Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa confirmed with lawmakers this week that government intends pushing ahead with the procurement of electricity from powerships, amid ongoing environmental opposition to the floating gas-to-power plants and significant concerns over the cost implications and the term of the contracts.
“We are, as the Ministry, now going to commence with an emergency procurement programme based on powership solutions to give us an additional 2 000 MW and this amounts to two stages of loadshedding,” Ramokgopa said in a speech delivered as part of the debate on the Presidency’s Budget Vote.
In his written remarks he said that the power purchase agreement (PPA) would be for five years, but he did not confirm this in his oral presentation.
Earlier in the week, Operation Vulindela’s Rudi Dicks indicated that Ramokgopa was already in discussion with Karpowership – which emerged as a preferred bidder in 2021 to supply 1 200 MW under a 20-year PPA – about shortening the term to between five and ten years.
Karpowership has, to date, failed to secure the environmental authorisations required to dock its vessels in Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay and there are also concerns about the gas pricing methodology, which is likely to fluctuate in line with changes to the currency and gas prices.
Meanwhile, Ramokgopa also announced that 80 MW was immediately available from the Nacala Powership, in Mozambique, and that a PPA under an emergency procurement through Eskom would be activated.
He also reported that South Africa could procure a further 420 MW from the Temane gas-to-power facility, also in Mozambique, from November, and was considering a further 3 000 MW of gas-to-power imports from the country over the coming five years.