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The power crisis saga continues as Eskom announces six month delay at Medupi

by , 08 July 2013

We all know the crippling effects of power outages, which have marred South Africa for years. And it doesn't look like it's going to get any better over the next year or so. Today, Eskom confirmed its new power station Medupi won't start producing power at the end of the year as planned. Let's look at what's been going on…

Earlier today, Eskom announced that power from “its new Medupi plant” would only “hit the grid” this time next year reports Fin24. This is a “delay of at least six months” for a much needed addition to the nation’s power grid. This despite assuring us just a month ago that it would complete the project by its December 2013 deadline.

Eskom have blamed “labour unrest” as one of the causes for the delay, adds Fin24.

This latest delay isn’t surprising considering the “site was temporarily closed in January” as workers “went on strike,” notes Mail & Guardian.

Gap in supply likely thanks to delay at Medupi

With this disappointing announcement from Eskom comes news that the delay could “possibly cause a gap in supply in 2014,” notes BDLive and will “increase the cost of the project” of the new coal-fired power station.

And if that’s not bad enough, another of Eskom’s new coal-fired power station, Kusile, due to come online next year has also been “disrupted by strikes,” adds BDLive. Eskom is “still trying to work out what impact the labour disruption” will have on its “start date”.

Eskom currently “provides 95% of the power” in South Africa. But the utility provider has been under severe pressure over the last five years after “the grid came close to collapse in 2008,” reports MoneyWeb.

This led to “factories, mines and smelters” to close for days, which cost “the economy billions of dollars in lost output”. With the mining sector already under severe pressure, this is the last thing that it needs.

Unfortunately, we’re at the mercy of Eskom. Have your generators at the ready!

The power crisis saga continues as Eskom announces six month delay at Medupi
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