2018-05-03 10:22

South Africans could learn if load shedding will be a reality this winter, as Eskom Acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe is expected to give an update on the state of the system.

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Eskom meanwhile dodged a Fitch ratings cut on Wednesday, but the ratings agency has kept the utility on negative watch.

Fitch
affirmed Eskom’s ‘BB-‘ credit rating, despite its liquidity challenges.

The power utility was dealt a blow earlier this year when Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings downgraded its bonds to junk.

Fitch
affirmed Eskom’s long-term local currency issuer default rating (IDR)
and unguaranteed local currency senior unsecured ratings at speculative
grade of ‘BB-‘.

“We are encouraged by Fitch Ratings’ decision to affirm Eskom’s credit ratings,” said Eskom acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe.




South Africans will learn if load shedding will be a reality this winter as Eskom Acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe is expected to brief the public on the state of the system from Megawatt Park on Thursday.

The state power utility has been dealing with a coal supply shortage. Last week Eskom issued a statement indicating that seven of its power stations have less than 20 days of stock piles. Overall the coal stockpile levels are at 35 days, excluding Medupe and Kusile power stations.

Eskom has also claimed that its coal supply problems are linked to the fact that Tegeta, which owns Optimum Coal Mine, is in business rescue. Tegeta supplies three stations; Hendrina, Komati and Majuba, Willy Majola, acting group executive of transmission told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises in April.

Eskom board member Neli Magubane told the Standing Committee on Appropriations last week that the national grid is stable. She also said that Eskom has plans in place to manage primary energy resources and ensure healthy stock piles. The details of this plan are to be revealed at today’s briefing.

Meanwhile independent energy expert Ted Blom told Fin24 on Wednesday that Eskom’s board should have foreseen a risk of coal supply shortages six months ago. He said there is a 50% chance there will be load shedding this winter.

The briefing is set to start at 10:30.




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