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South Africa's Power Crisis: Eskom Burns Billions in Diesel

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The state power utility, Eskom, is fervently burning through vast amounts of diesel to mitigate the current record high levels of electricity outages in South Africa. Despite Eskom's significant diesel consumption, South Africans continue to experience Stage 6 load shedding, a mechanism that removes 6,000 megawatts of capacity from the grid to prevent a total blackout.

Irrespective of the assurances of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the energy crisis persists with no notable improvement in the performance of the country's coal-fired plants. These plants form the core of the power generation system; however, their insufficient performance necessitates an increased reliance on Eskom's auxiliary units to bolster energy output.

Eskom's data reveals a considerable increase in the energy generated from its open-cycle gas turbines running on diesel within the financial year commencing April 1. The power utility has spent more than $1 billion on diesel in the past year till March 31, a staggering figure that was more than double the previous period. This escalating financial burden shows no signs of decreasing.

Availability of Eskom for comment remains pending at this stage.

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