Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 November 2010 – Good news for the South African mining industry, among others, is that national power utility Eskom says it has already signed contracts with independent power producers (IPP’s) to avoid future rolling blackouts.
Revealing this in reporting its first-half results, Eskom “’ which has avoided the need for rolling nationwide blackouts since April 2008 “’ said power supplies would be tight until 2015, particularly in the next two years. A near collapse of the power grid in early 2008 forced mining companies to suspend operations for several days and cut manufacturing output.
The national power utility indicated that it was also ready to sign up 1 000MW of renewable Independent Power Producers (IPP’s) and another 1 000MW from gas turbines.
“The situation is really tight and Eskom has been very clear about risks that we face in the next three years, but we can avoid blackouts as long as Eskom continues with its build programme without delay, and does what it has to do in terms of plant performance,” said divisional executive for systems operations and planning Kannan Lakmeeharan.
“We need IPPs to come on … and we need all consumers to save electricity. Only if we do all these things can we ensure there will be no blackouts, so it’s not just Eskom alone, it has to be a partnership with South Africa,” he emphasised.