Eskom to pump R163bn into transmission infrastructure

Cape Town - Eskom plans to spend R163bn on transmission infrastructure in the next 10 years, according to the utility's transmission development plan.

The planned expenditure includes expansion of capacity, refurbishment and land acquisitions. The bulk of the expenditure, about R146bn, will go towards expansion as the utility strengthens its transmission capacity to accommodate new customers and new electricity capacity.

The plan covers the period between 2015 and 2024. In this period, the Eskom transmission system will have to accommodate capacity from new projects such as the Medupi power station, Kusile power station, Ingula pumped storage scheme, open cycle gas turbine power stations, renewable energy projects and new coal power stations.

The government-led renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme has seen a total of 4 322 MW procured from the private sector in just under four years.

In the current financial year, Eskom will get additional power from Medupi (unit 6) and Ingula (units 3 and 4). Medupi’s unit 6 is now fully operational and started feeding into the national electricity grid in August.

The plan lists Eskom's transmission projects in the country's various provinces. These include approved projects, projects prepared for approval and projects likely to be approved in the next 10 years.

Eskom has allocated R959m for transmission expenditure in the current financial year. The utility has set aside R9.8bn and R6bn for the generation and distribution businesses, respectively.