Public Enterprise Ministry Statement
The Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba has noted Eskom’s announcement about Medupi’s delay to deliver first power in December 2013 as originally planned. He has tasked the Eskom Board and Management to work tirelessly to ensure that the country’s security of electricity supply is not compromised as result of the delay.
Unit 6, which is the first of Medupi’s six 800 MW units, was due to deliver first power to the grid by the end of 2013. However, Eskom has communicated that several technical challenges need to be resolved in order for Unit 6 to begin producing power. These technical challenges relate to the quality of welds on the boiler, the control and instrumentation systems and the boiler protection system in addition to the on-going labour challenges.
The shareholder has noted the interventions that the Eskom Board and Executive Management have put in place to ensure that there is no further delay to the delivery of power to the grid.
In this regard following Minister Gigaba’s instruction, the Eskom Board has established a sub-committee focusing on the mega projects which includes Medupi, Kusile, Ingula and 765 Transmission lines. The Board Sub-Committee is to closely monitor progress and to report to the Minister regularly of any emerging risks that may require his attention and intervention.
Following on Minister Gigaba’s concern about the dual role played by the Finance Director as the Group Capital, the Eskom Board has agreed to split the roles and a new Executive for Group Capital will be appointed as a matter of urgency to ensure close monitoring of the Eskom Build programme.
Being cognisant of the challenges above and the relief the first unit of Medupi would have brought to the already tight system, and whilst the need for provision of adequate and reliable electricity remains an essential element to support economic growth and the country’s developmental imperatives, Minister Gigaba has tasked Eskom to provide him with mitigation strategies to ensure uninterruptable electricity given these delays.