Eskom takes steps to secure coal supply

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has signed multiple new contracts with coal suppliers to avoid load-shedding, as supplies dwindle.

On Monday, Eskom warned of an increased risk of nationwide power cuts.

This is due to a serious decline in coal stockpiles at a number of its power stations.

READ: Eskom warns of load-shedding during rainy season

The problems reportedly began when Gupta-owned Tegeta started having problems with coal supply in November last year, according to Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

"They had a contract with Eskom to supply coal to at least three power stations, they started defaulting from last year and in March this year that's when they totally stopped supplying us with coal," said Phasiwe.

The South African Grid Code requires Eskom to maintain stock levels at 20 days on average at all of its power stations.

The power utility has less than 20 days' worth of coal at 11 of its power stations, five of which have less than ten days supply.

In the meantime, diesel generators are being used to keep the power grid stable but heavy rain forecast for the coming months is also predicted to affect coal supplies and quality.


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