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Eskom wants to build another big power station despite crushing debt

Eskom has plans to build a 3,000MW gas power station outside of Richards Bay and is currently busy with a feasibility study for the project.

This is according to Rapport, which reported that environmental approval for the power station is expected in January next year.

While it is not guaranteed that the construction of the power station will proceed, Eskom confirmed the project and the feasibility study.

The power utility added that the construction cost for the new power station will only be revealed after the feasibility study has been completed.

Bad track record

News of the planned power station outside of Richards Bay comes at a time when Eskom is struggling to stay afloat.

It currently relies on government bailouts to keep the lights on, and just this week it was announced that Eskom will receive an additional R59 billion to save the company.

Apart from its dire financial situation, it has a very poor track record when it comes to building power stations.

Eskom’s latest power stations, Medupi and Kusile, are still unfinished years after they should have been completed.

The money spent on these two power stations is also multiple times higher than the initial budgets for the projects.

Eskom wants higher electricity prices

To try and improve its financial situation, Eskom wants to increase the price of electricity to South Africans.

Eskom is currently challenging the South African energy regulator in court over a tariff increase it says isn’t sufficient.

The debt-laden company is asking a High Court to review a price increase awarded by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

Eskom was granted an electricity price increase of 9.4% in April, less than the 17% it has requested. The utility will raise tariffs by 8.1% next year and 5.2% the one after.

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