Xstrata shuts furnaces to aid Eskom
Johannesburg - Xstrata has switched off two chrome furnaces
at its Rustenburg plant to help power utility Eskom save electricity, but said on
Monday that supplies to customers would not be affected.
Spokesperson Songezo Zibi said maintenance at the furnaces
had been brought forward from its usual schedule in the June/July winter months because the national grid is
under particular strain right now due to unplanned outages at some of Eskom’s
Zibi said the lost production would be made up by higher
output at some of its other smelters, some of which are around 30% more energy
efficient than the Rustenburg ones.
“We will be able to meet customer demand because we have not
reduced overall planned production,” he said.
Zibi said it was not clear yet how long the maintenance
programme would last.