Eskom latest: 4 000MW cuts until Thursday; climate funds pact


South Africa’s Eskom will continue to cut 4 000 megawatts from the national grid until 5 a.m. on Thursday due to persistent breakdowns curtailing generation capacity.

The state-owned utility will then reduce so-called loadshedding to 3 000 megawatts until 5 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement on Wednesday. Eskom also took generating units at three power plants offline for repairs and has had delays in returning units to service at three stations, it said.

The company has 6 647 megawatts on planned maintenance and 14 692 megawatts of capacity unavailable due to breakdowns, the statement said.

SA’s $8.5 billion climate funds pact inches forward (October 5, 2:51 p.m.)

South Africa has submitted to some of the world’s richest nations a revised plan for how it will spend a proposed $8.5 billion to help it transition away from coal, two people familiar with the situation said.

The new draft — sent to funding partners the UK, US, France, Germany and the European Union — advances a process that’s been mired for almost a year in complex negotiations. The people, who asked not to be named because talks are ongoing, declined to give any detail on what the amendments involve.

Eskom CEO De Ruyter sees power cuts easing within days (October 4, 7:41 p.m.)

Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter said power cuts should ease significantly within the next 10 days when big generation units are expected to come back online.

The state utility ramped up power rationing to 4,000 megawatts from 6 p.m. Tuesday due to generation trips at its Kendal and Lethabo plants.

“We are doing everything possible to add megawatts to the grid,” De Ruyter told Johannesburg-based Radio Sonder Grense. “We have started buying power from Zambia, and we are looking at Mozambique and the private sector to add megawatts.”

The private sector has a total of 6 000 megawatts of new renewable projects in the pipeline, he said. Those projects were targeted after President Cyril Ramaphosa in July said companies will be allowed to build power plants of any size without a license to meet their own needs and to sell it to the grid.

De Ruyter said it will probably take another 18 to 24 months for that capacity to come onto the network.

Board to retain management (October 4, 10:49 a.m.)

Chairman Mpho Makwana said the company’s newly appointed board will retain the power utility’s management for the time being, as the South African company conducts an assessment of its power plants.

Makwana, who was named along with most of the new board last week, said the plants’ performance will be reviewed over the next 30 to 60 days to ascertain how to make them operational at an average of 75% of the time — a target set by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Their so-called electricity availability factor, a measure of when they can produce electricity, is currently less than 60%.

Anglo, EDF form green energy venture in SA (October 4, 8:34 a.m.)

Anglo American Plc and Electricite de France SA agreed to form jointly owned Envusa Energy to develop wind and solar projects in South Africa.

In a first step, Envusa will develop more than 600 megawatts of wind and solar projects in the energy-starved nation, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday. Funding will include debt-financing and construction is expected to begin next year.

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