March 24, 2020 / 3:48 PM / 12 days ago

Sasol to bid to supply South Africa's Eskom with temporary power

JOHANNESBURG, March 24 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Sasol will bid to provide struggling state-owned utility Eskom with temporary supplies of power, the petrochemical producer told Reuters on Tuesday.

Eskom generates more than 90% of the electricity in Africa’s most industrialised economy but has grappled with faults at its coal-fired power plants, forcing it to implement power cuts that have weighed on economic growth.

On Monday, Eskom published a request for proposals (RFP) on a government tender website inviting bids from existing generating plants with at least 5 megawatts (MW) of spare capacity to supplement its own supplies.

Sasol, the world’s top manufacturer of motor fuel from coal, said it could supply Eskom with up to 50 MW of power, subject to maintenance requirements and natural gas availability.

“Sasol will respond to this RFP with an offer to supply incremental generation from the Sasol Gas Engine Power Plant,” it said in a statement.

Sasol can generate power at its Sasolburg and Secunda plants from gas, as well as from steam turbine generators integrated within its operations.

The RFP stated that the maximum contract period for the power purchase agreement with Eskom would be 36 months. Eskom has previously procured power from companies including Sasol during times of crisis. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Alexander Winning and Edmund Blair)

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