Cape Town — Eskom has welcomed the decision by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy relieving the utility of following the normal process required to amend its Atmospheric Emission Licence.
The utility said that the exemption does not provide it approval to operate the temporary stacks.
“The exemption allows Eskom to submit its application to operate the stacks based on presently available information and with a reduced public participation process.”
Based on the exemption provided by the Minister, the utility added that it intends to submit its final application for approval to operate the temporary stacks, to the relevant authorities in April 2023.
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Approval of the final application means Eskom will be able to operate the three units without the use of the Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FDG) mechanism – an emission-abatement technology – for a period of 13 months while its flue gas ducts are being repaired.
Eskom added that the repair of its damaged stacks will be completed by December 2024 “and during this time the necessary steps will be implemented to mitigate the impact of SO2 emissions on air quality”.
“As previously communicated, the temporary structure will be completed by end November 2023. This will enable the return of 2 100MW, further alleviating pressure on the power system and reducing loadshedding by almost two stages,” the utility said.
It added that it will comply with the conditions of the exemption.
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Compiled by Junaid Benjamin