JOHANNESBURG – Three power plants operated by South Africa’s Eskom have below 10 days of coal stockpiles, Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Such low coal stockpiles put those plants at risk of outages and increase the risk of controlled power blackouts in Africa’s most industrialised economy.
Eskom has come under fire for proposing a 15 percent annual tariff hike.
Mining lobby group the Minerals Council South Africa has warned that the industry could lose 150 000 jobs if the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa granted Eskom the 15 percent annual tariff hike for three years under the fourth Multi-Year Price Determination.
The council’s chief economist, Henk Langenhoven, said yesterday that the increase would signal a tipping point for the mining industry and the economy.
Langenhoven said it would also hasten the demise of the gold mining industry, where 61 367 employees were working at marginal or loss-making mines.
He said it would also push down production to 20 tons from the current level of 140 tons a year.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE