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German consultants to hand over revival plan for Eskom coal plants

Eskom’s Camden power station is one of the 15 coal units in its fleet

German energy consultants have completed a review of Eskom’s struggling coal-fired plants and will submit the report to finance minister Enoch Godongwana this week.

Godongwana is set to receive the report from consultants led by VGBE Energy, a German-based technical association of energy-plant operators in 34 countries, this week, national treasury director-general Duncan Pieterse told reporters on Tuesday.

The utility, which is subjecting South Africa to its worst-ever electricity outages and curtailing economic growth, is expected to implement the group’s recommendations as part of the terms of a R254-billion debt relief package from the government to be accessed over three years.

Treasury announced in February that it had hired the consultants to assess Eskom’s 14 coal-fired power plants to determine which ones can be revived to original equipment manufacturer standards, do a skills assessment and advise on operational improvements to boost power generation.

“There are recommendations around procurement, access to spare parts and so on, and how the maintenance regimes can be better managed,” Pieterse said. “We think these kinds of reports should become the norm” for state-owned companies, he said.

The consortium of consultants included experts from RWE Technology International, STEAG, KWS Energy Knowledge, and Dornier Power and Heat.  — S’thembile Cele, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP

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