However, spokesperson for the struggling State-owned company Andrew Etzinger noted that this extra power would not be on a continuous basis.
The power would come from the power station’s fifth generator, from which the Mozambican electricity utility would also receive 50 MW of additional capacity.
This generator had previously been used to ensure continuous supply when the other generator units went on maintenance.
Eskom said that 100 MW of this additional capacity was already being supplied from Friday, and that this would be ramped up “in the coming weeks”.
The power would be supplied over a network extending through Zimbabwe and Botswana to the South African grid or via the high-voltage, direct-current line to the Apollo substation.
GREATER HYDRO POTENTIAL
Etzinger told Engineering News Online in a telephone interview that there was potential to expand Carora Bassa, majority owned by the Portuguese government.
“The cost would be relatively low in comparison to that of a new greenfields site, but it would still be substantial,” he said.
Etzinger said that the price that Eskom was paying for electricity from the hydroelectric scheme had increased, but was still “attractive”, as it was cheaper than the average cost that Eskom paid to generate power in South Africa.
Eskom was currently transporting the power from Mozambique to South Africa via Zimbabwe, which Etzinger said was a risk. The utility also needed to invest R500-million to upgrade its Apollo substation, partly to take up the additional power from Cahora Bassa.
Another potential source of electricity for Eskom was the Moatize coal project that Brazilian mining giant Vale was building there, should the miner or a partner decide to build a power station there.
“Our intent is clear, we want to maximise imports and minimise exports,” stated Etzinger.