Eskom says despite coal challenges being experienced at Hendrina power station, the power system will not be compromised.

In a statement following a media report on Thursday, the power utility confirmed that it had identified a risk in relation to insufficient coal at the power station that is located in Mpumalanga.

This risk, it said, is primarily due to the threat of sustained suspension of supply by Optimum Coal Mine, and that Optimum is not meeting their contractual requirements.

This comes at a time when stock days are below minimum Grid Code requirement.

Last week Friday, Hendrina was reported to have approximately 10 coal stock days at its holding facility. At the previous assessment in October, the stock was 25 days.

“To address this risk, Eskom is putting in place a number of urgent actions including to enforce performance of the Optimum coal supply contract along with consideration for replacement coal supply contracts for Hendrina,” said Eskom.

The power utility said it is currently transporting coal from existing Eskom contracted sources to Hendrina to the extent possible.

“Eskom is also working with National Treasury to place contracts for the supply and diversion of coal from other Eskom contracted sources to Hendrina. In addition, to further manage the risk, Eskom is presently reworking the production plan to reduce the burn at Hendrina while ensuring minimal impact on production costs. Despite the challenges being experienced at Hendrina, Eskom will ensure that the power system will not be compromised,” Eskom said

Accusations flying high at Eskom

The power utility’s former interim CEO, Matshela Koko is currently embroiled in a disciplinary hearing relating to alleged corruption charges. Koko has accused some of his colleagues of corruption, saying his suspension at his short lived position as CEO was aimed at silencing him.

Koko is currently testifying in his own defence at his disciplinary hearing in Johannesburg after handing over a document alleging France Hlakudi, a former project manager at Kusile power station, had received a bribe of R61-million from Tubular Construction Projects, a contractor of Eskom.