The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) did not consider Eskom’s application for a review of its electricity supply contracts with BHP Billiton’s aluminium smelters at the October 29 meeting of the Energy Regulator, indicating that internal processes still needed to be finalised before it could do so.
However, the matter would probably be discussed at the next meeting of the energy regulator, which is scheduled for November 26.
Earlier this month, Nersa received BHP Billiton’s official response to Eskom’s application, which was made in terms of Section 32 of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006.
The section compels the regulator to investigate complaints of “discrimination regarding tariffs or conditions of access” and to act to ensure that any licence contraventions are remedied.
The regulator is empowered to make a determination on whether there are objective, identifiable and justifiable reasons for sustaining or disallowing discriminatory pricing formulas.
But Nersa is also seeking legal opinion regarding the sanctity of the contract and what it can or cannot do with regards contracts entered into between Eskom and BHP Billiton.