Eskom Forecasts No South Africa Power Cuts Going Into Winter

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the South African power utility that last year struggled to provide the continent’s most-industrialized economy with constant supply, said there is little risk of scheduled blackouts until the nation’s colder months start in June.

“Eskom has stabilized and we don’t anticipate load shedding for the rest of summer and winter,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe told reporters in Johannesburg Wednesday.

The country’s power-supply system was plagued by rolling blackouts in the first half of last year, curbing mining and manufacturing, both knocked by strikes that limited 2014 growth to the slowest pace since a 2009 recession. Eskom has imposed rolling blackouts only once in the past six months, and has performed maintenance on its aging fleet without having to resort to cuts.

South Africa has struggled to meet its electricity demand after decades of underinvestment and multi-year delays in completing new plants. About 5,620 megawatts of capacity from new plants will be in commercial operation by March 2020, Molefe said. The utility is building two coal-fired facilities that will jointly add about 9,500 megawatts to the grid, as well as the 1,332-megawatt Ingula pumped-storage facility.

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