2023 load shedding outlook remains bleak, says De Ruyter

CAPE TOWN – Outgoing Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter described the load shedding outlook for 2023 as extremely bleak.

De Ruyter and outgoing minerals council of South Africa CEO, Roger Baxter, participated in a discussion at the Investing in African Mining Indaba on Tuesday.

The talk was themed: South Africa’s Energy Landscape.

De Ruyter said that 2023 will still be a difficult one in terms of the country’s power supply.

“But now you come to what is in the pipeline and this is where we’ve seen significant and, I think, very farsighted investments from a company like Seriti, for example, eventually they are going to install 900 megawatts of wind and solar right in the heart of Mpumalanga’s coal belt.”

De Ruyter anticipates that from next year onwards there should be a reduction in rolling power cuts.

“Increasingly we are seeing that we are able to attract more private sector generation capacity to the grid. We see in our stats, people who connect to the grid. We also see it in numbers collated at Nersa [National Energy Regulator of South Africa]. There’s more than 900 megawatts of new capacity that is either in the process of being built or in the process of going through engineering…”

READ: Seriti Resources: Coal plays an essential role in driving economic growth

At the same time, De Ruyter added that if Eskom had enough money for diesel, load shedding would not be such a major problem.

He said that the billions Eskom is owed by municipalities are what stands between power cuts and resolving the utility’s generation challenges – adding that this could save up to two levels of load shedding

De Ruyter and board chairperson Mpho Makwana were back before parliament on Tuesday to brief members of Parliament on ending load shedding.

The joint meeting of the three committees is a continuation of an earlier oversight visit to Eskom headquarters two weeks ago.

At the top of the agenda was the immediate to medium-term solutions to end load shedding.

De Ruyter said that money and diesel are an immediate solution would be “to have more cash available to buy diesel that we can maximise the use of our open cycle gas turbines,” emphasising: “But where we are right now, we need more cash.”

He said the expedited return of Kusile units 1, 2 and 3 could add over 2 100 megawatts to the grid.

De Ruyter said current indications were that it will take at least a year, but a quicker solution is being investigated.


Author: editor

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