Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Department forced to procure more energy

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Apr 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The power cuts implemented by Eskom over the years has forced the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to procure additional energy to ensure electricity supply.

This information forms part of the presentation made by senior officials of the department before the National Assembly’s minerals and energy committee on Tuesday in supporting the department’s decision to procure 2 000MW of renewable energy from independent power producers.

Director-General in the department Thabo Mokoena and Deputy Director-General Jacob Mbele also defended claims of alleged political interference in the procurement process.

They said everything was above aboard to pick the bidders to produce renewable energy to be added to the national grid.

Mbele said Eskom has had load-shedding for some time and to go for renewable energy was a measure to ensure electricity supply.

“Why has it become urgent now is the issue of diesel. It has become urgent because we are having load-shedding. Eskom has made it clear that they did not see themselves get out of this challenge anytime soon. It is therefore urgent that we must deal with load shedding,” said Mbele.

He added that they were looking at projects that will come online as soon as possible.

Mbele further said that they picked all the successful bidders after a fair and transparent process.

He maintained that the companies chosen have been able to give them the 2 000MW they were looking for.

“It means that the amount of capacity we were looking for has been taken up,” said Mbele.

The projects would now get under-way as soon as they have finalised all the required processes.

The companies would now have to finalise environmental authorisations and financial closure soon.

He said Eskom would procure energy from these companies supplying renewables because of the challenges on energy supply in the country.

“There was a sense of urgency from the department, but unfortunately, there are stakeholders that must be taken over the line otherwise there is no procurement. That is what took a lot of time. This process is a process of multiple stakeholders that is why it takes a lot of time. Eskom is not in a position it was in a few years back with renewable,” said Mbele.

This was during Bid Window 1 to Bid Window 3.

They started to experience challenges during Bid Window 4.

Mbele said the Integrated Resource Plan identified a long-term plan to resolve the energy crisis in the country.

He said Eskom will procure energy from independent power producers.

He said this was an urgent procurement process because of load shedding.

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Political Bureau

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