A briefing session will be held on Wednesday for potential respondents to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) request for information (RFI) for power generation solutions that can be “grid connected in the shortest time at the least possible cost”.
The responses will be used to inform a ‘Risk Mitigation Power Purchase Programme’ through which between 2 000 MW and 3 000 MW of near-term capacity could be procured from independent power producers (IPPs) as part of belated efforts to alleviate South Africa’s current electricity supply constraints.
On Sunday January 5, Eskom declared Stage 2 load-shedding after unplanned breakdowns surged to nearly 16 000 MW on January 4 and after yet another conveyor-belt failure at Medupi.
The decision to implement load-shedding on a Sunday when demand was extremely low was not anticipated by the State-owned utility and was undertaken despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s December 11 assurance that Eskom would keep the lights on until at least January 13.
Ramaphosa made the promise during a briefing held at Megawatt Park two days after Eskom took the unprecedented step, on December 9, of declaring Stage 6 load-shedding, representing rotational cuts of 6 000 MW.
The DMRE briefing will take place at 11:00 and will be held at the IPP Office, in Centurion. Its primary purpose is to answer questions of potential respondents to the RFI, the deadline for which is 10:00 on January 31.
The DMRE said in a statement that it would welcome responses from existing projects, projects that are currently under development, as well as new projects from all technologies.
“The objective of the RFI is to analyse options to procure between 2 000 MW and 3 000 MW of power generation capacity that can be grid connected in the shortest time at the least possible cost.”