Eskom looks to increasing electricity imports to meet demand

JULY 29, 2015

Eskom could increase its electricity imports from neighboring Mozambique by as much as 40 percent as new coal-fired power plants are built and the power utility seeks to meet demand in the South African economy, which has been affected by rolling blackouts since late last year.

The power utility “will be interested in taking 100 to 200 megawatts per project for our regional trade portfolio requirements” for a total of about 600 megawatts, Willem Theron, an executive at the company’s southern African energy transmission group, said Tuesday at a conference in Maputo, the Mozambican capital.

Eskom, which provides 95% of of South Africa's power, currently gets about 1 500 megawatts from Mozambique, mostly from the Cahora Bassa hydropower plant. 

Having Eskom as a customer would improve the viability of proposed coal-fired power projects, Theron told Informa’s Mozambique Coal conference.

Power plants proposed for Mozambique’s coal-rich Tete province include a 300 megawatt facilty planned by Vale SA at Moatize and one of a similar size by International Coal Ventures Pvt Ltd. at Benga. Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. has said it also plans a project of as much as 300 megawatts, while Ncondezi Energy Ltd. envisages a plant that may have capacity of 1 800 megawatts.