INSANE South Africa: Failing Coal Power stations need enough diesel to fill 200,000 cars per day!!!


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[The main coal powered electricity power stations are in a very sad state, and it's not getting better. Due to all kinds of incompetence and just assorted stupidity, foolishness, inefficiency, laziness, corruption, etc, etc, etc. We've got serious electrical problems. We're now in stage 4 rolling blackouts and it could go to 6 or, even 10. I've never seen them mentioning a situation this serious. The backup plan, because they can't do their work properly, is to run special open-cycle gas turbine generators that run on diesel. But the bummer is Putin and his war in Ukraine! So can you believe, these clowns, idiots and fools are burning through 9 million litres of diesel PER DAY!!! Eskom is run by a White man. I do so wish that Whites would STOP saving this disgusting communist anti-White government. Just let things collapse in a heap so that we can part company and go our own way FFS. Jan]

Eskom is burning through 9 million litres of diesel per day to run its open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) generating units, chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer has revealed.

This volume of diesel is enough to fill the tanks of up to 112,500 Toyota Hilux bakkies or 200,000 Volkswagen Polos per day.

Eskom’s coal generation fleet has suffered numerous trips in recent days, making the utility more reliant on diesel-powered open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), costing tens of millions of rand each day.

After raising load-shedding to stage 4 on Wednesday morning, Eskom held a media briefing explaining that it was forced to run OCGTs deep into Tuesday evening to top up water levels at pumped storage schemes in anticipation of the early morning peak demand.

It shut down the OCGTs after midnight, but they had to be ramped up again just after 03:00 AM — which was unusual given that demand is typically very low during this time.

Because they are powered by diesel, the OCGTs are much more expensive to run than coal, wind, or solar power plants.

Oberholzer said the diesel for one OCGT unit running at maximum capacity costs Eskom about R700,000 per hour.

He also said that Eskom currently pays about R4,700 per MW of electricity generated by OCGTs.

Assuming Eskom runs all 3,000MW of OCGT capacity for just over two peak hours in the day, the diesel would cost R28.2 million.

But based on feedback from Eskom over the last few days, the utility is likely relying on these power stations more regularly.

The Gourikwa OCGT power station in the Western Cape

According to Eskom’s public data portal, it had generated 53.2GWh of electricity with OCGTs in the first five days of March 2022.

Using the same R4,700 per MW figure, the diesel for fuelling that amount of generation would cost roughly R250 million.

That means Eskom spent R50 million per day on diesel at the start of March. If that trend continued throughout the year, it would amount to R18.25 billion spent on diesel.

However, Oberholzer also said that Eskom was currently delivering 100 tankers with 4 million litres of diesel every day to Ankerlig, while a further 5 million litres was transported to Gourikwa via pipeline.

Eskom has not shared how much it pays per litre of diesel, so it is not possible to calculate precisely how much each day’s stock would cost.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the utility buys its diesel in bulk directly from PetroSA and Astron Energy, which means it gets a discount on the market price.

Currently, the coastal wholesale price of the cheaper 500ppm diesel is R18.87, which would mean 9 million litres would cost a regular wholesale buyer R169.83 million.

Even if Eskom’s discount were for half the wholesale price of diesel, the amount would be over R80 million per day.

Russian danger

Eskom expects Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could increase its diesel costs, resulting in a knock-on effect with electricity price increases in the future.

On Wednesday, Oberholzer also warned the utility might experience issues with diesel supply due to the conflict.

He explained that Eskom would have to implement three stages of load-shedding if it could not run any of its OCGTs, on top of whichever stage of load-shedding was already required due to outages at its coal power station.

If its available generation without the OCGTs cannot refill the dam levels at the roughly 2,700MW of pumped storage power plants, that would necessitate another three stages of load-shedding.

Under current conditions, that could push South Africa from stage 4 to stage 10 load-shedding.

Oberholzer said Eskom was currently working on moving its OCGTs over to gas supply, which would be substantially cheaper than diesel.

In addition, Eskom is planning to develop a gas-powered 3,000MW Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) in Richard’s Bay.

Furthermore, the utility also wanted to repurpose old coal power stations like Komati to generate electricity using gas instead of coal.


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