15 July 2013 – Eskom CEO Brian Dames has confirmed that in addition to the delays in the grid synchronisation of the first unit of the 4,764 MW Medupi power station in Limpopo, now only due for the second half of 2014, the other two major new power stations in the utility’s build programme are also behind schedule.
In his CEO’s report in Eskom’s 2012/2013 integrated report, Dames said that the 4,800 MW coal fired Kusile power station was only 22% complete, reflecting the suspension of the project during 2009/2010 owing to uncertainty about funding. The 1,332 MW Ingula pumped storage scheme was 68% complete, mainly reflecting geological challenges.
“Ingula and Kusile are due to start delivering first power to the grid in 2014/2015, which gives us time to bring them back on track,” Dames says.
On the positive side, Eskom has secured the majority of the R340 billion funding it requires to complete its build programme. “The funding plan for the build programme is well advanced with 82.9% now secured, enabling Eskom to complete all committed projects.”
Eskom did add 261 MW of capacity in its 2012/2013 financial year (which ended 31st March 2013) mostly as part of the tail end of the return to service power station programme, now over 96% complete. One Komati power station unit remains to be recommissioned in this programme.
The capacity that was added during 2012/13 predominately comes from Komati power station’s unit 1 (200 MW) while small additions, ranging from 1.2 MW to 6.0 MW, were obtained from various Camden power station units. In addition, plant enhancements added 30 MW of capacity to Koeberg unit 2.
As at end of March 2013, Eskom had contracted total capacity of 1,135 MW from a range of independent power producers (IPPs), compared with 1,008 MW In 2012. The total paid to IPPs and municipal generators during the financial year ending March 31st 2013 was R2.9 billion at an average unit cost of 83.6 c/kWh, compared with R3.3 billion at an average price of 77 c/kWh during the previous financial year.