Mike Rossouw, former Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) chairperson has taken up a new role at Eskom in an advisory capacity, offering a fresh perspective on its challenges, including its current electricity shortage financial sustainability and completion of the Medupi and Kusile power stations.

Eskom’s acting chief executive officer, Colin Matjila, together with the utility’s board has approached Rossouw offering him a one-year contract to provide an independent view of the challenges faced.

Rossouw, who has resigned as executive director for power at engineering consultancy Hatch, has been particularly vocal about  the underperformance of the Eskom fleet ever since the load-shedding crisis of 2008. In 2012, he publically questioned the utility as to why it was failing to address its maintenance backlog, despite decreased electricity demand and use of power buy-backs.*

His main objective is to improve the performance of Eskom’s generation fleet. Rossouw is also mandated to examine Eskom’s operating model in as far as it impacts on generation.

Eskom in response to questions regarding the appointment of Rossouw, described him as a “recognised and trusted adviser and thought leader in energy with extensive knowledge … working with the government, the regulator, academia, business and Eskom”.

He will “facilitate a process and give technical support that will ensure acceleration of the generation plant performance recovery”, the company said.

Rossouw who has an existing relationship with Matjila, having worked with him when he was an independent director at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, is anticipated to assist Eskom with the appeal by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s for the utility’s challenges to be remedied.

* Reported on Engineering News Online

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