Eskom coal

“Eskom has 10 days to change drastically” – Expert analyses chances of blackout

Eskom Coal: This energy activist is predicting huge blackouts for the country and Eskom if the company doesn’t make drastic changes.

Eskom coal

The days of load shedding is a time that no South African has been able to forget about. Arriving home from work only to sit in the dark for the next three hours before you can cook dinner. Now, a local expert is issuing another grave warning regarding Eskom.

According to Ted Blom, a partner at Mining & Energy Advisors, the “Gupta Ghosts” have come back to haunt Eskom once again.

The power utility had spent the last few years buying the coal it needs from the Gupta -owned Tegeta mines. However, the Tegeta mines have gone bust and Eskom now has a dangerous shortage of coal.

“After being severely burned by costly Gupta coal of dubious quality, the fleeing Guptas have again shortchanged Eskom by scavenging plant and cash flow, leaving the cupboards bare, Blom said.”

Eskom still has a contract with the mines until the end of the year, even though billions of rands are needed to restart the mines.

Estimates show that Tegeta provides Esom with nine million tons of coal per day. Since things have shut down, the utility is short more than one millions of tons per month.

Even though the new Eskom board has put a stop to dodgy suppliers, Blom believes that they should have seen the current situation coming more than six weeks ago.

“Proper coal supplier management with accurate dashboards of coal availability per operation, would have revealed the Tegeta supply as erratic and on a downward trend. Furthermore, routine monthly mine visits by Eskom senior management should have shown the plant was scavenged.”

While fears of load shedding continue to grow publically, Eskom has said the word is “no longer a part of their vocabulary.”  Blom, who predicted the 2008 load-shedding to the day, warns that the utility might be telling a fib.

Eskom may claim to have 30 days of coal stockpiled, but Blom says this includes the 10m tons at Medupi power station. That 10 million is inaccessible to the Mpumalanga stations that need it the most.

As a result, Eskom has less than ten days to implement “drastic corrective measures” or SA “will face another blackout.

Winter is coming, folks.