German plan to help Eskom

German energy consultants have completed a review of Eskom’s struggling coal-fired plants and will submit the report to South Africa’s finance minister this week.

Enoch Godongwana is set to receive the report from consultants led by vgbe energy e.V., a Germany-based technical association of energy-plant operators in 34 countries, this week, National Treasury Director-General Duncan Pieterse told reporters on Tuesday.

The utility, which is subjecting South Africa to its worst-ever electricity outages and curtailing economic growth, is expected to implement the group’s recommendations as part of the terms of a R254 billion debt relief package from the government to be accessed over three years.

Treasury announced in February that it had hired the consultants to assess Eskom’s 14 coal-fired power plants to determine which ones can be revived to original equipment-manufacturers’ standards, do a skills assessment and advice on operational improvements to boost power generation.

“There are recommendations around procurement, access to spare parts and so on, and how the maintenance regimes can be better managed,” Pieterse said. “We think these kinds of reports should become the norm” for state-owned companies, he said.

The consortium of consultants included experts from RWE Technology International GmbH, STEAG GmbH, KWS Energy Knowledge eG, and Dornier Power and Heat GmbH.


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