Eskom’s coal-fired power stations exceed pollution limits – report

Duvha power station in Witbank. A report by a coal expert claims that most Eskom coal-fired power plants persistently exceed air pollution limits.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Nearly all Eskom power plants persistently exceed air pollution limits stipulated in their licences.

This is according to a new report by US coal plant expert Dr Ranajit Sahu, who found that, over a 21-month period until December 2017, the power utility’s coal power plants exceeded its already-weak licence conditions almost 3,200 times.

The report said this related to all three regulated pollutants for coal plants – namely sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter,  including soot and ash.

Eskom, in its response however, said its stations generally complied with the conditions of their atmospheric emission licences and the stipulated limits specifically in the period analysed by Sahu.

The analysis was based on Eskom’s own monthly reports of emissions from its coal power plants, which were submitted to authorities.

Life After Coal, the organisation which commissioned the report, said the findings meant that Eskom was continuously endangering health and violating the human rights of millions of people affected by its pollution.

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