In South Africa, the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality in Gauteng announced on Tuesday that it is seeking proposals to renovate two coal-fired power plants in an effort to curb power outages as a result of insufficient generation capacity at state-owned utility Eskom.
Presenting at Bloomberg’s Johannesburg offices, Dorah Nteo, chief sustainability specialist at the City of Tshwane, said the municipality wants to restore output at its Pretoria West and Rooiwal power plants to their intended generation capacity.
Tshwane municipality also wants to find a substitute for anthracite, the original fuel source, which is an expensive quality coal.
The Pretoria West power plant was built to generate 180MW of power and the Rooiwal power plant was designed to generate 450MW.
According to Nteo, both plants are operating significantly below their capacity partly because they have been designed to use anthracite, a grade of coal that is more profitable to export, Bloomberg reported.
Legislation barrier for power purchase
Nteo added that like other South African municipalities, the City of Tshwane is battling with national legislation.
“As cities we are still not allowed to buy electricity,” Nteo said.
Nteo said that despite these challenges, the municipality has been able to work within the regulations to have a biogas-to-power plant supply a BMW car factory in the city. It is also proceeding with a plan to build a 40MW solar-power facility, the news agency reported.
“What we need to make sure of is that we have embedded generation. We will consume the electricity from within the city so that we demonstrate somehow that we are not buying or selling,” Nteo concluded.