Glencore Plc’s Optimum mine in South Africa reinstated coal deliveries to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. as of Friday, while the state-owned utility continues to seek penalties from the miner for breaching its supply contract.
Business rescuers for Optimum on Aug. 20 suspended a contract to supply the electric company’s 2,000-megawatt Hendrina power station. The mine was put into the equivalent of bankruptcy protection earlier in the month.
“This morning they started supplying from the mine again at the contracted price,” Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe told a press conference in Cape Town, referring to the business rescuers.
Eskom is demanding 2 billion rand ($147 million) from Glencore, the additional cost it says it has incurred to find alternatives to the contracted coal supplies. Optimum said it couldn’t afford to keep the mine open unless the contract was renegotiated.
“Optimum Coal Mine will supply Eskom with coal during the negotiations
at the base price of approximately 150 rand per ton and have secured financial support from Glencore for this purpose,” Piers Marsden and Peter van den Steen, the joint business rescue practitioners for the mine, said in a statement.
Eskom has had a summons served to Glencore over the penalties, Molefe said.
“They thought that by saying they will stop supplying, we will pay, we will jump up and down and sign and increase from 150 rand per ton to 530 rand per ton,” Molefe said. “Last night we had meetings and I called them in and I said: ‘Guys, you see your threat didn’t work’.”