The initial bid submission deadline was April 30.
Through the STPPP Eskom intends contracting with those South African or regional entities able to supply short-term power, at an affordable rate, so as to reduce a supply gap that had developed as a result of poor production rates at its new coal-fired power stations, as well as its under maintained coal fleet.
Prior to the pandemic, Eskom estimated that the shortfall could be as large as 5 000 MW for the coming 18 months as it began implementing so-called ‘philosophy maintenance’, whereby deviations from prescribed service and repair protocols and intervals would no longer be tolerated.
Demand slumped by over 9 000 MW once the lockdown came into force at midnight on March 26, enabling Eskom to shut certain coal and nuclear units and ramp-up risk-based maintenance. The full implementation of philosophy maintenance was postponed, however.
Etzinger says the decision to reintroduce the STPPP scheme was made after Eskom was forced to declare State 6 load-shedding for the first time ever on December 9 and the RFP was released on March 23 after all governance approvals were secured.