Speaking on Jacaranda FM, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha explained that the power utility has been using its 20 open cycle gas turbines, which operates on diesel, at full capacity costing around R10 million per hour.
“We use them depending on the situation and how many megawatts we need,” he said.
Mantshantsha confirmed that in a span of 10 years (from 2009 to 2019), Eskom has spent R47.4 billion on diesel alone.
He added the power utility was forced to use 14 gas turbines during Tuesday’s overnight stage 2 load shedding, costing R70 million.
“Eskom has been using open cycle gas turbines for more than 10 years since we have had this problem of shortage of capacity. This burns a significant hole in the finances because it costs a lot of money.
“Eskom has already told investors and the public that we are expecting to report a loss of about R22 billion in the year ending March 2021,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eskom is currently in talks with a view to sell the De Wilge Residential Development Project in Mpumalanga to the Human Settlements Department.
This after it was revealed by the Auditor-General of South Africa, during a standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) briefing last week, that the power utility’s fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased from R538 million to R2.9 billion in the last financial year.
Part of the R2.9 billion was spent on building a block of flats which were meant to house technicians who were going to work at Kusile Power Station while it was being built.
Initially, the budget for the flats was R160 million but it later increased to R840 million. The flats have now been abandoned and deemed impaired.
Additional reporting from Vhahangwele Nemakonde