Eskom can break tender rules to urgently get more coal: Treasury

Eskom.
Eskom.
Image: FILE PHOTO

National Treasury on Thursday gave Eskom permission to deviate from standard procurement processes in order to deal with the immediate coal supply problems.

In a reply to the publication's questions‚ Treasury said: “In April 2018‚ Eskom approached the Chief Procurement Office to ask for permission to source coal from other coal suppliers. Eskom was then granted approval to deviate from competitive bidding in April 2018.”

Eskom executives told members of parliament on Wednesday that the total system stockpile for all power stations was now at 34 days‚ and if Medupi and Kusile were included‚ this rose to 67 days.

They said they needed urgent authorisation from the National Treasury to purchase more coal without having to go to tender‚ as seven power stations have coal stockpiles that are lower than the levels required. Meanwhile‚ coal is being moved from stations that had healthy stockpiles to stations that did not have sufficient stock.

But energy activist Ted Blom warned that Eskom has less than ten days to implement drastic corrective measures or South Africa will face another blackout‚ which SA struggled with in 2008.

Blom‚ a partner at Mining and Energy Advisors‚ said that as the Tegeta mines are now in business rescue‚ "a good couple of billion rands will be required to restart operations".

"Given that the Optimum contract expires at the end of 2018‚ that is hardly likely to happen‚" he said in a statement.

The Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources mines supplied three power stations‚ including Hendrina‚ Komati and Majuba.

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