Eskom ends grid access for Karpowership

Eskom has said it will no longer reserve the transmission capacity it had agreed to set aside for winners of a South African tender for emergency power provision that didn’t meet a 31 December deadline to complete their financial arrangements.

The decision is a blow for Karpowership, the Turkish provider of ship-mounted power plants, and further reduces the likely impact the 2021 programme will have in making a dent in the almost daily power outages that are crippling South Africa’s economy.

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Only a fraction of the 2 000 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity awarded is being built after a number of the 11 successful projects failed to reach so-called financial close.

Karpowership’s three gas-fired projects, which have been beset by lawsuits and challenges from environmentalists, account for 1 220MW of the total.

Eskom’s decision means that the transmission capacity, which is in short supply in South Africa, can now be awarded to other projects, and those of Karpowership and the other bidders are no longer guaranteed access if they proceed.

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ACWA Power is one of the successful bidders that is yet to announce whether it has achieved financial close.

Scatec ASA is proceeding with three solar power projects to supply 150MW.


Karpowership didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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