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Eskom focuses on turnaround strategy

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Eskom’s board and executive management are all on the same page regarding management’s proposed turnaround plan, the utility said last week.

The power utility’s board of directors acknowledged the strides made by executive management in turning the company’s operational and financial performance around in the last year, and said it supports the overall strategy going forward that will help sustain this momentum.

The board is now being led by interim chairperson Zethembe Khoza who was appointed following the resignation of former board chairperson Ben Ngubane.

Following a two-day board induction session where Eskom’s key performance targets were assessed, Khoza said the power utility has not implemented load shedding in the past 23 months.

He said the plan was to continue implementing appropriate levels of planned maintenance to ensure long-term plant reliability.

Eskom said the decrease in unplanned outages helped improve plant availability, and also resulted in a sharp decrease of open cycle gas turbine usage.

“In terms of Eskom’s existing Generation Sustainability Strategy, our aim is to achieve 80% plant availability, 10% planned maintenance and 10% unplanned maintenance over the medium-term,” Khoza said. “The adherence to regular scheduled maintenance is managed through the Tetris planning tool which schedules outages based on forecasted demand and maintenance requirements.

“A key aspect of this includes having a strict winter and summer maintenance budget that comprises 8.5 GW for winter and 11.5 GW for summer,” he added.

Khoza welcomed the continued drive by Eskom’s interim group chief executive, Johnny Dladla, to meet with all the utility’s critical stakeholders and employees in an effort to not only share executive management’s vision, but to understand the needs of these stakeholders.

On Monday, Dladla was accompanied by his executive management team to a meeting with the company’s senior and middle management. There, he emphasised the mandate and expectations of Public Enterprises minister Lynne Brown’s and the board.

Dladla also said Eskom will address issues raised by Brown which include the management of contracts, conflict of interests, and quality of coal supply.

He is expected to hold similar engagements with other stakeholders in the next few weeks.

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