There is hope that, by bringing all the units at Tutuka Power Station back online, Eskom will eliminate three load-shedding stages.
This is according to a report by Newzroom Africa, which spoke to the electricity minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and the acting general manager of Tutuka, Mxolisi Ntanzi.
Ramokgopa recently visited Tutuka as part of his “power station roadshow”. He has been touring power stations and engaging with their management to understand problems at the stations better.
Ntanzi said support from the minister has already yielded positive results at Tutuka, as all six units at the station are expected to be up and running by the end of next month.
After Kusile, which is yet to be fully constructed, Tutuka is the worst-performing power station in the country.
Tutuka currently has an energy availability factor (EAF) of between 15% and 17%, according to former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. This is a significant decrease from its performance just a few years ago when its EAF was 75%.
Ramokgopa identified poor-quality coal and procurement irregularities related to corruption as the station’s biggest problems.
Tutuka has the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s generation system.
The station’s six units have a combined capacity of 3,654 MW, which, if put back onto the grid, could eliminate three stages of load-shedding.
Ntanzi told Newzroom Africa that leadership from the electricity minister is exactly “what we’ve been waiting for”.
“I think he is very supportive. He has brought a lot of hope. One thing that has stood out is that he is part of us. He is not here to judge us but to assist us in getting us where we are supposed to be.”