Cape Town – Petro SA, a state-owned company in South Africa that imports diesel, has noted a surge in demand for fuel due to frequent power outages. However, the market remains well supplied, leading to a downward trend in prices, thanks to increased international supply from different regions.
PetroSA has been focused on assisting Eskom, the national power utility, to ensure a steady supply of diesel at affordable prices to combat the impact of load shedding. According to SABC, Vusi Xaba, Petro SA’s executive of trade and supply, says that the company employs strategies such as floating additional ships to stabilise Eskom’s expenditure and protect it from higher pricing.
PetroSA denied allegations of overcharging Eskom for diesel, emphasising its commitment to supporting energy security in the country.
This week, the Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said that power ships would be a crucial part of the country’s emergency energy procurement. Speaking at the Enlit Africa Energy Conference, Ramokgopa emphasised the government’s efforts to stabilise the electricity grid. He stressed the importance of bringing additional energy sources online quickly to alleviate the burden of load shedding. “Essentially generation mounted on the ships, it takes them on average about three months to get it on stream. We have to get those things on stream as quick as possible,” EWN quoted Ramokgopa as saying.
Ramokgopa assured that environmental requirements would be met during the implementation of power ships. He clarified that he was referring to power ships as a solution in general, rather than specifically mentioning the company Karpowership. “I’m talking about power ships, I’m not talking about Karpowership as a company, but a solution. I think it’s important that you know that so that we are able to reduce the stages of load shedding. There is no self-respecting country that folds its arms and watches the economy collapses when in fact there are solutions that exist,” he said.
Additionally, Ramokgopa highlighted the need for grid capacity expansion, stating that Eskom would need to install 14 000km of power lines to meet future demand projections. According to eNCA, the minister said that rolling blackouts had the potential to cripple the economy.
“The problem statement in short is that load-shedding has got the capability of crippling the South African economy and undermining the progression of this democracy that we term the rainbow nation,” he said.