[imagesource: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg]
Wake up. Coffee. Check EskomSePush to see at what time we’ll be without power.
Another day in South Africa, ek se.
Given how the year has gone so far, that seems oddly fitting.
In laying out its recovery plan, Eskom officials have talked about the possibility of load shedding for an unspecified number of years, but energy expert Ted Blom isn’t one for such vagaries.
He spoke with MyBroadband recently, and said that South Africa could be stuck with load shedding “until at least 2025”, as a result of “Eskom’s continued problems with generation capacity and inability to properly maintain its infrastructure”.
Those estimates are in line with the recent findings from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which painted a grim picture:
Blom said that the statement that load-shedding would continue for the next three years was correct, adding that his own projection posited that the national rolling blackouts would last even longer.
“My scenario extends to load-shedding for at least five years after they have signed on the opening of new coal mines to feed the current coal fleet,” Blom [below] said…
He expects load-shedding to get worse over the next year as there are still “turf wars” and corruption taking place inside Eskom, resulting in inadequate maintenance and major shortfalls in the quality of the maintenance.
Not only that, but funding that is desperately needed for maintenance is being gobbled up by “at least 20 000 extra staff on the payroll”.
As I’m sure you’re aware, the country is on stage two load shedding (at the time of writing), which Eskom attributed to the breakdown of four units, and there is the risk of an increase in stage at any point.
This from Eskom’s release yesterday:
“At short notice” is the real kicker there.
Blom went on to slam Eskom’s “pipe dream” of extensive maintenance work improving reliability in the short term:
“I doubt that Eskom has the requisite skillset in-house to drive such a programme, and without an appropriate skillset, Eskom is embarking on a disastrous path akin to that of Medupi and Kusile, with gross overruns on budgets and duration, extreme wastage, and corruption possibilities.”
Happy hump day, South Africa. You can find Blom on Twitter here.
As parts of the country are blanketed in snow, and we don multiple layers of clothing to keep out the chills, many millions will go without power tonight.
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