Eskom will spare us loadshedding over winter

06:55 (GMT+2) Thu, 10 Mar 2016

 South Africans would be spared power cuts through winter, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe assured MPs on Thursday.

Briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises, Molefe and his team said they were on track with its maintenance programme to ensure there’s enough capacity througout winter.

“We’ll continue with our rigorous programme of planned maintenance without loadshedding,” he said, adding that the country has now gone over 200 days without the lights going out.

“During winter we’ll have slightly less maintenance than we are having at the moment.”

Molefe said the power utility had made strides in meeting peak electricity demand, with an average of 74 percent of installed capacity being on line every day.

He did, however, add a disclaimer: “That does not mean things won’t go wrong.”

Molefe said while they would keep keep the open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) as a back-up, their reliance on this form of electricity generation was being decreased as the company could not afford the high diesel costs.

“If we do use diesel it would punch a bigger hole in our balance sheet going forward,” he said, adding that the use of OCGTs had decreased by 80 percent between October last year and January this year.

“Those turbines remain available for us to use if we really really have to avoid loadshedding.”
– African News Agency (ANA)