SOUTH AFRICAN POWER UTILITY ESKOM NOW HAS EXCESS ELECTRICITY

South African State-owned power utility Eskom is now delivering excess electricity after having gone almost 15 months without any load shedding.

Eskom said Thursday that in the six months ended Sept 30, 2016, it continued to further stabilise its business with improved operational and financial performance.

"Eskom is now delivering excess electricity capacity to help stimulate South Africa's economic growth. Our five-year plan to the 2020/21 financial year aims to re-establish Eskom as a catalyst for economic growth, and not a constraint to the country's future growth," said Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe as the utility released its interim financial results.

Revenue for the period under review rose 10.5 per cent to 97.1 billion Rand (about 7.24 billion US dollars) following a 31.6 per cent increase in electricity exports to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"With the anticipation of additional surplus capacity in the coming months and years, Eskom is focusing on signing long-term power supply agreements with regional partners. Engagements with utilities and mining houses active in the region have commenced," Molefe said.

Overall electricity sales were 1.2 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Meanwhile, a strategy to address the decline in local sales volumes has started. It will address both the retention of sales to existing customers and the stimulation of sales growth.

Cross-border sales, local demand stimulation and public-private partnerships will be some of the issues that the strategy will address.

Eskom's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) surged 23 per cent to 31.5 billion Rand. Its cost containment strategy is bearing fruit, with primary energy costs decreasing by 1.5 per cent to 40.4 billion Rand (September 2015: 41 billion Rand) compared with an average increase of 18.8 per cent over the last five financial years.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.

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