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SA electricity supply will be even tighter

Ground preparation
at Medupi Power Station
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 26 October 2010 – South Africa’s electricity supply situation will be even tighter than originally forecast over the next five years because of further delays in bringing the Medupi and Kusile power stations on line.

Miningmx reports that this emerged here at an Eskom financial media briefing by CEO Brian Dames and chairperson Mpho Makwana.

Dames confirmed that the first generating set at the Medupi station, which had already been delayed to the second quarter of 2012, would only come into commercial operation towards the end of 2012. He also confirmed that commercial operation of the first generating set at Kusile “’ already delayed by a year to mid-2014 – was now only expected at the beginning of 2015.

When the first contracts were placed for both power stations in 2008, the original commercial start-up date for Medupi was September 2011 and for Kusile June 2013. At this stage Medupi is running about 15 months behind schedule, while Kusile is 18 months behind its original start-up date.

Eskom’s latest assessment is that, on its base case supply/demand forecast, there is a supply gap for the next five years with additional risk on existing commitments. “Even pulling all levers to close the gap to maximum potential, we are still short in the next three years,” said Dames.

“A safety net of last-resort measures is needed to close the rest of this gap and mitigate the risk that the levers do not deliver full potential,” he added.