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Komati Power Station shutdown was wrong – Mantashe

the closure of komati power station was wrong according to gwede mantashe

The electricity produced by Komati Power Station plant was greater than what it could produce using solar energy.

The Komati coal power station was shut down in October, but according to the minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantshe, it shouldn’t have been because it produced more electricity from coal than it will with its future solar plant.

Mantashe responded to inquiries about Eskom in parliament by saying that three coal power plants, including Komati, had been successfully decommissioned and reactivated in the 1980s.

Mantashe claims that Komati has produced more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power using coal, but the nearby solar plant will only produce 200 MW.

Komati will be transformed into a renewable energy facility that can produce 220 megawatts of power using battery and solar power.

Eskom has singled out Komati as the model for its just energy transition (JET) strategy, which accords equal weight to the “transition to lower carbon technologies.”

Recent reports that the electricity minister’s plan to reduce load shedding included “a relook at the shutdown schedule of Eskom’s coal power plants” prompted Mantshe to support the expansion of South Africa’s outdated coal power plants. Following these recent reports, Mantshe has offered his support.

The government has continued to show support for coal despite experts’ warnings that doing so could jeopardise funding for the JET from international partners.

The country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019) is consistent with the decommissioning and repurposing of coal-fired power plants, and these two actions are also crucial parts of South Africa’s international climate change commitments.

komati power station

‘Just’ Transition for who? Who benefits

The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a partnership between South Africa and its international partner group made up of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, is primarily focused on the decarbonization of the nation’s energy sector, as stated in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019.

To help with the $8.5 billion JETP funds, the global climate finance organization Climate Investment Funds (CIF) will contribute about $2.5 billion. In order to secure an additional $2 billion in concessional loans, this contribution will consist of $500 million in grant and concessional loan funding.

But with crippling power failure in SA, questions still need to be asked, as to whom is this transition ‘just’ to, as these countries still continue to import South African coal in gigantic quantities in order to keep their own coal-fueled powered stations producing electricity as renewables are the not most reliable sources of power.

Where is Komati Power Station

Komati Power Station is located in the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa. More specifically, it is situated on the banks of the Komati River in the town of Komatipoort, which is near the border with Mozambique. The power station is approximately 12 kilometers east of the town of Middelburg and about 300 kilometers east of Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa.

The power station has a total installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) and was commissioned between 1961 and 1966. The plant comprises of six units, each with a capacity of 160 MW, which were operated by the state-owned power utility, Eskom.

Komati Power Station was decommissioned in stages, with the first unit being shut down in 2018 and the last unit being taken out of service on 31 October 2022.


Mantashe added that Petro SA, a state-owned oil company, had called for a partner to assist it in reopening its Mossel Bay refinery, which had been shut down in the year 2020. Mantashe claimed that Petro SA had provided this information.

He claimed that additional financial and technical resources were needed for the refinery to resume producing petrol and diesel. The procedure for submitting bids is anticipated to take 18 months.

READ MORE: Eskom announces that loadshedding is permanent and here to stay… forever

South Africa is entirely dependent on imported petrol and diesel as a result of the closure of both state and private refineries. Mantashe said that the refinery would restart operations as soon as a partner was found to help increase South Africa’s energy security.

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