Eskom resorts to moving coal by road as blackouts loom

An energy expert says it costs about R500 a ton to transport coal from Medupi, pictured, to 10 power stations in Mpumalanga whereas the coal itself costs R300-R350 a ton. He said the extra coal trucks would seriously damage the roads.
Image: Business Times

Eskom has started moving coal from its Medupi power station in Limpopo by road to Mpumalanga where 10 power stations have coal stockpile shortages.

Power stations are supposed to have enough coal to keep the lights on for 20 days.

The power utility said on Friday during a media briefing that it will transport 1.4 Mt (million tons) of coal by train per year from Medupi to the 10 affected power stations from next month.

The affected Mpumalanga power stations are Arnot, Camden, Duvha, Hendrina, Komati, Kriel, Kendal, Majuba, Matla and Tutuka.

“While we have a recovery plan, load-shedding cannot be ruled out for the remainder of 2018,” Eskom said.

Eskom implemented emergency stage one load-shedding on Sunday before it was suspended at 7pm.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said it costs about R500 a ton to transport coal from Medupi to Mpumalanga whereas the coal itself usually costs about R300 to R350 a ton.

Yelland said Medupi might struggle to move coal from the Exxaro Grootegeluk mine near Medupi by either train or road to Mpumalanga because the rail link was running at capacity.

“The transport is going to cause serious damage to these roads. The question is: who pays?”

Read more of the story on TimesLIVE


By: Nico Gous

Source: TMG Digital


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