Eskom spent just under R7bn on diesel to run its emergency generation plants in the last financial year and about R3.5bn on independent power producers (IPPs) and generators.
And for the past 21 days of April, the new financial year, Eskom has already spent R626m on about 48.5-million litres of fuel to run its open cycle gas turbines — usually reserved to supply additional energy to the national grid during times of peak or emergency demand.
That’s according to Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, who on Thursday said that load-shedding may be lifted by the weekend.
Eskom expects to lower load-shedding to stage 2 on Thursday night after the peak hours of consumption between 5pm and 8pm.
Stage 4 load-shedding was implemented on Tuesday after two generation units tripped.
De Ruyter said though load-shedding was not anticipated for the coming weekend, this depended on the stability of generation units.
“There are risks and it’s difficult to forecast and predict [as it] depends on the weekend and the additional rainfall in Mpumalanga where [our] coal plants are. We may see further impact for Monday next week as the forecast is likely tight,” he said.
“But if the units are back in service and [there has been] a reduction in load, it should be OK.”
De Ruyter said several units had been returned to service during the week but there was still a loss of 270MW due to maintenance at Cahora Bassa.