The “special’ cabinet meeting, which was held two days ago, unveiled a grand plan to address the disruptive effects of the recent power outages, which includes five core points.
- Cogeneration “opportunity”
One of the prime areas being considered is cogeneration “opportunity” through the extension of existing contracts with the private sector.
At present about 1 400 MW is supplied to the grid through cogeneration – via power purchase agreements with the private sector. These agreements expired in March 2014, but they would be extended in January 2015 to ensure “that this capacity is ensured” in line with the Electricity Regulation Act, according to Energy Minister, Joemat-Petterson.
Further, Joemat-Petterson said Government would start procurement processes for an additional 1 000 MW, which she hoped would be brought on line within 18 months – the middle of 2016.
- Substitution of diesel with gas
Another thousand megawatts will be brought on stream by using gas. Government will accelerate the programme for substitution of diesel with gas to fire up the diesel power plants. Most of the gas required will be imported.
- Retrofitting energy efficient technologies
A third element of the five point plan involves “retrofitting energy efficient technologies” at the 183 municipalities around the country. This will also apply to commercial and residential buildings.
- Coal-independent power programme
The fourth element of the turnaround plan involves launching a coal-independent power producer programme. The focus will be on harnessing waste energy from the sugar, paper, and pulp industries. The latter is expected to produce about 1 000 MW.
- 30-day interventions
The fifth element of the turnaround plan was to achieve the various interventions in the period over the next 30 days.