14 September, Eskom said that Nersa has agreed to provide 11 813 MW of infrastructure in line with the order by Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe earlier in 2020. 

"Eskom is pleased to note that the national Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has concurred with the ministerial determination for the procurement of 11 813 MW of electricity generation infrastructure as issued by the minister of mineral Resources and Energy in February 2020. This is part of the power infrastructure to be procured under the Integrated Resources Plan of 2019 (IRP2019) over the years to 2030," they said. 

Eskom have had to implement load shedding for much of 2020, mainly due to severe constraints on its "ageing and unreliable" infrastructure. Generation units are continuously breaking down, leaving the embattled power supplier with no choice other than to implement rolling blackouts to conserve energy. 

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that Nersa's cooperation couldn't come at a better time. 

"Given the current supply constraints, this additional generation capacity is urgently required, and will be an important contribution towards ending load shedding and ensuring energy security for the country," he said. 

Extra procurement still desperately sought  

Eskom said they are looking forward to collaborating with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and IPP Office to "enable an accelerated execution to bring additional capacity onto the grid in the shortest space of time possible".  They added that they are making good progress with the further procurement of 2 000 MW in emergency power which they hope will be running through the national grid by December 2021. 

They warned however, that while these successes are positive, there is still a great deal of procurement required to stave off further load shedding in the short term. 

"While the 2 000 MW emergency procurement is a step in the right direction, Eskom would like to stress the immediate need to urgently accelerate the procurement of at least 3 000 MW of further generation capacity to help ease the supply constraints the country is currently going through," they said. 

"As Eskom has often stated, enabling the emergency procurement of 5 000 MW additional generation capacity is critical to keep the lights on and help power the rebuilding of an economy decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic."

They said that the extra capacity is required to put into effect their vision of assisting the economy return to a position of strength. 

"Bringing in additional generation capacity will also help take the pressure off Eskom and create space for the maintenance of its ageing power stations while powering a growing economy."

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