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Eskom IPP signing date to be revealed this month - minister

Aug 22 2017 11:22
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town - Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said the date for the signing of Eskom’s power purchase agreements (PPAs) relating to the renewable energy Independent Power Producers (IPP) bid window 4 and 4.5 will be announced by the end of the month.

Kubayi announced this in an energy portfolio committee meeting at Parliament on Tuesday.

The signing of the PPAs will allow the private power producers to begin construction on wind turbines and solar PV stations.

The renewable energy sector has seen investment confidence decline since Eskom decided not to sign PPAs in 2016, as it said it had excess capacity and would have to pay for electricity it would not require.

President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address in February 2017 that Eskom would sign the IPP PPAs, but this was stalled after the March Cabinet reshuffle saw the new minister delay the process to engage with key stakeholders.

“Regarding the signing of PPAs in terms of IPPs, there has been progress and it is almost concluded,” Kubayi said. “At the end of the month we will issue a decision.

“The Department of Energy, Eskom and the DPE (Department of Public Enterprises) have been sitting and there has been positive work there,” she said. “We will give a date by the end of August.”

“We have a position to protect our sector. Renewables are important and have a key role to play in the energy mix,” she said. “We remain committed to proceeding with IPPs.

“I have a duty as a minister to represent everyone in the sector,” she said. “At times, lobbying in a sector makes it difficult to have the sector growing.

“We should say, for heaven’s sake, can we put our interests aside and do it for the best of this country. Do it for South Africa and not for your own interests.”

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