Eskom’s De Ruyter expects improved power supply reliability for SA from December

Andre de Ruyter, CEO, Eskom

THE reliability of electricity supply would be improved in 2021, said BusinessLive citing the comments of Eskom CEO, Andre de Rutyer.

Commenting in a system update Thursday, De Ruyter said: “We anticipate by December this year, we would have performed adequate reliability maintenance to adequately reduce but unfortunately not eliminate the risk of load-shedding going forward”.

There would then be a step-change in reliability by April, he added.

The utility has ramped up maintenance from 3,000MW earlier in 2020 to close to 6,000MW now, with a particular emphasis on so-called reliability or long-term maintenance, said BusinessLive. A major part of improving Eskom’s operation performance is repairing design defects at its two mega coal-fired power stations Medupi and Kusile.

De Ruyter said the turnaround will take time, but “we are definitely making progress and it’s pleasing to see the green shoots of a recovery starting to emerge”.

BusinessLive said on Wednesday that Eskom hopes to invest R118bn in its transmission network between 2021 and 2030 to prepare for new connections, especially of renewable energy projects, and to refurbish ageing transmission infrastructure.

The publication quoted group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers as saying that new infrastructure would involve 5,650km of high-voltage lines and 41,595 megavolt amperes of transformer capacity.

“Over this planning period, 30GW of new generation capacity, mainly from renewable energy sources is expected to be added to the power system,” said Scheppers.

“The bulk of the new renewable generation capacity is located in areas with very limited network infrastructure. To provide an adequate and reliable transmission system, the total transmission capital plan in this period amounts to approximately R118bn,” he said.