Home South African Eskom, Nersa deny diesel being burned excessively to stop load shedding

Eskom, Nersa deny diesel being burned excessively to stop load shedding

166

Eskom said its diesel budget from May to June was R5.8 billion, and only R1.16bn had been spent as of May 9, 2024, or 19.7% of the total budget

On-site diesel storage tanks at Eskom’s Ankerlig Power Station in Atlantis. Picture: Tracey Adams, African News Agency (ANA)

ESKOM said the nearly 50 consecutive load shedding-free days have been the result of it having sufficient generation capacity from a more reliable generation fleet and has denied speculation it is overusing its diesel-burning open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).

It said its diesel budget from May to June was R5.8 billion, and only R1.16bn had been spent as of May 9, 2024, or 19.7% of the total budget.

Late on Friday, Eskom said in a statement: “Unplanned outages have reduced by 4,400MW since April 26, 2024, due to extensive maintenance and the success of the ‘Generation Operational Recovery Plan’ initiated in March 2023.”

It said the energy availability factor (EAF) had improved significantly, performing above 60% since April 29, 2024, and reaching 65% on May 1, 2024, with a month-to-date figure of 63.34%.

“Eskom’s outlook for the winter period of 2024 states it will continue to strategically utilise its peaking stations, including OCGTs – these will be dispatched during morning and evening peaks to meet high electricity demand, when necessary.”

In April 2024, Eskom spent R1.1bn on OCGTs, producing 167.8GWh. This was about 60% less than April 2023, when R3.1bn was spent to produce 470.22GWh.

This was also confirmed this weekend by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), which said in a statement: “In the month of April, which is the first month of the 1st quarter (April-June) of the 2024/25FY, Eskom has generated 168.5GWh from diesel generators.”

Eskom said the OCGT load factor for April 2024 had decreased significantly to 6.8% compared to last year’s figure of 19.13%. In addition, diesel spending on OCGTs showed a declining trend, with R53.9 million spent in the first nine days of May 2024.

“Nersa’s allowance is at 6% load factor. Eskom’s performance in April 2024 aligns closely with Nersa’s 6% load factor … The current usage of OCGTs is no cause for alarm,” Eskom said.

– BUSINESS REPORT

Previous articleFinancial markets: Is this the beginning of a sharp recovery or a dead cat bounce?
Next articleFour implicated in Joshlin Smith’s disappearance back in court