Eskom denies plan to bail out Optimum coal mine

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The court ruling which deemed unlawful Eskom's recent tariff increase is a win for consumers. Experts warn the victory could still end up hitting consumers pockets.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has denied that it has agreed to pay more for coal in order to bail out the Gupta-owned coal mine.

"We wish to state categorically that to date Eskom has not agreed to any price adjustment with the business rescue practitioners and the allegations made in the City Press article yesterday are factually incorrect and without basis," the company said in a statement on Monday.

The City Press newspaper had reported that the power utility was willing to pay up to double the R200 it is currently paying.

Eskom said though it was in discussions with the Optimum Coal Mine’s business rescue practitioners no agreement had yet been reached.

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Last week, Eskom said it was facing coal shortages at seven power stations.

Optimum Coal Mine was obliged to supply 400,000 tons of coal a month to Eskom’s Hendrina Power Station at the price of R201,46 per ton.

Eskom had discussed the supply agreement with Optimum&39;s business rescue practitioners in a bid to "resuscitate" coal supply to the power station, but was not yet in possession of the coal mine&39;s business rescue plan, it said.