Merafe says 5% ferrochrome output decline despite Q4 Eskom loadshedding

MERAFE Resources on Monday reported attributable ferrochrome production of 97,000 tons for the fourth quarter representing a five percent year-on-year decline.

This takes full year attributable production to 384,000 tons which compares to 379,000 tons in output in the firm’s 2021 financial year.

Merafe, which has a 20% share of the Glencore Merafe Chrome Venture, said the production levels were achieved “in spite of the Eskom load curtailments that afffected operations”.

In the current quarter, South Africa’s state-owned power company Eskom has increased the level of loadshedding. For consumers stage four loadshedding has been replaced with stage six rationing which leaves households without power for about 10 hours daily.

As an intensive energy user, the Glencore Merafe Chrome Venture would face an increase in electricity curtailments as a proportion of its usage.

News24 reported that Eskom postponed outgoing CEO André de Ruyter’s planned briefing with media evening due to an emergency meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Unfortunately Eskom has had to postpone this afternoon’s media briefing due to emergency engagements with the president,” spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in a statement reported by News24.

“While we aim to hold the media briefing as soon as possible, the date and time can only be confirmed once meetings with the president are concluded.”

Ramaphosa cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum’s gathering in Davos, Switzerland this week to deal with South Africa’s energy crisis.

Ramaphosa is also expected to meet leaders of political parties represented in Parliament and the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECCOM), said News24.