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SA may face serious shortage of electricity supply in March
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Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011
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TEX reported that the supply situation of electric power in South Africa is anticipated to deepen a seriousness of the shortage for the time being. Owing to a heavy rainfall continued recently for 2 to 3 weeks, the short supply of coal to electric power generation plants has arisen and, therefore, the operations at plants have been lowered.

In addition to these problems, the facilities to generate electric power installed at plants have been troubled. Under the circumstances, the executive of Eskom, national corporation of electric power in South Africa, said that, as far as this serious situation of electric power continues, a short supply of 3,000 MW is forecasted to arise in March 2011.

Eskom announced in this week that the current factors to cause a shortage in generation of electric power are as because of the deteriorated facilities for generation of electric power, the output of electric power is estimated to have a shortage of 10,000 MW and the consumption of electric power in South Africa is presumed to have an increase of 30,000 MW. In order to cope with this lack of electric power, Eskom has planned to import 43,000 MW of electric power from such neighboring countries as Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

South Africa already experienced a serious shortage of electric power in the same period of 2008 and, consequently, Eskom has decided the policy, which is unable to guarantee the supply of electric power for new projects. At the same time, Eskom has commenced to cut the supply of electric power by 10% on an annualized base for the next 3 years. Under the present situation, a probability to cut the supply of electric power in South Africa is being enlarged to carry over to 2015.

A crisis of the electricity in South Africa arisen in this time has a possibility to continue for a short period but an aftereffect of this shortage in supply of electric power is supposed to be left in the first half of 2011. The consumption f electric power in South Africa in 2011 is estimated to increase by 2% from that in 2010 but, in view of the fact that the supply situation of electric power is not in order at present, the countermeasure for this aspect is a necessity to adjust the volume of electric power by a cutoff of its supply.

Eskom has an intention to talk with 500 companies, as major consumers of electric power in South Africa, on saving of electricity consumption.

For a reference, the chrome industry is one of major consumers of electric power in South Africa but the parties concerned have a view that, even if the cut of electricity supply is implemented, such panic as emerged in 2008 will be unlikely to come out in this time. The international situation on supply and demand of ferrochrome has still continued on an excessive supply and there is an opinion in the market that, if South Africa shifts to reduce their production of ferrochrome, it will be possible to revise the supply position of ferrochrome. A weakness on price of ferrochrome is thought to deepen its root.

(Sourced from TEX Report Limited)

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