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Eskom on Track with Sustainability: VGBe Report Recommendations Welcomed

by Central News Reporter
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Johannesburg – Eskom has embraced the findings of the VGBe report, mandated by the National Treasury and supported by Eskom, as key to reviving the beleaguered power utility. The report, stemming from a review carried out between March and May 2023, coincided with the adoption of the Generation Operational Recovery Plan by the Eskom Board.

This plan has been instrumental in targeting areas for improvement stretching across the people, plants, and processes involved in energy generation. Following the strategic appointment of Bheki Numalo as the Generation Group Executive in April last year, Eskom has been committed to offering fortnightly updates to the public, courtesy of the Minister of Electricity and top Eskom personnel.

“A turning point has been achieved with substantial strides being taken since the period under VGBe’s review,” stated an optimistic Numalo. He added, “We are thankful to the National Treasury for commissioning the report and for the debt relief, which has made funds available for much-needed capital to invest in planned maintenance, restore energy availability, and invest in other key projects across all divisions.”

Modifications implemented at powerhouse stations such as Medupi and Kusile have resulted in a noticeable uptick in performance. Medupi stands tall as a testament to the improvements, boasting high reliability rates post-modifications.

Progress can be quantified with a total of 3,510MW recuperated through remedial actions focused on pivotal stations. Each station benefits from a customised recovery plan, centrally overseen for assured execution. Meanwhile, decisive milestones loom with Kusile Unit 6’s synchronisation, Medupi Unit 4, and Koeberg Unit 2’s long-term operation project on schedule to contribute an additional 2,500MW to the national grid by the year’s close.

Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Plan has blunted the fall in energy availability factor (EAF), with ambitions to hit an EAF average of 65% by March 2024, followed by a 70% target for March 2025. Encouragingly, unplanned outages have decreased year-on-year as of January 2024.

Conscious decisions to bolster reliability during 2023’s summer saw heightened maintenance, peaking between December 2023 and January 2024. “The Board has asked our new Group Chief Executive, Dan Marokane, to assess the Generation Operation Recovery Plan with the view to accelerate its execution. He will also make sure that VGBe recommendations are implemented. As a team, we know that ending loadshedding largely depends on disciplined execution of our recovery plan,” concluded Numalo

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