Thursday, July 18, 2024

South Africa: Former Chief Operating Officer Leaves Power Utility Eskom

Jan Oberholzer, the man Eskom tasked with managing the recovery of its Kusile and Koeberg Power Stations, is leaving the company.

His departure has huge implications for the resolution of the current power crisis.

Kusile Power Station is missing four generating units; 1, 2, 3 and 5, which together produce 3 200MW of electricity. That is effectively three stages of load shedding.

The current plan to stabilize the grid is heavily dependent on the recovery of this R161 billion coal plant.

Oberholzer was also contracted to manage the maintenance at Eskom’s only nuclear power station, Koeberg.

The Cape Town plant is going through a maintenance programme designed to extend its lifespan by another 20 years.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said he was worried that the work at Koeberg was at least 45 days behind schedule.

This means Koeberg would only produce 50% of its capacity this winter.

After 30 years at the power utility, Oberholzer retired in April but acting group CEO Calib Cassim asked him to stay on and oversee the recovery of Kusile and Koeberg. His resignation announcement comes just three months after he agreed to stay on.

On Monday, Eskom said it was parting ways with Oberholzer by mutual agreement, adding that his last day would be on 31 July 2023.



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