On Wednesday, South African power monopoly, Eskom, said that its interim results show a significant turnaround in the utility’s performance in the six months to 30 September 2016.
The parastatal noted that the improved performance has enabled the organisation to avoid load shedding for the past 15 months.
Eskom recognises its achievement
For the period under review, primary energy costs decreased by 1.5% to ZAR40.4 billion ($2.9 billion) compared to an average increase of 18.8% over the last five financial years, reversing a significantly negative trend, the parastatal highlighted in a statement.
“As a result of the increased plant availability and the additional generating capacity that has been added to the grid, our reliance on open-cycle gas turbines has been reduced considerably. Diesel usage decreased from ZAR6.7 billion ($519 million) in the six months to September 2015 to ZAR288 million ($21 million) in the current period,” the utility said.
The utility added that more primary energy savings could have been realised had the excess energy available from the cheaper coal plants not been displaced by the self-dispatching renewable independent power producers at an incremental cost increase of ZAR2.2 billion ($148 million).
The state-owned entity noted: “The higher level of planned maintenance in the previous year is starting to bear fruit, resulting in a significant improvement in plant availability.
“Generation plant availability improved from 71.2% to 78.5%, adding an extra 3,700MW to the national grid from the existing power plants.”
They added that unplanned breakdowns reduced from 14.8% (September 2015) to 9.73% in the 6 months period to end-September 2016.
“This turnaround continues to stabilise the organisation, re-establishing it as a catalyst for economic growth,” the utility concluded.