Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of Electricity, will intervene to resurrect Eskom’s worst-performing power station, which has contributed to the Energy Action Plan only meeting 56% of its targets a year.
Ramokgopa said on Sunday that he would be visiting the Tutuka Power Station in Mpumalanga later this month to receive an update on when the generating units that were contributing to the present energy capacity restrictions would be returned to operation.
Tutuka has an installed capacity of 3,654MW and six units with a combined capacity of 609MW, however, it is one of Eskom’s worst-performing power stations, with an average production of 1,170MW.
Eskom announced intentions to decommission and repurpose three of its coal-fired power stations, including Tutuka, at the end of last year as part of the utility’s Just Energy Transition Strategy to transition to green energy.
However, Ramokgopa stated that the power facility was still posing major problems for Eskom, but that actions were being implemented to address them.
“First is to say that Tutuka is our worst-performing power station. Each pack should be giving us about 560MW but I think it is performing at 11 percent,” Ramokgopa said.
“One of the first actions Mr. Nxumalo took when he became the head of the generation was to take one of our most seasoned and experienced general managers.
“Mr. Bruce Moyo is there at Tutuka, and the intention is that there are a few units that we should be returning to service [in] late August or early September.
“In fact, this month we will be going to Tutuka just to get an indication of the exact timelines and how we are doing against those timelines.
“So first is that Tutuka is not going to be closed, and secondly is that we are going to do everything possible to return those units.”
Despite the issues rocking the power sector in SA, Ramokgopa said the Energy Action Plan to halt load shedding and ensure energy security was developing well.
The strategy is built on five important pillars, including stabilizing Eskom and increasing the availability of existing supply, as well as facilitating and expediting private investment in generation capacity.
It also intends to expedite the purchase of new generation capacity from renewables, gas, and battery storage, as well as to encourage businesses and people to participate in rooftop solar and fundamentally change the power industry in order to ensure long-term energy security.
Ramokgopa stated that eight activities had been finished, 20 were on schedule, 12 were delayed but proceeding well, eight were off track, and two had not even begun.
“The performance of Eskom’s generation fleet is showing sustained improvement, enabling less severe load shedding than expected over the winter period. This is due to a reduction in unplanned losses to less than 16,000MW, from over 18,000MW,” Ramokgopa said.
“Steps have been taken to increase the load factor of OCGTs and ensure that they can be utilized more frequently to curb load shedding.
“This includes the allocation of additional funding for diesel for the rest of the 2023 financial year, and the deployment of an expert team to address logistical challenges with diesel supply to Ankerlig,” he said.
“Since the implementation of regulatory changes, the pipeline of private sector generation projects has increased to over 100 projects representing more than 10GW of new capacity, which will begin to connect to the grid from this year,” Ramogopa said.
“Eskom has put in place mechanisms to buy power from companies that have extra capacity available, through the Standard Offer Programme and Emergency Generation Programme.
“These programs have already unlocked close to 400MW in immediately available power, with a further 600MW in the contracting process,” he added.
Full Story Source: Ramokgopa To Intervene At Eskom Worst Performing Power Facility