HomeCategoryPowerships for South Africa's energy future

Powerships for South Africa’s energy future

Tank piping aboard the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Karmol LNGT Powership Asia, operated by Karpowership, seen from the ship’s bridge while docked at Cape Town Harbor in Cape Town, South Africa. Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg via Getty Images

myelectricity minister Kgosientso Ramokgopa He believes that powerships, special-purpose ships on which a power plant is installed to serve as a power generation resource, will be the solution to alleviate the country’s power shortage.

Ramokgopa addressed the media on the power action plan update on Friday, where he announced that the utility was looking at motorized ships to ease the load reduction.

Eskom has been unable to keep the lights on, with a constant schedule of sixth stage load shedding. To prevent the grid from collapsing, it has been burning more diesel, which Ramokgopa acknowledged was expensive.

Ramokgopa said that while the country was looking at emergency acquisitions, they were not looking at options that could add much-needed power to the grid quickly.

He added that they were looking for affordable options and would accept anything that costs less than diesel.

“Anything cheaper than diesel is the best option for Eskom. Emergency acquisitions should be three to five years,” he said.


Ramokgopa was affirming the president cyril ramaphosaRecent sentiments from in parliament, signaling his support for Karpowership’s emergency power deal, saying that was “the way to go at the moment to add those megawatts”.

Karpowership is a Turkish company seeking to supply 1,220 megawatts of electricity to South Africa. However, its environmental application to moor a ship-mounted power plant in the Saldanha Bay port has been suspended after allegations that views of small-scale fishing were misrepresented.

Ramaphosa first promoted getting emergency power from electric ships in the government’s power crisis plan last July.

He said that while the plan was welcomed “by all”, the government did not anticipate that the output of Eskom’s coal-fired fleet power plants would continue to fall.

The Turkish company, which operates motor ships in Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana and elsewhere, closed a 20-year deal after the department of mineral resources and energy requested in December 2019 2,000 megawatts of power from emergency.

“What South Africa needs right now is emergency power… Other countries have done it. And I have been to some countries on our continent that have brought ships that can generate power and immediately solved their energy problems and challenges.

I think that’s the way to go right now, to add those megawatts that we don’t have,” Ramaphosa said.

In April 2022, Outa lobby group took legal action against the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for granting three licenses that it argued were not in the interest of South Africa.

failed environmental authorization

Karpowership’s The project’s environmental authorization was first denied in June, with the rejection of the last resort being made public on August 1.

Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barabara Creecy said the powers that be, which belong to the Karadeniz Energy Group, cannot override constitutional and environmental laws, which state that every person has the right to clean and healthy air and water, and protection. of the nation’s other natural resources.

But last week, the company was given a lifeline after Creecy gave it another chance to resubmit its environmental assessment.

This was welcomed by Ramokgopa on Friday, who called the action the way forward.

Ramokgopa says that the improvement of the energy availability factor (EAF) is crucial for the resolution of the electrical crisis facing the country.

Eskom’s low electric furnace at power stations has hampered the power company’s ability to generate enough capacity to provide usage during peak hours in the country, and upgrading the electric furnace is one of the key pillars of the plan energetic.

The minister said that the government, in collaboration with Eskom, has already put several plans in place and is working to increase the electric arc furnace, including opening the market to motorized ships.

Mandisa Nyathi is an Open Society Foundation-funded Climate Reporting Fellow for South Africa.

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