Gupta-owned Tegeta holds Eskom to ransom, but load shedding not a problem

Eskom has assured that load shedding is not a risk at present, as Gupta-owned Tegeta threatens to withhold coal supply unless Eskom pays more.

Eskom has moved to assure consumers that load shedding is not a risk at this point following a report last week that the power utility was being held to ransom by a coal supplier.

A report by amaBhungane last week revealed that the Gupta-owned coal supplier Tegeta had threatened to cut supply to the Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga because it wanted Eskom to pay more for its coal.

According to leaked minutes of an Eskom meeting, managers were warned that the power station could be shut down or they would have to employ the more expensive open cycle gas turbines or implement load shedding.

Eskom could be in trouble if it has a coal stockpile of less than 20 days. But the power utility says that its Hendrina station has at least a 10-day supply of coal, but it is still assessing.

However, Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe has moved to assure consumers that load shedding was not a risk at this stage as they are still receiving coal from Tegeta. But, the utility will take legal action if complications arise.

“We continue to engage Tegeta. Our teams have indicated that there’s 10 days of coal supply, but we’ll continue with our assessment; the counting continues,” Phasiwe said.

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