On December 23, 2016, The New Age Online newspaper released an article featuring our spokesperson, Alan Matthews. The article states that the dark days for South Africa’s economy are finally over as the second unit (Unit 5) of Eskom’s new Medupi power station will be fully operational, suggesting that the local economy is more than ready for this year.
The power utility said that Medupi power station is now closer to commercial operation and this is a significant achievement since its successful synchronisation in September 2016. This will particularly boost heavy industries and small businesses, which were hit hard by load shedding in the past two years, leading to an economic slowdown.
Analysts said this is good news for such a major boost before the start of the new year, and that going forward the country can expect manufacturing and mining output to increase after suffering heavy losses in the last two years.
Medupi power station is a greenfield coal-fired dry-cooled base load station comprising six units rated at 4 800MW installed capacity and it will be the fourth-largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. Some industry analysts said given the latest improved business leading indicator published by the Reserve Bank this week, which showed economic improvement for the next six months, the synchronisation of 796MW into the grid will boost the country’s energy and ignite the economy.
Phanuel Rapule, an independent economist, said it was evident that SA was becoming more energy efficient and there is no doubt that the local economic growth will somehow improve and consumer confidence will be restored. “Power is the key economic driver anywhere in the world. That means the dark days are over, our local energy problems are vastly disappearing and this could be the start of good things to come,” he said. The South African Chamber of Business (Sacci) also welcomed the move and that business had been proactive in seeking solutions to the energy crisis.
Alan Matthews, spokesperson for Energy Partners, said electricity costs are still on the rise and Energy Partners’ research said there will be above inflation increases in tariffs for at least the next three years. “Consumers must make sure they switch off their appliances while they are away.
Read full article here.