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Eskom to spend R213bn on grid overhaul

Oct 16 2015 16:30
Siseko Njobeni

Johannesburg - It will take Eskom seven years to resolve all network constraints required by the South African grid code, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe said on Friday.

Eskom will spend R213bn between 2016 and 2025 on strengthening and developing its transmission network, said Molefe, who was addressing a public forum on Eskom’s transmission plan. 

He said that as part of the Transmission Development Plan, Eskom would increase transmission infrastructure by about 10 000 km of high voltage lines in 10 years.

"This is part of our commitment to capital expenditure and why Eskom currently has one of the largest capital investment projects in the country. This investment is R6bn of the R55bn earmarked for the current financial year," Molefe said.

Eskom will be compliant with the minimum network redundancy requirements of the grid code in 2022, a consequence of the power utility's current funding gap of R280bn. As a result, Eskom has deferred some of its transmission investments.

"We have made some adjustments to the Transmission Development Plan, including re-phasing of the capital investment in transmission projects, to align with the current available funding,” said Molefe.

Molefe said the power utility is working to close the funding gap.

Leslie Naidoo, Eskom's senior manager for infrastructure investment planning, said sourcing the funding would be "a huge challenge", but Molefe said he is "optimistic" about securing the necessary funds.

For much of this year Eskom had to resort to load shedding to prevent the grid from collapsing, a state of affairs that contributed to a 1.3% contraction in the economy in the second quarter.

The system remains constrained but over the past two months power cuts have only been imposed for two hours and 20 minutes.

Eskom expects to have 53 600 megawatts on the grid by 2025 compared with close to 45 000 MW at present.

- With additional reporting from Reuters.





eskom  |  brian molefe  |  electricity  |  energy
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