Johannesburg - Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of the Presidency responsible for Electricity, has announced that two additional hydrogen projects have been approved by the Eskom board and believes the project will reach a close by the end of June this year.
He said that the project would add an extra 274 megawatts (MW) to the grid, and that preparations are underway to release an additional bid window.
Ramokgopa also announced that technical experts supported by the Resource Mobilisation Fund (RMF) would be stationed at various power stations across the country starting on Monday, June 5.
These experts would be at four power stations where the Energy Availability Factor (EAF) was low; these include Matla, Kriel, Majuba, and Kendal power stations.
Regarding demand management support, Ramokgopa said he was confident that the programme would be oversubscribed.
"Remember, we did say that there's huge potential that can be derived on the demand side, essentially clawing back the megawatts on the demand side without necessarily interrupting households’ ability to get their daily requirements.
"So we think that this will significantly improve a generation because this was one major stumbling block," he said.
Meanwhile, Eskom has noted Fitch Ratings’ decision to affirm the organisation’s long-term local currency issuer default rating (IDR) at "B" with a stable outlook.
"The ratings decision was announced by Fitch on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Central to the rating agency’s decision is Eskom’s link to the South African government as a state-owned enterprise. The decision also comes on the back of the debt relief package for Eskom as announced by the Minister of Finance in February this year," said the power entity.
According to Eskom, as stated in the Eskom Debt Relief Bill, the government will, over the next three years, provide Eskom with debt relief of R254 billion.
"This will be in the form of advances of R78bn in 2023/24 financial year, R66bn in 2024/25 financial year, and R40bn in 2025/26 financial year, as well as a takeover of up to R70bn of Eskom’s loan portfolio in 2025/26 financial year.
“The latest decision by the rating agency is an encouragement to the co-operative and ongoing efforts to restore Eskom’s financial stability, improve performance, and ensure its long-term sustainability," read the statement.